Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 12:57 pm by Libbie

Al’s strength is quickly declining. On Wenesday the hospice nurse guestimated that he might last 5-6 weeks. Yesterday, as we expected, she said that the time is probably much shorter than that. For myself, I’m expecting him to slip out of consciousness any time in the next hours or days.

It’s hard to see Al so weak and sometimes uncomfortable. As his condition has worsened drastically in the past week, we have begun to make the shift in our thinking and praying from asking the Lord to prolong Al’s time with us to asking him to shorten it. It will be a mercy to see him free from this suffering and winging his way to heaven.

Last night and this morning we had times as a family of singing and praying together, of recalling fond or funny memories, and of expressing love and appreciation to Al. We have told him, as well, that when it’s trime for the Lord to take him home, he is free to go and that he should not look back, or feel pulled to stay with us. We will be cheering him on from this side of the valley, encouraging him to jump up and run at the Lord’s call. We’ve also assured him that we know the Lord will take exquisite care of us, so he doesn’t need to fret about that.

I’m so thankful for those opportunities. Now if Al should slip into unconsciousness, we have said good-bye. That’s a privilege that not everyone has when their loved one dies. God has been so merciful to us!

The kids have been wonderful. Alasdair slept here last night so we could take turns getting up with Al when he needs something, and this morning we all put our heads together to plan for the days ahead, divide up tasks, make decisions together, etc. What a blessing!

Please pray for continued strength of body and heart as we wait, and savor the time, and care for Al. Thank you all for thinking of and praying for us.

Much love,



  1. Jeff Hutchinson said,

    February 5, 2007 at 7:52 am

    May God bless you all forever.

    It may be a bit silly, but it is not insignificant that I will go to my grave with a permantly crooked little finger on my right hand (I see it everyday, I’m staring at it now), caused when I broke it against Al’s body reaching for a loose ball in a basketball game in the Calvary gym nearly ten years ago now….As a result, though I only knew Al as a basketball friend and brother in Christ, I think of him and his godly friendliness often. He is deeply loved.

    Jeff Hutchinson
    Asheville, NC

  2. Tammy said,

    February 5, 2007 at 10:25 am

    I lost my mom in April of 2006. The whole family was with her as she slipped away into her new life with God. At the time I felt it was so unfair to watch your mother take her last breath. Now I see it as you do~what a gift to be able to say good bye and tell the one you love it’s ok to go and not to worry about you.

    Your post brought back a flood of memories as I come to my mother’s first birthday since she’s been gone and the anniversary of her passing is right around the corner.

    I will say a prayer for you and your family.

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