Update December 21, 2007

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 9:56 pm by Libbie

Well, it’s Friday night, and everybody else is out shopping or with friends, so I’m taking a little break in the Christmas preparations to write a note here.

Al’s birthday was an emotional day for all of us. I found that the tears were never far from the surface and spilled over easily with the slightest nudge. Alden’s biology class happened by coincidence to start their unit on cancer that day. Eowyn actually found that the day after Al’s birthday was much harder for her. Anyway, all the kids were here for dinner, and we had a special meal that Al loved—sausages made from his grandfather’s recipe—and shared favorite memories of Al. Around the dinner table most of the stories were funny ones that prompted a lot of laughter. Later in the car there were more serious ones about the deeper things we appreciated about him. After dinner we all went to see a movie, since that is what Al often chose to do for his birthday: treat the family to a new release. The choice had been narrowed down to Disney’s “Enchanted” or Will Smith in “I Am Legend.” Sunday night after watching trailers for them both online Eowyn had the wisdom of the hour, which was that the day was probably going to be emotionally stretching enough without watching a gut-wrenching film. I think she was right. So we saw Enchanted, which was cute and which Alden graciously endured.

Now the kids are finally out of school (hallelujah!) and we are ready for some vacation. I finished my finals last Thursday and Alasdair his on Friday. Lauren and Becky are off work for a number of days, and (drum roll, please…) Becky will be starting a new job in January. She’ll be working for a local mission agency as the right hand man to a woman whom she thoroughly enjoys and respects. Her job managing temp workers for the past year and a half has given her lots of valuable experience and on-the-job training and has been the Lord’s provision, but she was very isolated (in a cubicle down a hallway with no one in it), and the job, by its nature, meant that she was a middle man who constantly took flack from both sides for things that generally she had no control over. I’m very proud of her for sticking with it, especially through the extensive patch during which many of her regional colleagues left. Now she is delighted to be moving to a job where she will have co-workers again. Yee-haw! I’m really happy for her.

I had planned to write some reflections about Al, but my yawns are threatening to split my head, so I think I’ll just go to bed and hopefully write another time soon. Just in case that doesn’t happen before Tuesday, may you have a happy holiday, and if it is Christmas you celebrate, may it be a wonderful one, filled with new wonder that God came down into this broken world to share our sorrows and to break death’s power over us.

In his love,



  1. Samuel Sutter said,

    December 22, 2007 at 12:08 am

    thanks for the update. you’re still in my prayers!

  2. Kathy Peat said,

    December 23, 2007 at 1:20 am

    Thinking of you at a time which will probably be difficult with all the memories. But praising God that EMMANUEL is with you! All our love from foggy London! Kathy

  3. Allie Stryd said,

    December 25, 2007 at 12:21 am

    So happy for Becky, esp if she is working with who I think she is…. 🙂 Thinking of you and the family tonight. Christmas makes me long for heaven, every year more than the previous. Keeping you all in our prayers this Christmas. And wishing you a very blessed time. Merry Christmas!
    much love,
    allie stryd

  4. Tom Kulp said,

    December 29, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I think about you and your family often, I know it must be difficult around these holidays especially with the loss of a wonderful smile. I try to imagine that his smile is wider than ever, and in a little while ours will be just as wide.


  5. Fred said,

    January 5, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Hi, Libbie.

    Thanks once again for keeping us posted on your lives. May this season of Incarnation and Epiphany bless all of your lives and your memories of Al.

    I’ve been reading Josef Pieper (“The End of Time”, “Hope and History”). At the end of the latter he lists the triumphs of heaven and eternity, mostly drawn from Revelation, in an overwhelming abundance of grace and blessing: no more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, no more sighing, in the New Jerusalem, the city of God, God and the Lamb as our light, no more night, … All Al’s now, and ours to come.

    Blessings always (and all ways),


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