Archive for September, 2011

Update and letter from Gary

September 23

It was two months ago yesterday that we learned of Gary’s brain cancer and, in two more days, he will have completed the radiation and chemotherapy regimen prescribed to deal with his condition. He’s tired, weak, and forgetful, but delightful company just the same, and good laughter has been a part of everyday. (I blame medicine for his recent rash of conspiracy theories and his preference for cooking shows over football, but expect all of that to straighten out once he completes treatment.)  It will be nice to have days without trips to the cancer center and we’re trying to figure out what our routine will be, given Gary’s present limitations, once mornings and mid-days are our own again.

About a month from now, we expect to have an MRI done to measure any change (hopefully for the better) in the size and nature of the tumor. Till then, no meds, no doctor visits, no hospital. Days at the farm should be good therapy in the meantime.

Gary wrote a letter about a month ago and asked me to post it for him. I think I forgot to do so. I hope I’m wrong but include it here to be safe.

Let me add my thanks to his for all your emails, letters, calls, and prayers. We are grateful, really.



August 21, 2011


“In all things give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”


One again, I am at a loss for words to thank you all for the expressions of Christ’s love that I‘ve been shown over the past days and weeks. My memory is not working as I would like but I can never forget all the kindness shown me through this whole ordeal, and that continues to be shown daily. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I will never be able to repay you all as I would like so this general letter will have to do. I have started chemo and radiation. The treatment thus far has been pretty uneventful. I am told that in three weeks or so it will take a harder toll on my body. Pray that I’ll be able to be helpful those around me at the hospital. So far I don’t feel that I have been able to share and witness as I would like. I usually show up for treatment and leave. I’m trying to figure how I can care for others that are getting treatment.  I really want to minister to those around me but I’m not sure how this is going to look. Pray that I will have wisdom about how best to redeem the time in the hospital, and who to spend time with. I want to see a harvest and to minister to the body of Christ that needs ministering to. …  One thing I don’t want to do is be always in a hurry. I want to be available and willing to spend time with others, especially those who might not have anyone walking through their treatment with them.

I’m still trying to figure this out and would appreciate your prayers to guide me. I am thankful for family and friends who, I know, really want us to use this time to see folks come to Christ. Pray to this end and let’s make the most of every opportunity, whether in good health or sickness.

If there is anyone you’d like me to meet with let’s make this an opportunity for doing so.

Again I’m at a loss of words to thank you all for the love of Christ that you’ve shown me. My cup runneth over. No one could be more blessed a man.

I love you with the bonds of Christ,



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This recording is from the last concert i played, a month ago, after deciding to cancel most of my autumn schedule so that i could be here with Gary. …  i hesitated to perform it for fear that it might be inappropriate to impose my situation on an audience that had come to be entertained, maybe only entertained, at a celebratory black tie event. On the counsel of pianist Dewayne, and following the lead of my heart that it might be forgivable and maybe even helpful to inject a sobering reality onto the canvas of the evening, i played the song. It was the last song, number 7, of the evening. Most importantly to me, it made Gary happy. …  i am very grateful for the Springer Opera House and their gracious staff for allowing me to be part of the very special evening, and for an audience that listened with their hearts. i hope you enjoy the song.

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