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Al’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends, family, and all prayer warriors updated about Al Garrett. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.

We invite you to visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and, most especially, to write us a note in our guestbook. Seeing your posts encourages and uplifts us. We covet your prayers and would love to see them in print if you feel led to do that. We invite you to share the site and Al's situation with as many as you know will pray! The more the better!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 26, 2012, 2:00am

"Mr. Garrett, you do have cancer."

I (Gina) expected that. Had been nagging him to get checked for several months. Had begun being afraid to go in the house after work because I was afraid I would find him dead. Still, shock reverberated through every fiber of my being. Cancer. Not just any cancer, bile duct cancer. Metastasized. My mouth was saying "We're going to beat this!" my heart was saying "God, how can You allow this! He's going to die!"

Spring, 1970

A skinny 13-year-old girl walks into the teen Sunday School class at Dellview Church of the Nazarene in San Antonio, TX. A big, burly 14-year old boy thinks "good legs!" And the love story began. By that summer, we were "going steady" and have been together ever since. We have raised two beautiful daughters, seen both married, one divorced and remarried, fallen in love with our fine, strong sons-in-law, seen three precious grandchildren born. We have walked through the valley of death with three of our four parents. We have experienced the ecstacy of first love, the angst of the first fight, the delirium of making up, the "seven-year itch" when we wondered who that stranger was, the work of pushing through, and the delight of finding each other again. We have watched with joy our babies be born and cried with the ones that didn't make it. We have loved each other through the good times and persevered through the tough ones.


We now find ourselves at the worst of times. We depend on God, on each other, and, delightfully, on the many family members and friends who are battling with us! We welcome you and your extended friends and family to walk with us as we learn the lessons and see the blessings and miracles God has in store! Shout the battle cry loud and long - BEAT CANCER! BEAT CANCER! BEAT CANCER!

January 28, 2013

Al lost his battle with Cholangeocarcinoma, bile duct cancer, at 4:59pm. He is well at last.

Latest Journal Update

Beginning of the end

Three years ago today, I, along with our daughters and hospice nurse, made the very difficult decision to transfer my beloved Al to in-patient status. He had asked only one thing of me regarding his care in his final days - that I keep him home. He spent 16 days as an in-patient. It was far and away the most difficult decision I ever made! I think of those who must choose to discontinue life support and just cannot imagine! I remember watching as he was wheeled out of our house that night, knowing he would never come home again. Still, I was upset when home hospice removed his bed the next day. My precious daughters handled that difficult task for me.

He had been in so much pain, excruciating, and no more could be done from home. Even the cocktail of drugs he received at hospice did not completely alleviate his restlessness and hurting. The only thing that seemed to really help was singing to him. I stood or sat beside him with a hymnal in my hands for many hours during those 16 days. That God's Word and my voice brought Him comfort has brought me comfort over these last three years - our shared precious gift from God!

These January days are shadowed. The happiness in which I live now, the cherished memories of before, all in shadow during this time. But what joy my Al lives in now! And how twice blessed I am by God! I look back over the last 3 1/2 years, Al's diagnosis, illness, death, my grief, and I see God's mighty hand! He sent people to be His hands, His voice, His arms! He sent comfort and healing. He sent love. He has given and given and given some more! So as I walk through the shadows, I know He is carrying me, for He always has! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!