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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

Going steady

July 3, 1971. He asked me to go steady and I said yes. He tied a leather strap with three little colored beads around my neck and it was official. I was his girl! That leather strap did not come off for nearly five years, until the morning of our wedding.

We had been a,couple already for several weeks. But there was something about it being official, about the public, visible proof, that was special. It moved us from "Yeah, I like him/her..." to "He's/she's mine and I'm proud that we've chosen each other!" It was somehow even more significant than our engagement because four years later, no one needed the ring on my finger to know we would marry soon. We always, every single year even after our marriage, always celebrated our going steady anniversary. It was a very, very special day.

One of the strange things I have discovered about widow grief is that, very often, the days leading up to a significant date or a holiday are worse than the actual day itself and I am struggling in the days leading up to this third going steady anniversary even more than I did the first two. Perhaps because this year is different. For the first time since I was 14, I am someone else's girl this year. And it accentuates my loss. Al will always be my first love. He will always be a part of me. But, after 44 years, I'm no longer going steady with him. And, despite my joy in my new relationship, that really hurts.