Mary Lou Gardner

First post: Nov 27, 2016 Latest post: Jun 18, 2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

You know Mary Lou from some place in your life  - and you know what a vibrant, loving, gentle and positive spirit she has al;ways been. We moved her from her Woodside Apartment at Sunnyside (where she and Dad lived) to a smaller, still independent, apartment in the Highlands - still at Sunnyside on Nov. 4. Preceding this, she wasn't feeling great, and following, she declined markedly. An adjustment to medication helped, but there was more going on.

Well, life can turn on a dime - and it did this past Saturday evening with a trip to the ER. Mom presented with acute side pain and mild vomiting. After many tests and 5 days in the hospital - Stage 4 adenocarcinoma in her lung was diagnosed, primary site unknown.  A shock to us all, even Mom who said.  "I didn't think it would end with a bang like this!"  We talk openly about her future and the situation.  She is sorry about her short timeline, but hopes to get some things done in the meantime. We intend to live each day to the fullest and celebrate life!! Our faith in a loving God and the salvation of Jesus Christ makes this all more bearable, but it's still the best and hardest thing we do.

She has come to Kath/Skip's house with Hospice support, and family are gathering to visit her when they can. We had a most unusual Thanksgiving - but are indeed thankful to God for the love Mom has given so freely and the precious time we have yet with her.  Carole/Robb will come over the weekend, and George/Carla/Kenrda/Payton toward next weekend.  Samantha/Jim came up yesterday for a quick visit en route to a nearby wedding, David/Kayleigh came to the hospital and Laura/Bryan and kiddies plan to come on Sunday. Noah is working on flying home in a week or so.  Angela and Rita have called.

Every day is different, of course, but at this point Mom can use her walker to come to the table and to get to the reclining chair in the living room. We will set up a small apartment for her in the den/guest room, bringing pictures for the walls and some furniture from her cozy new  little apartment that she spent one week in. She sleeps well, eats a little, appreciates every little thing and everyone.   Her mild pain is contained for now.

We welcome short visits and phone calls (let her energy be your guide) - and notes and letters - because she is the master letter writer. Don't put it off. Share a memory or favorite time with her, celebrate things you have done together, talk about loved ones in common. talk about what you are doing now, hold her hand, say a prayer, celebrate your time together.  She will love it all. If it's not a good time, I will let you know - please  try again another time.

You may post notes on this website, and I'll print them off for her regularly.
You can call at our house phone 540-289-6973 - anytime after 10 am and before 7, I would guess, EST.
Mail can be sent to Mary Lou Gardner - c/o Wissinger - 1050 Cemetery Rd. - McGaheysville, Va. 22840
Contact me directly at if you need more informatiom.

And pray for her new journey to be smooth, joyful and painfree.  Thank you for checking in  from time to time. I'll try to post anything newsworthy.

Best to you and your families! Kath Wissinger
(Mary Lou's daughter)

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