beginning of goodbyes

A bit more than a week ago  Libby’s brother Andy, my sister Marilyn, and my mother Anne flew into town to visit and likely to say goodbye in person.  The following day we have a gathering with around 80 close friends.  We didn’t plan a program of any sort, we just wanted to hang out with some dear friends.  We were delighted that a number of our friends who live in the bay area were able to stop by.  Our only regret was not being able to spend more time with each of the people there.  The time was made even more delightful but the appearance of several friends from out of town that we had no idea would be coming.  If that wasn’t enough we had some very thoughtful friends who couldn’t come (they are in Taiwan and Russia) , but ordered food or flowers which was delivered to the potluck.


The time at the “party” was bittersweet.  It’s lovely to see friends and to introduce people who we love to each other.  At the same time, we couldn’t escape the fact that this gathering was so Libby could attend one more party with friends, since it’s unlikely she will be able to attend any more parties on this earth.

It looks like the timing of the party was fortuitous.  In the week that followed the party we have seen Libby’s energy drop significantly. Libby more likely won’t have been up for a party the following weekend.  Libby is spending an increasing amount of time either sleeping or resting in quiet.

The hospice folks provided a useful booklet that describes the process that people go through as they are releasing from this life. While none of us can know how much time is left, it seems that Libby is starting to show characteristics of someone whose time is counted in weeks rather than months.

The most pronounced thing is that she is easily confused and is having an increasingly hard time communicating.  At times this has been humorous, we have repeatedly laughed as a family, but it is also heartbreaking.  She is now struggle with a lot of routine tasks.  We have moved her from using a laptop to an iPad because she was finding she couldn’t successfully use the laptop.  Windows, Outlook, and the Facebook Web UI were just too confusing.  Libby is still reading these a bit on the iPad but it’s unlikely she will have the energy to generating email, Facebook posts, or CaringBridge messages.  I will try to keep things up for her.

People have asked what to pray for.  My request would be calmness and a sense of peace for us.  Three years ago Libby said “I am not done yet”.  There were things she felt called to do, to finish.  In the last month or two Libby has had a quiet confidence that she has been able to do what she needed to do.  That God would take care of those things not yet finished.  I can see Libby’s confidence in God’s love, and that she is looking forward to His warm embrace.  She had a real sense of peace.  In the last few days the difficulties communicating and confusion about what is going on has taken away some of that peace.  We would ask that she recapture the peace she had been feeling.

–Mark

Psalm 8
The Lord’s Glory and Man’s Dignity.
For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of David. 
1 O Lord, our Lord, 
How majestic is Your name in all the earth, 
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! 
2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength 
Because of Your adversaries, 
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. 
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, 
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 
4 What is man that You take thought of him, 
And the son of man that You care for him? 
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, 
And You crown him with glory and majesty! 
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; 
You have put all things under his feet, 
7 All sheep and oxen, 
And also the beasts of the field, 
8 The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, 
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. 
9 O Lord, our Lord, 
How majestic is Your name in all the earth! 
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