My friend Alan passed away this morning.
I met him when Jack got nominated and elected to the credit union's board; Alan was married to Gail, and she's a teacher and board member. We've vacationed with them several times and this last time, I was truly blessed to spend some quality time with my friend Gen and Alan. We'd go for coffee every morning, just sit outside the cafe and people watch and talk. He was such a good man.
Alan suffered for many years from brain tumors. He'd have surgery and bounce back.
And the tumors would bounce back, too.
He was a true miracle man, surviving countless surgeries and so many sessions of radiation and chemotherapy. Even his wife really believed he would beat it again; we just couldn't believe it would finally get him.
This last session was different. It seemed to weaken him more, take him further along in the disease. He wound up this time in a coma, then he came out of it, then he was moved to a care facility for 24-hour care, then he became unresponsive again.
Gail would sit by his side all day, every day. She would sprinkle him with holy water, pray with him and for him. She has such faith.
But I worry that this might truly be more than she can handle. She and Alan met when they were older, rather than younger. They were so much in love, they were so perfect for each other. He cared for her, about her - it was so obvious. He was her life.
And when I say this, I don't mean he was her life (or she was his) to the exclusion of all else. They just truly personified love. They were the perfect example of a happily married couple.
Alan retired two or three years ago, along with Gail. They spent every minute of every day together, I believe, either at their mountain hideaway in PA or traveling to the Caribbean or to Vegas. They so loved to travel together!
This next journey is going to be a tough one for Gail. She's going to have to go it alone. And I am worried about her. We all said she's so strong, going through all this over and over again, but she had Alan then. And he fought with her and for her and she fought with him and for him.
She's lucky - she has phenomenal family and great friends. And we'll be there to help her any way we can. But we're not Alan.
Please keep Alan and Gail in your prayers for me.