Following Libby’s final oncologist’s appointment we settled into a routine with Hospice Care coming to our house twice a week and many of Libby’s dear friends volunteering to sit with her while I went to my office in a futile attempt to work.
By the end of February the cancer and the pain medications began to take their toll on the amount of conscious time that Libby had for visitors as I weighed the needs of Libby’s failing health against the well-intentioned desires of those wanting to see her. Weekends were especially busy around our house and Sunday February 23 rd was no exception as our friends Corey and Andrea had driven in from Nashville to see Libby but she was in a deep sleep by the time they had arrived.
Corey and Andrea Garcia were college friends of Nathan and Bethany while at Trevecca Nazarene University. Nathan and Corey’s friendship went back even further to kindergarten in our church when Libby was their teacher. Libby was a self-appointed surrogate mother to both Corey and Andrea during their college years as she encouraged and counseled them both during their courtship, marriage and Andrea’s fledgling music career.
Weeks before their visit, I asked Andrea if she would be interested in writing a song about Libby to tell our story. I had written an outline of sorts which described the “new love” during our dating years and how it changed into something much deeper as time went on. Then when faced with horrible news, how that new love turned into a “blue love” as both love and faith were tested. I went on to say that real love is not always some warm fuzzy feeling portrayed in the movies, it is a choice to love that one makes everyday. Now, it was obvious that I would never be mistaken for a songwriter so I left my ramblings with Andrea.
At 9:30 on that Sunday evening after Andrea and Corey had gone out for coffee with Nathan and Bethany, Libby woke up more responsive and more alert than she has been in weeks and asking, “Where is everybody?” I explained that it was late on a Sunday night and although a lot people had come by to visit, everyone was gone now.
After telling Libby the names of all of her visitors I explained that she had just missed Corey and Andrea so she asked me to call them. Within fifteen minutes Nathan, Bethany, Corey and Andrea arrived as Andrea pulled me aside before going into see Libby and said she had finished the song we had discussed and she asked if she could play it for her. I told her the timing was perfect and that she was very alert. The following video was recorded on that Sunday night using my cell phone then edited later to add photos:
I wrote this on the Caring Bridge entry that night after everyone had left, “I believe we have been given this time to say goodbye to someone that in my completely unbiased opinion, is the best wife, mother, teacher, counselor, prayer warrior, mentor and friend this world has ever seen.”