GibbyWooten

Personal Updates by Gibby and/or his family.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dad, I miss you terribly!

Sometimes.....I can't even believe you are not here, because life has kept on going just the same. But, you are so missed here. I wish I could ask your advice on so many things. You made things look so easy. I would love to go to lunch again every day like we used to do. 

I want so badly to hug you again and just be with you and Mom, hanging around the house. I have so many things I wish I could have said to you. 

I look forward to seeing you again! Until then I am thankful for every treasured memory and photograph we have of you. I love you, Dad, and I miss you terribly. 

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Six Months

Six months have passed since my father left this earth to be with the Lord. It's a strange feeling. Six Months. That always seems so long, so far away, and yet it has gone by. Soon it will be a year. A year without my father. It's unfathomable, and yet it's happening. I want to tell him things. I want his advice. Mark needed his mentoring ability in his search for a new job. His fatherly talks with the famous metaphors and comparing his example to our life. "Look at it this way" and "here's what I think." It makes no sense that he's really not here. And yet, I feel such a burden lifted by not watching him suffer any longer. He was in such pain and he never wanted anyone to know how much. He suffered silently and plugged along up until the final weeks. He felt desperate, I know, toward the end. We watched him change. We saw him tell everyone he loved them so much. I know if you are reading this, that you loved him, too.

Thank you friends. For your support and for caring. Thank you dad, for everything you did for me and my family. You are a fine example of how to give and how to be brave and how to teach and love. I love you dad.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Blessings and Thank You

This has been such an emotional month and I am only now able to get back on the website and write to you. There is so much to say and I will never be able to find the words that describe what you mean to us. Our hearts are full.

Thank you if you were able to be with us at one of Gibby's memorials; we know the sacrifices you made. Thank you, too, for the unbelievable outpouring of support through your visits , food, beautiful flowers, hundreds of cards, e-mails, and memorials in Gibby's honor. We are absolutely overwhelmed by the love you have shared and know that God will bless you abundantly for that love you gave to us. Our greatest riches on this earth are our family and friends -- we are blessed beyond measure.

For all of your unending and faithful prayers, we again say thank you. We couldn't have gotten through this journey without your faith, too. We have felt your depth of loss, too, through the amazing words you have written to us about Gibby - what a treasure that is for us! Your love has changed the four of us - Angela, Cherish, Jeff and me - and made us want to be the amazing friends to others that you have been to us.

As we approach this season, our family knows that it is Gibby's message that we all will remember the reason for Christmas. Cherish your loved ones, give to those in need, share a smile, show kindness to those who cross your paths and find joy in each day -- but most of all, honor the one whose birth we celebrate.

It is hard to imagine our first Christmas without him, and it is an understatement to say that our hearts long to have him here with us. But I want to share with you a poem that a dear friend, Nancy Honts, who lost her husband Bryan, one of Gibby's golfing friends, gave to me. I hope it will comfort you, too, to know that Gibby is in a better place. We will keep the website open for awhile, and we have a page in his honor at Legacy.com

My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights like heaven's stars reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
But the sound of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy the joy their voices bring
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away -- we really aren't apart
So be happy for me, all of you. You know I hold you dear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I send you each a special gift from heaven up above
I send you each a memory of my undying love
After all, love is a gift that is more precious than pure gold
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told
Please love each other always, as The Father said to do.
For I cannot count the blessings or the love he has for you
Please have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Merry Christmas to all of you and God bless you, every one! May each of you have a wonderful new year!
We love you!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Arrangements for Gibby

I am so sorry I haven't gotten back on the website, but we have been trying to arrange everything. There will be an evening visitation held at 5:00 at Greenwood Memorial Park on Monday, Nov. 13. His services will be at All Saints Episcopal Church, 5001 Crestline, Ft.Worth
(76107) at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, with burial at Greenwood Memorial Park. After that, we are having a reception at Ridglea Country Club at 5:30 with food and drink for all who would like to visit with the family and friends who loved Gibby so much. We hope to share many happy memories, as we know he would love that.
Our son, Jeff, would love it if Gibby's friends would try to remember a special time or memory (a story) and bring it to the reception, so that he can put a memorial book together for his Dad. We are all still so amazed at Gibby's courage and so proud to have had him in our life. His last few weeks were unbelievable and we were so blessed to be able to care for him and keep him at home. I could never have done it without our children; they have been amazing!
We hope that many of you will be able to join us, but just know that we will understand if the timing conflicts with everyone's busy schedules. We look forward to seeing those of you who will be with us. Please call or email if you have any questions. Our love,Judy

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gibby

To all our friends and loved ones, we want each of you to know that Gibby passed away last night after his amazing battle with bile duct cancer. Your wonderful and loving prayers were answered, as he had the most peaceful passing. Jeff, Cherish, Angela and I were able to care for him at home 24/7 for the last 4 weeks, with some hospice help starting 2 weeks ago. Though they came every day to check on him, it was only Tuesday evening when they began continuous care here at the house. That is how Gibby wanted it. So it was nice for all of us that he only had a little over 24 hours of true hospice care; he was so ready to be with the Lord, and told us Tuesday morning that he needed this to be over.
We were so blessed to have the time with him as a family, laughing and sharing all the wonderful moments of our life together. What a blessing he was to us, and to so many of you out there. He never complained and kept his sense of humor and strong faith through each and every day. He was our hero!!!!!
He loved you all so much ---- we will be giving you more information as soon as we know the details. It is 7:00 a.m. and we have been up all night, so we have to go the funeral home and take care of some details today. Our hearts are full of gratitude and love for all each of you has done for Gibby and for his family -- just know that we will never forget your love and kindness.
Our love,
Judy

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thanks and Request

First, I would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support at this most difficult time. We are so thankful to have such wonderful friends who have brought us food and run errands and made our situation bearable. Our gratitude is sincere and our hearts are full.

Second, I am sorry to say this, but we must request that out of respect for Gibby (our Dad) and our situation that visits from guests must come to an end. He is sleeping much of the time and it is better at this point for him to have his rest. Please know that we appreciate more than anything your kind thoughts and prayers and your desire to support him. It is only the desire to make our patient comfortable that urges us to make this request. Thank you for understanding.

Cherish

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Better Days......and Nights

Hi all,
Mom sounded a bit gloomy in her last post, but the reason is that dad seemed as if he was in a coma from late Monday to Weds morning. He was given compazine and phenergan to control nausea on top of his regular meds. I think he reacted poorly to the compazine because Monday and Tuesday he just slept or stared into space and mostly did not respond. Weds morning I didn't give him his compazine and he was like his old self again. He has had quite a few visitors since then including old high school and fraternity friends. He is watching the football games and keeping stats on scores. David is there as much as possible to keep him company. He is a wondrful friend. A wonderful man. God has blessed my father with a friend like that. (The others are great too, Dave, Keith,Bill, etc.) Don't feel left out.

He was also getting very fidgity during the night.... up and down all night from the recliner to the bed and back again. Last night was fairly peaceful. He slept more and his feet look better too.


Thanks for checking in everyone.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Our Precious Gibby

This is the post we never wanted to do, but it looks like our battle is getting harder. Hospice has been called in and he is sleeping much of the time. He still responds to us when we say we love him and give him messages from family and our wonderful friends. We are so blessed to have meals prepared for us, as we are not leaving his side now. Angela, Cherish, Jeff and I are so blessed, too, to be able to be with him 24 hours a day. The girls' husbands have taken care of their children so they can be with Gibby and of course Jeff is not going back to L.A. with things as they are.
He still smiles when we talk to him and says he loves us; he has been such an amazing example of courage and love and determination. Even when he is in pain, he tries to comfort us.
Thanks to each and every one of you. He loves you all so much.
We will post with any changes. Our love to you all and God bless you. Judy

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hello Dear Friends.....

There is really nothing to say, except that we appreciate the kindness and support you are giving us. We appreciate the food and the fact that you are checking on him all of the time. We know you all have your own busy lives to live and the fact that you are taking time out to see him and to support us as we go through this means the world to us all. We are so fortunate to have such a great family of friends.

Our gratitude can never be expressed.
Cherish

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Year three - Here we are

Well, the fourth year of our journey will begin in a few days and I must say that I am surprised we are here at all! I mean, we have had more miracles than we ever imagined. Dad is really an amazing man who has fought harder to live than I thought possible.

We went to the oncologist today. They gave him some more fluid and another IV of anti-nausea drug. Unfortunately, the bilirubin came back at 2.7, so we are not able to do chemo, again. Dad seemed pretty sad about that. I know that he feels like time is slipping away and he needs to get that bilirubin down.

We are so appreciative of Jaqueline and Vivan for the wonderful food. I cannot tell you how perfect your timing was. Dad loved the soup.

We can never express our gratitude for your support. You are so great and we love you all!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Latest News

Hello again to everyone. The plan has been for Gibby to see Dr. Becerra again on the 17th to see if his billirubin had hopefully gotten below 2.0, but this week, he became jaundiced, which means his billirubin is up, and he was put on another regimen of antibiotics. In addition, he is having difficulty keeping his food down again, and as he says, his legs are very "wobbly." He is trying to get some exercise and has such determination to keep his strength up, but needs desperately to be able to keep down some nourishment. His weight is down significantly, as he isn't taking in enough calories. So it seems to be a stalemate at the moment, and we are going to have to face each day as it comes. The chemo is not an option at this time, so we are still hoping for a miracle. Whatever happens, Gibby still says, "God is in control." He is amazing, and he keeps us "up". Ang is over almost every day. Cherish is in school again, and comes often -- every chance she gets. Jeff is due to fly in again soon! What a wonderful support they are for us - Gibby says the sunshine lights up the house when they get here. . .but he is not up to having visitors at the moment. When his strength returns, he will! He loves all of you so very much and is so grateful for the prayers and love. I wish I had better news to relate, but still wanted you all to know where we are. God bless each and every one of you. Hug your loved ones, hold them close and tell them how much you love them. How precious is the time spent with them. We send our love and blessings to you all. Judy

Friday, October 06, 2006

Message to Diane

If your sister has cholangiocarcinoma and you need support, please feel free to join the discussion groups at http://www.cholangiocarcioma.org or Johns Hopkins Bile Duct and Gallbladder Cancer Message Board They are both useful, supportive groups. Thank you for your kind words. We will be thinking of you and your sister and pray for her as well. Best Wishes!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Prayer Request

To all of you out there who are checking this blog....if you are at all religious, please pray for my father. For all of you who aren't sure, please pray anyway. He really needs an extra prayer or two right now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

UPDATE!

We just returned from Dr. Becerra, and are a little bit hopeful. Gibby's billirubin is still too high , but the doctor seemed to think one of the studies might be a possibility. Will depend on the blood work done today; it is a 3-phase study (a combination of 3 drugs). So we go back next week to see what Dr. thinks. Gibby had a smile on his face today, but we know it will depend on blood work and overall strength. We don't know a lot of the details on the study, such as how long he would be on it (indefinitely?), how often he would receive the infusions (daily, weekly?), etc., but whatever it takes, we are up for it!!!
He has had a great deal of relief since they put him on the morphine 3 weeks ago - his pain is under control, which is such a blessing.
He is really enjoying having Jeff here - this is Sports Central again, which I love. They have a blast talking football, hockey, etc. They would talk about the Rangers, but there is not much to say about them, is there? Too bad Jeff lives so far away, but he loves L.A. - and besides, they talk on the phone a lot!
Love to everyone, and we will post again; sorry I haven't done a better job at this, but will try to be more efficient in the future. God bless each of you!!
Love, Judy

Monday, September 18, 2006

September 18, 2006

Hi, everyone! Just a quick update, even though we go back to Dr. Becerra tomorrow to find
out if Gibby qualifies for the Clinical Study. So far, his blood work, weight and other situations
have not allowed him to take the Phase I chemo. They are very powerful drugs, and he has to
be strong enough to tolerate them. We know the doctor will not put him on it if all is not as it
should be.
Latest news on the homefront: Jeff flew in tonight from L.A. to spend some time with his Dad; we were so glad to see him and always enjoy his visits. He plans on staying for several days, so Gibby is thrilled to have a guy to talk to, not just me! Angela and Cherish (and families) are here, so we are blessed to see them really often.
Went to the Texas Tech-TCU game on Saturday in the 90 degree weather; had to leave early, as it was just too hot for Gibby, but all we missed were some more field goals; Tech didn't end TCU's winning streak. We were so happy to see our Tech friends Kent Hance, Robert and Ellen Dill, Jan Jackson, Jerry and Gail Smith, plus some good friends from here in town. We don't get out as much anymore, so it is a treat to see old friends.
I will post the results of tomorrow's visit; thanks again for your love and concern - and most of all, your prayers. It has been almost 3 years since his diagnosis in October of 2003. What a miracle!


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