Editor’s note: Ernest Gentile reported the following via e-mail to BFI offices on January 8, 2013. Please continue to remember the Gentile Family in prayer.
Our family would like to give you and a number of our friends an update on Joyʼs condition, requesting at the same time our prayers for her during these closing days of her 82nd year on the planet Earth. She is soon to depart to a better place, and her faith and that of her family remain strong and confident in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have talked freely with her about her funeral and eternal things. Holding her hand, praying and talking about Godʼs goodness to us has been one of the great experiences of my life.
Thank you so much for remembering us in your thoughts and prayer. December has been an eventful month for us and the children; already, a host of people who know of our situation are praying. In November, Joy went in for a C-scan to find the reason for abdominal pain, and they recognized she had a case of diverticulitis. But, they also detected a white spot on her pancreas. A biopsy in San Francisco on Dec. 3rd revealed that she had pancreatic cancer.
We have discussed the situation with three doctors, and our conclusion was not to have surgery, chemo or radiation. We approached this decision with much prayer, deciding to come under hospice care which supplies a doctor and nurses and equipment with a 24 hr. phone line. Also, our 2nd daughter Debbie has moved in with us, and gives her around the clock care. She is a CNA (certified Nursing Assistant) with lots of experience.
Joy is failing rapidly and will probably go to be with the Lord within a very short time. She wants to go, feels this is her time, and the family concurs with her decision. If she were in the hospital she would be in great pain and misery. As it is, she is administered meds to keep her free of most misery, and Debbie is doing an excellent job of working with her, and the other daughters, Jan and Sharon are also working hard to maintain her spirit and comfort.
We had a Christmas party for our family at the new church “mansion” where the offices are. Joy’s condition has affected all of us in a most unusual way, and during our time together several people were dramatically touched of the Lord.
We all love Joy more than ever, and there is a concerted effort to befriend her and encourage her. This approach has taken the “sting” out of death, and is making our present one a time of farewell to a great woman of God who is preparing to take a journey home.
We all feel closer to the Lord than ever. Joy has joined us in planning for the funeral, and we believe that it will be a time that will bring great glory to the Lord. Joy is now very weak, but listens and enjoys as I read cards, emails and letters sent to her, but she is not able to talk much or be out of bed. Thank God for the victory we have in Jesus Christ: assuredly, whether we live or die, it is a “win-win” situation.
With much love and gratitude,
Ernest Gentile 5192 Cribari Hills, San Jose, CA 95135-1325. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org