July 2022

Belated

 

Dear friends,

Due to time limitations, this newsletter may not get hard copy mailed, so only those who signed up for emails may get this update.  BJ's

health has taken a turn for the worse. For those of you who already check our Caring Bridge, below are two updates you may have already

read.  For those who do not, this will come as sad news below. Chronologically ordered, the first note on July 24th is from Sheila Weber, and

secondly the latest update on July 30 is from our daughter Rachel Weber Nehme. There is news about our son, Max, herein as well.  

 

Dear beloved friends,

 

 The latest news brings both good and bad. Thankfully the radiation to the brain and spine were effective, and BJ has strong mental clarity and we

believe this will alleviate the spinal pressure so that walking will not be as impaired. These are two big areas for enjoying quality of life.

 

 What is causing our sadness and increased tender times is that the scans have shown the cancer in the bladder and the liver are growing and the 2nd

round of chemo has just not been effective. This small cell carcinoma is highly aggressive and our oncologist believes that a 3rd round of chemo would

not abate the metastasis but would merely deplete BJ's body, which has already been weakened. 

 

 Therefore, we are taking each day as a gift, and we are currently enjoying the refreshing mountain air of the Catskill Mountains so much that we hope

to stay through the summer; because it allows us to more easily have our daughter's and son's families visit. Eventually we will make our way back

home to NYC sometime after Labor Day. 

 

 Meanwhile, we continue to trust that the Lord has His hand on our lives. While we are away in the Catskills, we are limiting visitors to close family. But

we are so blessed by your emails, texts, and cards, and I apologize if our family is not always able to respond. Please know that we are so encouraged

in knowing that your prayers for us continue, for BJ's comfort and for the divine, holy presence of the Lord to be manifested in him in the weeks and

months to come. My dear husband is so lovable. There is no one like him. We are eternally grateful for each one of you.

 

 Family life has also grown more complicated because our son Max is having surgery on Monday (tomorrow, please pray for him) due to a devastating

knee injury incurred while on his FDNY job. He cannot drive, so that limits his ability to see his dad, and he cannot provide his wife Lauren with the help

he normally gives to their 4, 3, and 1-1/2 year old.

 

No matter what, we derive deep peace from Psalm 31:14-15: "I trust in you, Lord. I say 'you are my God.' My times are in your hands."

 

We SO deeply appreciate your continued friendship, prayers, and kindness.

Love to you all,

Sheila

 

Latest on July 30 from Rachel Weber Nehme:

Beloved Friends and Family,

 

This is Rachel posting on behalf of our family. Since my mother’s last post my father’s health has deteriorated quickly. The situation has changed

rapidly, and we wanted to give you an update so you can hold him and our family in prayer.

 

We have no way of knowing when the Lord will bring him home to Himself, but we do know based on a series of difficult events that he is entering his


final days. This could be mere days, weeks, or even longer. We simply need to trust the Lords sovereign timing. We are grieving deeply during this

time. We love our BJ so much. What a treasure he is to our family. Still, God is giving us little miracles during these days and it is abundantly clear we

are under the protection of the Holy Spirit. Even though he is sleeping most of the time, when he is awake, he has us laughing with his jokes and he

has us crying with his tender words and hand holding. I love when I get to catch his eye and get a wink from him – his heart and soul are still with us,

though in a much more limited way.

 

We have entered a very tender and sacred time with my father. Anyone who has experienced the death of a close family member also knows that this

time quickly becomes incredibly private. My mother is now going to bed late, waking in the middle of the night, and waking early in the morning to take

care of my fathers needs. She is such a cheerful and sweet servant to her husband of nearly 42 years, and she is also very tired. We know you will all

understand that we need to limit visitors to immediate family at this point. However, your words of love have been such a balm for my mother. What

would give her encouragement in these days if you could post here on Caring Bridge (email is fine too if you prefer – we just ask your patience as she

will likely not be able to reply) to share some words of how my father’s life has touched you. Or you could simply leave a prayer or a scripture verse for

us to read.

 

As you pray – would you please pray for my father’s physical comfort and that he would have a deep peace from the Lord and an acute awareness of

His presence. I ask you to pray for comfort, rest, endurance and wisdom for my mother as she is serving tirelessly in these days. Would you also pray

for all the grandchildren as they mourn – this is very difficult for them, especially the older ones.

 

We will keep you posted as needed and thank you so much for your love and support. We have been blown away by the kindness of friends who have

stepped in and cared for us over these past 16 months. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for our family during this time.

 

Love, Rachel