Heading Home – (Will’s brother-in-law)
Plans have been made to bring Will home tomorrow. This will allow Angie and Will to share the time they have, together, in their own home. Hospice will come to assist in their time at home.
Will went through radiation again this morning as the doctors seek to shrink the tumor near his spinal cord to keep it from paralyzing him. The pain is immense and unfathomable. He had one more treatment this evening and now will no longer continue treatments.
The prospect of life and waiting for a miracle dampens a bit each day. Will continues to fight amidst great pain. “Why were you so anxious to get out of bed today?” Will is asked. “I don’t want to die,” he softly responds. Angie continues to fight right alongside him. “I love him so much. I don’t want to see him go,” she says, tears in her eyes.
Will and Angie are so thankful for all the support. I know they aren’t able to express it to each person individually but the cards, packages, donations, calls, messages, visits are so very encouraging as they know there is an army of people around them in this world caring, supporting, and praying for them. The #goteamgray site even crashed this week due to so much traffic. The love is felt.
On this Holy Week, Will reminds me of a suffering Jesus. He is going through almost every pain imaginable. “Do you need anything Will?” one asks. He whispers, “Everything.” We all laugh at the humor/harsh truth of his statement. And yet through his pain… he prays, he believes, he inspires, he loves. His faith is probably stronger than anyone’s in the room. Ministers come in and are ministered to by him.
He is asked by his pastor, “How are you processing everything?” Will responds, “I haven’t. I don’t know. I just try to love people when they come in.” He fades for a moment as his eyes roll back, exhausted from the day and then continues, “There’s really nothing else to do than love everyone who comes in the door.”
Angie reminds me of the Jesus we see in the Garden of Gethsemane. She cries out to God constantly on Will’s behalf. Her tears would be tears of blood if not for holding them back for the sake of hope. She asks us to pray with her. We pray together and over Will, we read Scriptures over Will, we fast together in hopes of a miracle. Every time I visit, it is easy, like Jesus’ disciples, to quickly grow weary – sleepless nights, fasting, crying out – and yet Angie has gone 7 months of sleepless nights, and little food, and constant prayer and yet she seems to have more energy and life than those of us who’ve been here a couple days – surely its her love for Will and hope in God that sustains her. I picture her looking at me and my sister like Jesus did his disciples, “Are you still sleeping and resting?!” We must continue to pray. And we do.
Will’s brother Michael leaned over at the table to tell the Ross family, “Angie is pretty special. She is amazing. So amazing. So amazing. The love and care she shows Will, the devotion, it’s rare. It’s special.” Michael goes on to say, “I told Will, you sure have good taste, you picked a great one.” Will smiles and responds, “Yeeah.” And Will’s dad adds, “No one could have taken better care of William than Angie has.”
Angie’s sister Kelli talks about their relationship saying, “their relationship reminds me of Ephesians 5:22-33…except its opposite. Angie is loving Will as her own body.” Angie has told us before, “I feel his pains. When something in him hurts, I hurt in the same place.” She cares for him as Christ does the church and offers undying love. In that, William never gets frustrated, is never demanding with Angie, but is submissive to her wishes knowing that she has laid down her life for him and truly desires what is best for him.
The balance between physical reality and what we know to be true of the hope we have in our Lord is a balance none of us can understand.
We continue to hope. We continue to pray. Angie continues to research cures and methods of healing. And at the same time, we prepare for services and what steps will need to be taken if the Lord chooses to take Will.
The realities are hard to fathom. We all love Will so much. So much.
Will has had so many visitors near and far who love him come to visit. (For the latest on visitors, please see this post.) One of Will’s best friends (there’s about 75 of us who feel like Will is a best friend) Jonathan prays as we gathered around Will this evening that as Jesus cried out in the Garden begging for His life on this same Good Friday so many years ago, we ask the same thing for Will’s life.
Oh God, we pray for an Easter miracle.
Karla GurtonMarch 30, 2013
Will and Angie, I’ve been following your website for awhile thru my friend, Summer Allison. . You remind me of the love story between my brother and his wife. My thoughts and prayers are with you. My heart aches for you. I pray for healing, peace, miracles, comfort, and faith during this difficult time.
Sebastian TraegerMarch 30, 2013
Will & Angie:
We’re praying for you at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. We pray that God would sustain your faith; that you will continue to trust His Goodness; and that you will know that you have an inheritance that will never spoil or fade.
We pray that this Easter you will know anew that Jesus is alive – and because of that, that you will know life – even after this one passes.
We love you brother,
Cindi IdleMarch 30, 2013
Continuing to lift you up in prayer. Praying for God’s perfect timing in every aspect of this journey. Praying for the right people to be in place. Praying for strength and sustenance for everyone. Praying above all else for comfort from pain…physical and emotional. All my love to you. I continue interceding on your behalf.
Doc JMarch 30, 2013
Will is such a fine younger brother in the Lord. While Will was a UU, I had the honor of baptizing him and Jamie Mosely at Northbrook on a Wednesday night. The whole basketball team was in attendance. He was a great ball player, but an even better disciple. We remember his example. If God decides not to show his power and glory with the miracle of healing now, he will show it later through the resurrection on that great Day we all desire. Then, the real concert for One and the grandest reunion with each other begins…..with no more interruptions.
Love you, bro
Debra MoiniMarch 31, 2013
Thank you DocJ for writing this. It blessed me. As I’m sure it will Angie and Will.
Julie Cooper McLaughlinMarch 30, 2013
I am moved to tears and will continue to pray that God will work a miracle for Will and Angie. I will also say that although I haven’t seen Will since Martha’s Vineyard in 2002, I was always touched by his kind words, friendliness and musical talent. He also tried to teach me to freestyle rap, which is a really good memory since my attempts at it were terrible. I am incredibly sorry that I didn’t get the chance to go to one of the screenings of Broke last summer when I was visiting the U.S.A. People here in Northern Ireland are praying.
Jonathan KeeMarch 30, 2013
I only knew Will one year when we were basketball teammates at Union. I remember him as a man of faith. I am reminded of how faithful he is in our God. He has lived a life that we all should remember. What a testimony he has shared with us all. I’m am so thankful God allowed me to get to know him. I know our God is so proud of Will. May we never forget his unwavering love for Jesus regardless of the circumstances we experience on earth. Thank you Will. I love you brother.
randy & donna stephensMarch 30, 2013
William and Angie,
Please know that we are praying along with so many others. We treasure the memories of you playing basketball with our Kyle at HCHS, the trips to basketball camps in Indiana, the friendship of your family for many years, and the faith you display every day that encourages all of us. We love you and admire your courage in your biggest game!!
Randy & Donna Stephens
Paul BasoneMarch 30, 2013
Mt heart breaks for each of you. My wife, Sue, and I faught this battle for over 7 years. God choose to bring her home last year…the day after Thanksgiving. I encourage you to hold on to truth and to know that God freely gives grace to fill each day of your journey.
a friend of Jenny Baird
Meesha TatarMarch 30, 2013
God Bless you all….Over & over & over again. Peace, comfort & love from Ohio. Praying so hard for you Will!!!!
Vikki RogersMarch 30, 2013
Have I ever seen someone glorify God on this earth like Will and Angie-No! Scratch Track stayed in my home in Lascassas Tn. My children all knew them but my old friends also got to know them and learn about a “new” music and men who loved Jesus. I continue to say ” Wouldn’t it be awesome to raise up Will on Resurrection Sunday Father so he can continue to testify of You on this earth?” It sounds great to us and hope that our Hope agrees. Love to all. Rick, Vikki, Jennifer, Rebekah, Amanda and Ben Rogers, lovers of Jesus and Will Gray!!
Crystal Ramon TaylorMarch 30, 2013
William and Angie, not a moment goes by in my day when I do not stop and pray. I stand with you still having hope. Without a doubt, I know that our God is being glorified through your testimony. I continue to pray each day for his mercy to be showered upon you, Angie, and your entire family.
Love you both!
Mekhi & MoniqueMarch 30, 2013
Hi Uncle Will and Aunt Angie,
Sorry we couldn’t be there because we have to be in school lol!! But do know that we are there in spirit. We love you guys and we are praying for a miracle!! God is able and keep fighting!! Uncle Will, you got you a trooper!!! You are blessed to have her!!! Ok, we got to go now to get ready for the Easter Egg Hunt!!!
Mekhi & Monique Gray
Judy and Don LinnMarch 30, 2013
Thank you John and kelli for the updates. We appreciate your honesty and vulnerbility. To include all of us in this battle is humbling indeed. My heart aches for Angie and Will, but knowing that family and friends surrounds them is comforting. At our Good Friday service last night we sang a song titled “Here is Love” the chorus reads ,” no love is higher, no love is wider, no love is deeper, no love is truer, no love is like your love” I pray that you all feel the enormity of God”s love. We love you and pray for a miracle!
Zach WiggsMarch 30, 2013
Gosh. Thanks so much for sharing this with the world. I feel as if I’m there in that room. I am praying for everyone involved.
Kristy McNuttMarch 30, 2013
William I prayed SO hard with one of my dearest friends tonight for you… You were ALWAYS the smiling face and my best friend in fourth grade!!! Your family and you are such thoughtful and kind people in this crazy world! Whitlock, Paris, and the rest of those you have touched are right there with you fighting!!!! Much love!
Summer AllisonMarch 30, 2013
I remind everyone I know daily to pray for this miracle. William, I hope you’ll take time to see my Facebook page filled up with YOU!!! Many of us have changed our Facebook profile pics to you. We’re behind you and Angie 110%! I cry out to God and beg for a miracle for you. So many people love you! A miracle most certainly CAN happen. I will not accept anything short of that! God bless all of you in LA. I’m so thankful for the prayer warriors that surround you. Love you!!!!!!