Below is a letter I found tonight in a file my mom left in the closet (when she was staying with us). I think you will be blessed to hear it. Mom had been keeping a web page for him on caringbridge. I believe he had written this to post on the site. I am not sure it ever made it on, but I thought you all would like to read it since he was writing it to those who had been praying for him during his struggle with cancer.
As you may recall, Joe was diagnosed with esophagael cancer in January, 2006. That summer he was declared cancer free. And on November 10, 2006, he and my mom were given the tragic news that his cancer had returned and was throughout his body. He died January 7, 2008.
Here is what Joe wrote on December 21, 2006. Only two and a half weeks before he entered heaven...:
Dearly Beloved in Christ,Please allow me to introduce myself; my name is Joe, Joe Gatelein, the same Joe Gatelein all this has been written about since February this year.I don't know if this has been done before but I'm going to try: I want to say thank you to each and every one who in your faith raised me up to where Jesus could cure me; and He did just that- He cured the esophagael cancer! Now it's up to Him to cure this & I thank you for your continuing prayers here as well. The healing however may not take place this side of heaven. In either case I accept Jesus words-"I will never leave you or forsake you"- that is so powerful. I thank God and I thank you; in your lives His commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you" live well.Last evening, Tracey and I celebrated seventeen years of marriage. No, it's not enough, but, what was the other? As a Christian, it's my understanding that we really don't have a vote in these matters. I think that's a good idea. Can you imagine the chaos of all of us trying to argue for that little/large amount of time? It's a good thing. The Father has known even before our birth the exact amount of our time; so much easier to rejoice in going home, isn't it?If you will, please, give another someone a hand along the way as you have given me.Thank you,Joe