Mal and one of our kittens, September 2010

Many of you have heard about the 86-year old man who lives with us: our friend Mal. (To read the amazing story of how he came to live with us, click here.) Here’s an update on him:

Mal continues to age and is more unstable than ever before. We recently watched a tape recording from 2003 when we were in Arizona fishing with Mal, and it was shocking to see how fast he moved and how agile he was. His steps are slower, and he tries not to go anywhere without his cane. In fact, this fall, he asked for a wheelchair, as he wanted to use it for work outside (walking tires him out fast). Dad and Mom found an used wheelchair at a local thrift store, and he loves it!

Sam, Jayme, Caleb, and he named it “Green-boy” (it was Caleb’s idea) and he lets the kids ride around in it. In fact, yesterday he asked me to make drivers licenses for them when they use the “wheelie”! 🙂

Mal, enjoying the winter sunshine from his room-November 2010.

Mal loves nature and is always giving us the weather and animal report. The highlights of his day include: birds, our cats, talking, and visits from Sam, Jayme, and Caleb. He and Caleb are always sharing the latest on what birds they saw during the day! Mal is often concerned about us traveling in the winter time and hopes we come home safe from long concert trips.

Every once in a while, Mal will listen to a few songs while we practice, especially enjoying the Lil’ Adventurers. He joined us for a meal the other day (which is a rariety ever since he once spilled a glass of water; he had been very embarrassed and didn’t want to eat with us again) and sat several hours telling stories. Mal also loves it when birthdays come around!

Mal at Caleb’s birthday – August 2010

Mal loves to gift us with hot chocolate! I think about every week he comes in and asks if we’re good on hot chocolate. The answer is always yes, as he has given us almost a year’s supply, but he still gives us more. 🙂

Sam, Jayme, and Caleb transferring boxes and boxes of hot chocolate into one big container.

Mal brings joy into our lives by his pleasure in the “little things”; he has a way of seeing things we often miss. His laughter and smiles are contagious and we consider it a honor to share this part of his life. We have learned a lot with him over the years he has been with us.

Continue to pray for him and the softening of his heart. We have seen evidence of God’s hand in his life so many times; he is a living testimony of God’s gracious provision.

One final picture: this captures Mal perfectly…

We love you, Mal!

Blessings and Joy in the Journey!

Taylor for the Garms Family