I had the honor of attending a funeral this past Friday of a man who passed way too young. He was only 36, a husband, a father of 2 beautiful young girls, a son, a brother, a friend. So many titles, and so many people left behind to deal with the loss of someone who seemed to bring light and hope to whomever he knew. I never had the chance to meet him in life, but he was my Aunt Blythe’s (or Katie as we call her) son, and so through her I felt like I knew him… or at least I knew of the selfless way he chose to live out the rest of his life when learning just over a year ago that he had terminal cancer. The dreaded C word that shatters lives and extinguishes the joy of all it passes by. Yet, Paul… he who was the direct recipient of such suffering, chose differently. Instead he went to work. He spent time with his family. He made efforts to ensure that his young daughters would have things to remember him by when he was gone. He recorded reading books to them, wrote to them, and spent as much time letting them know how much they were loved, even in spite of feeling the effects of the ravaging scourge he was dealing with… and from what I’ve learned from my aunt and the sweet talks given about him, he did it all with a spirit of joy. He didn’t waste his time sitting home feeling sorry for himself, which would definitely be my first inclination.
I’ve been thinking a lot about life this past week and the idea that we may not have a tomorrow to procrastinate the 50 things we have always been meaning to do. Life is fleeting and I can’t be sure that there will be a tomorrow for me to get up the motivation to do this or that. There may not be a tomorrow to tell my family or friends how much they mean to me… that I do love and appreciate them (words that have never come easy to me). The time to do that is now and every day. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been blessed to be a mother, but I tend to get caught up in myself day in and day out. It’s a very selfish life I lead. I don’t spend near enough time tending to the needs of those around me.
Aunt Katie, thank you for raising a son who was such an example to thousands, and thank you for sharing him with us this past year when it would have been justified to gather the family around and keep him to yourselves. He’s certainly touched this tough old broad. He’s an example that those of us still blessed to be on this Earth needed to learn from. God bless you, Paul… and thank you.
Here’s Auntie Whitty Woo being really annoying… oh laws, I love the sound of my loud baby voice… NOT!
And no, mom… I wasn’t listening…