Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I havent hearted a day since

:( My last post was June 14th and the title was "I heart today." It was the day of my 8th wedding anniversary, which I forgot about, cause I'm cool like that, and the day before I had to fly to Oahu with my husband because his dad had slipped into a coma and was losing his battle with cancer.

My blog is supposed to be a funny look at my funny life. The problem is, life isn't very funny right now. I'm too busy being upset that my sons have to grow up without their grandpa, that my husband didn't learn everything he wanted to learn from his dad and that my mother in law will now go through retirement alone. It's not fair that I can't call him with my questions and drive over to hang out with him. Our time with him was stolen by cancer. He was diagnosed with a stage IV glioblastoma directly in the center of his brain less than 2 months ago. He lost his short term memory and after the risky surgery to remove part of the tumor he lost his ability to walk and talk for the most part and had drastic personality changes. 2 months ago he was present and we were having a great time. Now he is gone forever.

It sucks. A lot.

But, I can't get mired down in the doldrums. I am determined to come out of this stronger and with renewed joyful memories of the great man that was Paul.

In my efforts to stay positive and focused on the nonsucky stuff I am going to share Paul with the blogger world. I'll understand if you skim this or skip it completely, most of you don't know him and that's okay. For those of you who did, I hope you smile a little as you read.

Paul came into my life 11 years ago. I had just moved to Hawaii from Montana and just started dating an adorable guy. I went to Maui for Thanksgiving break and met him for the first time. The only impression I got then was that he really liked to be in charge and he really liked to cook. As we got more serious I began to spend most vacations on Maui with their family. By 2003 we were married and I was officially a member of Pauls family.

Paul was helpful. You see when I say Paul was helpful, I mean whether you wanted his help or not, kind of helpful. That kind of personality can be hard to handle. It used to frustrate me that he would call at 7am on a weekend to let me know about a new sale at Costco. Or when he would call to see if we booked a flight, got to the airport, got through security, got on the plane, got off the plane, made it to luggage etc... When I cooked he would stand behind me and offer "suggestions" of what I could be doing different. He had an infinite amount of knowledge and could fix anything. Once I learned that he really just wanted to be helpful I could get over the pushy invasive manner in which he sometimes did it. I have never met a more helpful man. It seemed like he knew everything. If he didn't know then he researched and learned. He was just cool like that.

Paul made time for whatever I needed whenever I needed it. He constantly changed his schedule so I could have a ride to Hana, pick up new furniture, deliver a load of gravel, make a tile patio or get 200 pizzas delivered. He was there for me no matter what outlandish request I came up with. And it was always service with a smile. When he grumbled I would tell him he didn't need to help and he would always say, "I'm only joking. Of course I'll do it."

His many "suggestions" made me a much better cook and taught me how to use coupons, get discounts (always say your father in law is a fire captain!!), return items and generally use any system to my advantage. He had life figured out and it was impressive to watch him in action.

When it came to my sons, he loved them unconditionally. Everywhere he went they were on his mind. He came home with juice from the airplane or plastic glasses from the eye doctor. It didn't matter what it was he always had some small thing that showed he was thinking about them wherever he was. He watched them swim, pushed them to do better, and let them try all kinds of scary stuff that I never would have allowed. During grandpa time he let them walk on his roof, start fires with him, light fireworks, cook food and build with hammers and nails. He always believed they could handle anything and encouraged them to try. He regularly bribed them with m&m's and blueberries and had secret stashes of candy that he would give them as long as they didn't tell mommy. He was full of hugs and snuggles and though he didn't agree with my parenting style he still let me be the parent. My sons were certain he was a superhero.

Paul was my husbands go to person. No matter what my husband needed he could talk it out and figure it out with his dad. Together they built and rebuilt everything from toys to parts of the house. As a team they were unstoppable. Paul would constantly second guess and want to talk out every step along the way. My husband could do everything in his head and would get frustrated with the talking. But together they made it work. Thanks to their team skills we never needed mechanics, plumbers, electricians, chefs, contractors or almost any form of labor that most people hire on a regular basis. They were the best example of a father and son that I have ever witnessed.

Paul was involved in every part of our lives. Our weekly dinners with him were always entertaining and our sons begged to have more time at his house. He couldn't keep still unless he was napping so he was always fiddling. At his house it kept him busy on projects. At my house it meant he fixed squeaky cupboards, scrubbed sinks and unraveled a tablecloth thread by thread because he couldn't just sit and eat and talk. It was a quirk we learned to deal with. We would bring him labels to peel, and thread and yarn to rewind into balls and he would be as happy as a clam with his projects.

I feel like we all have a lot of growing up to do now that he is gone. We remember him everytime we see his handiwork, play cribbage, drink scotch, eat tacos and tell our boys to stop crying. So yeah, he was pretty awesome.

We'll get through this and move on with life but for right now I feel like behaving like my sons, I don't want to be grown up about grief. My oldest doesn't want to talk about it, he says if he doesn't think about it it doesn't hurt. My younger twin screamed when he found out and just kept saying, "I want my grandpa!" and my youngest is filled with his memories. Every 30 minutes he has some new question like, "Is grandpa still dead?" or some memory like "remember when grandpa made me red wine blood juice?" I want to scream and pretend nothings wrong and share all the great memories we have too. But I don't want to move on just yet and I don't want to be sad all the time.

I believe in God and I believe he has a plan, even in the bad stuff. But right now I don't see it and I don't understand why he's gone. I pray that God will share with me the purpose that can be found in Pauls death and what good could possibly come from all this pain.

From the most amazing parts to the most annoying parts we miss Paul. I'm glad he was around long enough to leave lasting impressions on each and every member of my family and thankful for the time we had. Raise a glass to Paul and say cheers to a truly great man.

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