About six years ago I got an email. It said, “I think your Mother was my Dad’s Mother.” He’s been searching for her for many years. I was stunned.
Paul and I spoke on the phone for several hours, and yes we decided it was true. There was no doubt. We had so many questions that couldn’t be answered because everyone who could answer them was gone. My sister's husband was ill so I waited a few days before I called her to tell her.
Paul and my sister flew to Atlanta and we had wonderful days filled with laughter. My daughter threw a welcome to our family party for him, cake and all. He was very happy. Later, he flew to New York to meet my sister’s family and was welcomed once again.
I took my trip west in 2010 to see him in Freemont, California. He moved to Phoenix to be near his kids about a year ago. I had always hoped that Judy and I could take the trailer and drive out to see him. It wasn’t to be.
I spoke to Paul a week or so ago and he was fine. We laughed about different things, as we always did. Last night, he called to say good bye—joking right to the end. He’s in hospice, today. I don’t know whether I’m crying more for him or for my Mother who I know longed for her first born for so many years—and we never knew why she was so sad at times. She took her grief to her grave leaving us wishing that she had told us so that we could tell her we loved her and that it made no difference to us. We might have been able to reunite them years ago. How sad.
I’m writing this several days later. I just spoke to Paul. He is gasping for breath even as he is joking. The doctors at hospice say his condition isn’t reflected in his demeanor. I think he is trying to make it easier on the people who loved him. He loves his kids very much—he told me so, often. How brave he is.
His kids have been at his bedside. He has five children. Two, Michelle and Guy have been wonderful about keeping Judy and me informed via text and phone through this difficult time for them--they are like their Dad. Judy and I are hoping to meet them one day along with Paul's other three children. We all agreed that we wished to stay in each other's lives.
Guy, his youngest son told me a story this morning that is "so Paul". Last night, after joking with him, Paul told him that he wanted a friend in the retirement home to have his scooter because he was starting to have trouble getting around.
August 8, 2014
Paul passed away last night. Peace at last. He will be missed by so many.