Friday, December 26, 2014

No Quick Takes this week, but I thought I'd give you seven...

... seven things you should know about my friend Paul.  He's going into surgery today, and he's gonna need our help for the road ahead.  He's a father of four here on earth, and he found out last week he has cancer.  And it's bad.  But he can face bad, because he's Paul.  Many MANY of you know him, but some of you don't.    I want you to know him. So you will pray for him.  And, if you are able, you can consider being part of the community who are financially rallying for him and his family . So, here's seven things I want you to know.
college life.


He is the craziest person I know (in a good way) and pretty much anything I have done in my life that is crazy, I have done with him.  Jumping off train bridges?  Check.  Camping on cliffs?  Check. Jumping off a water fall?  Check.  Those just name a few.  Paul challenges people to do more than they think they can, and I have an insane amount of memories of doing things I never would have, if it wasn't for my friend pushing me.  

That's me...jumping off a freaking bridge?!?!

There is only one person on the planet earth that I know of who doesn't appreciate Paul for all that he is.  That's my Polish Grandmother.   When Paul lived in Michigan with my family, we kind of had this tradition of engaging in silliness often.  One year, on Thanksgiving, while waiting in the buffet line, my brother and paul decided to see if they could crack the 'good dishes' over their heads in line.  Brian (my brother) tried, to no avail.  Paul, cracked the plate in two.  We all just about passed out laughing.  Except for my Polish Grandmother....she was NOT impressed.
Is it really fair to blame them for their thick skulls??!?


Oh Josephine, my how we miss you!
Paul is the ultimate road tripper.  It's kind of poetic that Paul became a truck driver in real life for a period of time, truckin' across the country with his new bride.  Some of the best memories of my life were on spontaneous roadtrips with the bestie.  As a freshman, we decided to drive to Niagra Falls one night to see the sunrise.  It was beautiful. It was worth it.  As a Sophomore (I think), we decided to see if we could make it to the Grand Canyon and back in one weekend .  As I like to say, 30 hours there, 12 hours exploring and 30 hours back, doesn't quite give you full picture.  If you are thinking of five of us in the back of a pick up truck (named Josephine), flat tires, broken brakes, and donuts soaked in gasoline...then you are probably picturing the right trip.  Post college we did a trip across country in that same ol' pick up truck that ended for me in California, but for the rest of the crew in Alaska.  I'm telling you- no one can road trip like paul.

Niagra Falls- it was cold.

There is no one on earth who could have married Paul except for his Annie.  I remember when Paul called to say he was getting married, to this lovely lady.  Paul and I were living our lives single through our twenties, so him getting married was kind o' crazy.  So as we waiting to meet the woman who captured his heart, we wondered who on earth it could possibly be.  And then, within a few minutes of meeting her- it all made perfect sense.  Annie is, in every sense of the phrase, Paul's perfect match and has become one of my very closest friends.  I remember when Paul and Ann asked me to be in their wedding- I was so honored.  This woman who barely knew me, knew of Paul and I's friendship and so she allowed me to be one of her bridesmaids.  Can you even believe it?  They are an example of Christian Marriage to all who have the privilege of knowing them.  And watching their family grow has been an honor.  My favorite?  Annie can tell a good story, so whenever we have the pleasure of being together, Paul always has to remind Ann to eat before her food gets cold.  :)  It's pretty much the cutest ever.

I got to be a bridesmaid.  My brother was the best man


Paul has a faith put into action that has changed the way I live life.  I talk about him sometimes when doing ministry, because the way he lives his life has always kind of been a mystery to me.  I have known him for over 15 years and I have yet to hear him say anything bad about ANYONE.  Ever.  In the fifteen years that I know him.  I mean, that's pretty darn impressive.  When he lived with my family, you'd always see him with his bible, at daily Mass, encouraging me when I had times of doubt.  It's a wonder this man of faith ever became friends with a big ol' sinner like me.  But his friendship has made me understand God in a fuller way- and that's pretty amazing.
Paul apologizing to me for every male in the world

He's a dad.  Of lots of kids.  Some are in heaven, including the twins him and his wife lost last year.  And some are here.  Their oldest son Christian came to them when he was 2 (maybe 3) RIIIIIGHT before my wedding.  New parents to a toddler, breakin' him in at a reunion of sorts with the whole crew from college.  Then they have sweet Damian, born a few weeks earlier than my lil' Aaron. I can't even tell you how cool it was visiting with them 1 month after Aaron was born, putting our babies side by side.   Then, a few months later, we celebrated Thanksgiving at my house (my first time hosting) with our kids!  Insanity.  They've added a sweet daughter to their family and Paul and Ann are currently expecting another.  So many blessings.  


The new besties


Friends.  Paul is also the healthiest man I know.  Which is why this diagnosis of cancer has all who know him reeling.  Ann and Paul have a tough road ahead.  They need our help.  So pray.  Please pray.  Add Paul to your daily prayer list.  If you are open to it, join in the novena Annie has laid out in her blog.

And I know not everyone can give, and we all have different ways that we choose to donate .  But, if you are a person who has a little extra room in your budget, even if you don't know my friend Paul, would you consider helping?  You see, they don't have a home they can move into yet, and their medical bills are going to add up, so they really need it.  It will make Jesus smile, I promise.

Thanks for reading.
I can't wait to for cancer to find out who it decided to mess with!!!!

1 comment:

  1. So beautiful Mary, both your friendship and his life's witness!! We are praying fervently here and will be sharing on my many media accounts! Love you!