Chapter 32

***If you are just joining the blog, you may want to read a few of the previous posts to catch up,  this is a healing journey. It’s my story, as I walked along side of my husband Paul during his battle with cancer. We began this journey in 2011- these are the emails that I used to keep all of our friends and family in the loop. ***

Update 7.1.12

 I don’t know where to begin… Life as I once knew… will never be the same.

I find myself bumping into old thoughts- sitting quietly with new ones… spinning around and around…sometimes I make sense- other times – not. Sometimes I want to be alone… other times I can’t believe- I am alone.

On Friday June 29th at 1:45- my friend Kearney started strumming his guitar… he played some easy listening music…he picked… and sang… everyone found a place to either sit or stand. Over 200 people signed the guest book…

We were gathered among the beautiful plants and flowers that lined along my parents patio- overlooking the Clam River. The day was beautiful.

The sky was blue and just when you thought it was just any other day…there was a breeze to remind you of the present peace. Of his, presence and peace.

My nephew Marc Hicks began with Paul’s obituary… the rest of the order is a blur. There was a bagpiper- he played Amazing Grace. The song brought everyone to tears… and then faded off into the distance as he played.

Father Joe Fix said some memorable words and my brother in law Don played a few songs. People shared stories and memories- and then Marc finished with some kind words and an email from one of Paul’s nurse’s in Saginaw.

Mikailu aka Mike, wrote to us a few weeks ago and told us how we had touched him with our journey… It was a testament to our journey… it needed to be shared.

The Honor Guard presented me with a flag and a wooden display case. They played taps and gave my Marine a 21 gun salute down by the river.

The breeze blew lightly… and everyone reveled in the words from Father Joe about Paul’s love for Nature… and Marc’s words about the Angels rejoicing in heaven.

My mom’s best friend and a few others made a luncheon and everyone ate. The food was superb… but it always is… I am eternally grateful to those ladies, my mom and step dad, Pastor Hicks, Father Joe, the Honor Guard, the bagpiper- my friend Kearney… Shawna for the montage and my brother in law Don. It was the most moving service I have ever attended… and many people have said the same thing. It showed every aspect of who he was… and who he is- in each of us.

On behalf of the family- I thank each of you. I know these emails have been forwarded- passed along- read to neighbors and friends… I am not sure how many people I reach with my words… but you all, played a part in the journey. Each of you has a piece of my story. Each of you has helped carry my burden.

What happens next? Well… my renters are gone from the Lake City house and we will begin with that project.. then I will move my things from the Dighton house… and begin anew. It’s hard to say when that will happen… it’s simply one day a time right now… and I will cross the next bridge when I see it.

Once I get settled… I am going to take a trip. I need some time to heal. I am thinking seriously about going by myself… to heal and to write. I am going to write my story… and someday I will publish a book.

I want to thank everyone for the kind words- the tolerance of my grammar… and for encouraging me to write this journey down for others to heal along with me. I can honestly say that I don’t feel worthy. I feel my story is plain. It’s my story… I hold it dear to my heart… but because so many of you, urged me forward- I will try.

I am tired… I am sad. I have never felt this much sadness… I don’t know if my heart could handle a single ounce more… it’s overwhelming. It’s consuming and it’s heavy. Sometimes it floods over me like a heavy wet blanket… and I want to curl up and cry for days. Then there are moments when I feel okay.

Okay has always been a good place for me to be… I think I will just try to get through each day…and do the best I can.

One thing- before I close… remember this please- I am broken- but not unrepairable. I may be a mess- but it’s temporary. You can’t fix me… this is mine to heal… my sister Kim, said it best last week when she showed up each day and just sat at the edge of the couch…. “I am here behind the scenes… just in case Denise needs a hug. I sit quietly… out of sight.. just in case she needs anything….”

Thank you so very much to my family for helping me – to not fall.

Thank you so much for not leaving my side and for helping with the auction and the memorial.

I am the blessed one… I got what most people will never, ever have… even if it was for a short time… I still got it.

Thank you Jesus.

Peace and Love,


*** Side Note:

This is the email that was read fromPaul’s nurse at the VA Hospital:

FWD: Update 6.21.12

Hello Paul & Denise,

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all your narratives on your husband. It has certainly been a great pleasure to meet and work with your family. In my 18 years of being a Registered Nurse, I have never met anyone in my clinical practice as courageous as Paul! I am so inspired by the support and fortitude shown among your family; and your love for God … the almighty!

I would just like to seize this opportunity to say how I feel so blessed that I got the chance to meet you all

And for coming into my life …

Believe me I would ask you to do it again!

I have only known you and your family through this face of immense trial

But because of you Paul, I have gained a deeper meaning of courage and love …

And friendship means a whole lot more to me!

You have also shown me what America can be…What for years we stress in liberty…

And yet, there is more, much more to see.

Paul and Denise, you have turned it all around.

You, through your genuine Hearts and Souls,

Have shown Love – the Love that is only blessed from above!

You have shown me what a friendship should be…

It is Compassion, Love, and Caring for all!

Thank you for what you have taught me …That friends, true friends surpasses all –

Politics, greed, distrust, the hollow shell of loneliness, and fear –

You have turned them around

And now, I hear friendship and freedom’s true sound.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Henry for what you have done…

You have created a new life under the Sun

I appreciate your Love and Friendship too!




*** That message touched my heart more than once. Each time I read it- I read more into it. Wow… what a great man- to take the time to encourage us and write such beautiful words. I am grateful too Mikailu… Namaste.


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