Raised around Cleveland OH, went to Bowling Green State University, majored in Physics and Secondary Education. Joined the Air Force through ROTC after the Vietnam War ended. Married Amy and was married over 42 years, after a nine month battle with cancer Amy is in Glory with Jesus. Served in the Air Force for 20 years as a Weapons System Officer in the F-4, a two-seat fighter. Have 4 children, 2 are married and have 11 grandchildren.
I became involved with The Navigators in college, although I was a Christian from an early age, this is where I began to understand how to relate to God in a personal way. As I grew in this foundation, I wanted to help others learn to do the same thing, starting with my friends in the college dorms then to young officers in the Air Force and eventually to young couples. Helping others to relate to the Lord in a personal, practical way has always been my passion.
After 20 years in the Air Force I retired and joined The Navigators as a campus minister at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and lived in Holden MA. We were involved there for 8 years, but God took us toward Boston, specifically Boston University and I began to help the ministry there one day a week. Little did we know that this would be the start of a desire to move to Boston. And in July of 2004 we sold our house and bought a small condo in the Brighton area to minister to young professionals and grad students. Currently there are over 250,000 students at 85 plus schools in the Boston Metro area.
One passage of scripture captures my passion for seeing God change lives – Colossians 1:9-11 – “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience . . .” I want to see people grow in their knowledge and understanding of God so that they can live a life worthy of Him, please Him in every way and help others do the same.
Rejoicing with Jesus
Amy’s sitting on Jesus’ lap with his arms around her and rejoicing. A Peaceful time for all of us. The picture in the Dec 2019 newsletter resonated with us about her vision of what entering heaven would be like.
Around 2 AM on Thursday morning Amy’s breathing became deeper and labored. Sometimes medicine would help, other times it wouldn’t. Dave came up from NJ and by mid-afternoon her breathing became more shallow and sporadic. She took her last breath with myself, Dave, Sarah, Christina, Rebekah and Amy’s sister Barb around her. Reminiscing about the moments we had with her. Such a precious time, knowing Jesus was waiting for her.
We will miss her greatly, but know that she is in the place she longed to be when we heard the frightful news in January.
Clinging to His cloak,
Sorry to leave you all in the dark about all that is going on. Amy had her last Herceptin treatment on Friday, Aug 3rd. Before the treatment the Dr pulled me aside in the hall just to tell me that she was willing to do the treatment but knew that there wasn’t much hope of continued treatments being effective. I didn’t tell Amy this right away, the next day while enduring the side-effects of the treatment Amy decided that she didn’t want to continue the treatments. It was as if God brought us to that conclusion separately, but agreeing that is what we should do. Of course it took me longer to accept that decision.
The next day we went to Maine and our vacation with Rebekah, Christina and Bobby, Sarah and Kevin, and 7 of our grandchildren. What a fun time – lots of memories made. Swimming, canoes and kayaks, lobster, family pics and some-mores. The daughters set up special activities for all of us especially the kids. We all did Tie-Die shirts and other things (even Grandpa) and wore them to get ice cream the last night. Unfortunately, on the Monday after we arrived, Amy couldn’t get out of bed without assistance and for the rest of the week her mobility went downhill. We had to help her stand-up and she used her rolling walker to move around, that we bought knowing she was getting more unsteady on her feet. Her fluid build-up has continued to worsen and in her weakening state couldn’t lift her heavier legs and abdomen.
So we have returned from that wonderful time together and Amy is now in hospice at home, now we know why God moved all our children into the medical field, to help care for Amy. They have been such a help. But unfortunately it looks like Amy’s time with us is coming to an end – we are hoping for 3-4 weeks but it could only be another week or two. She is in a hospital bed in our dining room, and we need to have someone, or even two, with her all the time. We are rejoicing over all the time the Lord has given us together since the beginning of the year.
Amy and I have finished reading Luke and following Christ’s journey toward the cross. We had fun putting ourselves in the place of many of the people who interacted with Jesus, the people who threw their cloaks in front of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem, the disciples (especially Judas and Peter), the people who demanded His crucifixion, the ones who jeered Him as He walked to the cross, then those who saw Him after His resurrection (the two on the road to Emmaus, the disciples in Jerusalem), what great teaching they finally understood. Amy realized that she was not necessarily going to be the only one at her moment to see Jesus and jump into His lap, but that there would be many entering heaven around the same time. They would all want to jump into His lap. She has been so brave during this time, so hopeful and I love her for it.
• Praise – she continues to have minimal pain and is sleeping well
• Praise – great time of vacation in Maine, probably starting a new chapter for all of our family
• We would love to have many more days together – these are precious times for us and our children and grandchildren – we want these times to be precious and not waste them
• That the family wouldn’t become so much like Martha – worrying so much about the busyness of caregiving that we don’t spend time with Amy and Jesus, she is really pointing us toward Him
• The Father's comfort for all the family – we would all turn to Him, the Healer and Comforter
So many people have been helpful to us and praying for us – thanks to all.
Touching His Cloak,
Paul and Amy