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Birthdays; Cherished Memories Revisited

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Paul swinging in the sunshine. PHALL PHOTO 2008

Paul swinging in the sunshine.
PHALL PHOTO 2008

I originally posted this just after I started my blog, and again in 2013, but I wanted re-post it in honor of Paul’s birth date this year. Paul loved celebration, surprises and family. I remember this last birthday before he was diagnosed with leukemia. We lined our merged five grand daughters up on the couch and took pictures. We so loved our little girlies :>)

Paul is/was a Leo and loved being in the lime light on his special day, okay, on any day. He was very quiet about his pride of place, but if you knew him well, loved him, you could see the glow of it in his bright blue eyes and that smile…

I gave him this 3-D NASCAR card that he kept next to his chair for months; he’d never seen anything like it and I think he loved it better than his actual gift. He loved getting gifts, but that was nothing compared to how he loved finding the perfect thing for someone special. He was very into the drama of giving gifts.

We went out to eat with friends 3 times a week and one of the places was at the local casino. While waiting in line, you pass the gift shop. We’d often have our friends hold our place in line, while we looked in the display cases. I’d oooh and ah over the pretty, shiny things, then we’d move back into the line waiting to get in for dinner.

That Christmas, I had a lot of gifts in all sorts of shapes and sizes. By the time all the gifts were opened, I saw what he had done. He used his casino points and bought me every piece of jewelry I had made noise about at the gift shop during the past year! Crazy guy. Thankfully, he also bought me a jewelry armoir to put it all in.

Enjoy…

A Piece of Our Story in Poetry

This is a piece of our story; the man I knew. This was written for his birthday, 11 months before cancer entered our lives.

20 Aug 2007

Paul teased me about writing a book for him, instead I wrote this poem for his 60th birthday.

Book of Paul…

He is everything wonderful that I ever needed,

handsomely wrapped up in one big tender man.

His rolling laughter leads to coughing fits;

spitting up water and vitamins,

and then falling off the bed!

A prankster to his core,

full of special surprises for all.

A memory-maker, his camera always within reach,

he records the Kodak moments of our lives.

His cards & gifts & little notes come from the heart,

and always meet their target.

He loves easily and deeply…

his children, grandchildren, his friends & me!

He would love to be a millionaire,

but he lives well, and is generous with what he has.

His tastes and beliefs are “traditional”,

yet he has an open mind and can embrace the non-traditional,

except food, of course!

He loves Taco Time, NASCAR, animal shows,

Funniest Videos, Cops and bad sci-fi movies.

Every day he says and does funny or special things for me,

he can calm me with only a look, or a touch.

He wants us together, no matter what,

and turns every errand into a “date”.

He acts crabby sometimes,

but just below the surface is a joke or a prank or a smile.

He notices the little things,

and always says “thank you”.

For a T-shirt and jeans guy,

he sure is a clothes horse!

He gives hugs and touches often,

he sings seriously and dances with a laugh.

Happy Birthday… With All My Love,

Patti

Sorry about the quality of this photo. I snapped it on my way out the door. This is Paul’s part of a little alter I have in my beach cave, for all those we’ve lost the last few years.

P1140494

Author: Patti Hall

Writer, daughter, sister, mom, niece, grani, and friend. Works-in-progress; 3 children's books, some poetry and a memoir series, "Souvenirs from My Heart." Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the beach, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy. I am a widow (2009), lost my sis in 2012, my aunt and a precious grandson in 2013.

27 thoughts on “Birthdays; Cherished Memories Revisited

  1. Huge hugs. I have so little to offer, except warm embraces.

  2. i HOPE YOU BOTH ENJOY THE tears i shed….you and Paul, that is….you bring him back so well and I guess you would be the one to do that best. Seems we never stop missing those who are away………

  3. Touching and moving Patti. I have the feeling that Paul got as much love as he gave. –Curt

  4. Oh, Patti…Huge hugs! Happy Birthday to the love of your life…

    Much love,

    Jenna

  5. I would like to add to Belinda’s hugs. And many birthday wishes to Paul. I hope he eats all the tasty cake and ice cream in the world. Unless of course that doesn’t do it for him;). I bet you can order anything and everything your stomach could possibly desire at the heavenly table buffet!! xxxx

  6. This fills my heart and my eyes over the brim, it reminds me of my feelings and being for my Mark, thank you so much for sharing your love with Me!

    • Yes. Funny, I had that feeling about you two when we were together in Westport…lucky you! I’m sure you cherish every moment. Long before he was sick, Paul and I often shook our heads at the inconsequential things that couple found to fight about. We had both been through so much and truly appreciated the easy love we shared.
      Love you, cousin.

  7. It looks like both of us are re-visiting cherished memories this week. The poem makes your love seem real, still alive. Your little shrine reminds me of one Elaine Mansfield posted on her blog earlier this summer. Ritual and healing seem to go together. Hugs, Patti!

    • Yes, although your loss is still so new. I hope you receive my warm thoughts for you and your family.
      Crazy, but our love feels real and alive, even five years (August 9th) later.
      Elaine is the one who inspired me to make a shrine for the loved ones I’ve lost lately. I’ll take a better picture when I get back to the beach cave, but it includes photos and keepsakes of Paul, my sis, a close family friend, my aunt, my cat, and my grandson. It comforts me every day. I hope you can make one for your mom and it provides some comfort for you too. Hugs back, Marian.

  8. Beautiful from start to finish, Patti. I love seeing your altar and hearing your love story. Thank you.

  9. Sending hugs. Love you.

  10. Such a beautiful memory. Thank you for sharing it. Gentle hugs.
    x

  11. Wonderful Patti. Paul and I shared in common a love of buying gifts and finding unusual ones but it sounds like you love the same thing, especially with the card you chose. It’s funny to see the momentos of Paul around like that. I still have things of Ju’s I can’t part with in the same way.
    The poem is a lovely expression of your feelings.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Thank you for the kind words, David. My online friend, Elaine inspired me to put the photos and keepsakes out in the open and I am so glad that I did. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem. Paul wanted me to frame it, but I didn’t get to that. I still remember how much he smiled and loved it. Hugs and more hugs.

  12. What a heartfelt tribute, Patti. I’m so glad you can share Paul and your love with all of us. xo

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