Monday, January 20, 2020

Eleven days when everything changed....

The last ten days have been the most extraordinary days I have been thru in a long time.

On January third we (Patrick, Katie and I) went to Omaha to spend time with all of our children and grandchildren.  Since Patrick and Shelby and Dottie live so far away we head to Omaha whenever they come to visit Shelby's parents.
So Emma and James and River made the trek to Missouri and Matthew and Melinda live right there in town.

We watched the boys wrestle and watched Dottie go up and down the stairs.
We shared a few meals and Patrick and Katie got to meet River.

It was wonderful to see everyone.

I loved seeing Patrick hold River.  

Dottie will be a big sister in the spring.
She is a girl on the go :o)

Welcome to the red head club.

Matthew and Melinda hosting the family chaos :o)

It's so hard to travel with a newborn...we were so happy Emma and James could make it.
River was sleeping when we opened presents.

The old one and the young one.

(I am desperate for a new camera.  I need a flash.)

And then just a few hours after our return to Madison....

On Monday Jan. 6 my brother in law Paulie fell and broke his neck at his group home.
It was a very serious break.  He would not survive it.
We all gathered at the hospital and loved Paulie and played Johnny Cash non stop.
We were all so shocked and sad.
He passed away on Thursday Jan. 9th.

Paulie was the most special guy.  He loved his family and loved Johnny Cash and Casey Jones.
He had a beautiful voice and the most exuberant personality.
He visited the Marinette fire dept nearly every day for 50 years.  

They too, loved him so.

At the funeral dozens of firemen came to pay their respects.
Wearing their dress uniforms they arrived in four firetrucks and walked in a line to see Paulie.
The slide show played a video of Paulie singing Ring of Fire and the firemen stood as a group and quietly watched.  

The bell choir Paulie was a part of played and sang a sweet song to the tune of Edelweiss and we all sobbed.

Life will not be the same without Paulie. 
I miss him so much already.

He was the richest man in town.

Til we meet again sweet, funny, wonderful Paulie.

Love Always,


  1. So fortunate I don't wear makeup because it would be running down my face after hearing Paulie sing. What a personality! What charm and sweetness! Marinette is poorer without him. Thank you for sharing a bit of him with us. I wish I'd known him.

  2. Love you, dear Donna.
    With so much happenin: good things and sad, exhilarating and also draining, joyful days and heartbreaking ones, too ... take good care of yourself ❤

  3. How wonderful to be together with all your kids....and how very heartbreaking to lose Paulie so suddenly. What a gem he was! Love you. Mean it.

  4. Isn't it wonderful to have the whole family together. What a blessing.

    So very sorry about Paulie. Prayers for peace and comfort for your whole family.

  5. Love you. Glad you had this family time! So sorry for your loss. Praying for you all.

  6. A man with a contented soul, what a joy to behold. Heaven is brighter now with Paulie there. And, what a happy family Christmas time for you! Thanks for sharing! Love and prayers, jep

  7. And...a new baby on the way. 👶 How exciting! ❤

  8. Anonymous4:19 PM

    I can't stop crying. Sending you all the love. I am so sorry. Much love, Becky

  9. Anonymous11:21 PM

    I am so very sorry about your loss of Paulie. It seems as though he had such a beautiful soul. Life becomes such a mixture of sorrow and joy. What a treasure for your whole family to get together and for you to get to enjoy your lovely grandchildren. Such blessings.

    Debbie Z.


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