Paul Mend, Forty-Some Years Later Back In My Life

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Paul in high school

Paul was a small boy the last time I saw him right before his mother, one of my closest friends, died of cancer at the age of 29. I never saw him again. I kept track more or less where he was but never knew how he was. As much as I wanted to find him, I felt it might be intrusive so let the days, months and years pass. Then, I couldn’t let it go any longer, and one thing leading to another, I realized my best chance. Facebook! And, yes, there he was. I “friended” him with a message, we got to the telephone and talked like no time had passed since a visit when he was maybe 7, over 40 yeas ago. He and my children, who would have been raised as brother and sisters had his mother lived, became Facebook friends. I met his teen-age children on Skype.

Paul today pictured here with his dad

He recently came to visit, and as the doorbell rang, my heart skipped its next ten beats. I opened the door to the most heartrending sight I could hope for. Right there was an exquisite smiling blue-eyed man who was once the exquisite bereft blue-eyed child. And right next to him was his beautiful wife. And, he is happy. Paul is now a psychology teacher, a volleyball coach, a husband, a father, smart, interesting and emotionally generous. Listen to Paul to see how maturity, inner light, and love transform loss into strength and memories.

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