My guess is that God had a mission for Paula, and the mission was us. Like an apprentice Guardian Angel she was imbued with a positively charged energy which she cast like lightning bolts when confronting tangles of doubt and cynicism. Paula engaged life with tenacious optimism and an eagerness, bordering on impatience, to get on with it.
Paula had many talents but her gift was as a story teller weaving together the fun and drama of her life with Bernard, Auntie Ann and Buddy amid piles of brightly colored yarns. At the same time, she never allowed multiple myeloma to lurk in the shadows. Rather, she exposed its painful complexities to the benefit of all who wonder, "What's next?"
Gathered in a volume it is the story of a beautiful, courageous woman who lived life rich with the flavor and color of a world, yet rarefied by her presence. For balance God placed Bernard next to Paula, the quiet rock against whom she leaned when the fatigue of long endured pain became heavy for one to bear.
We struggle to understand why God would take one who had been a consistent source of hope. A message, possibly, that we have been fortified enough. A signal that we are to share Paula's gifts with others who tire of life because of illness, the pain of cruelty or the emptiness of being alone.
I, for one, will miss knowing Paula through her illuminating skill with words and her ability to create lightness in the midst of thick, weighty darkness. I will miss the sense of humor which flowed from the core of her being and endured through her final post.
I hold all that of Paula in my heart's memory. And I imagine at this moment, Guardian Angels scrambling on Heaven's missions to the frigid reaches of the universe, smiling in the new found warmth of Paula's heavy knit sweaters.
Peace and Blessings, Bernard, and my heart felt sorrow for the wonder you have lost.