Rest in Peace Paul


When you get married you not only gain a spouse, you gain an entire family. I’ve been incredibly lucky because my wife’s family are all wonderful people. Her folks are still alive; she has two brothers, Paul and Matthew, and they both have wives and children.

We are scattered across the country so we don’t get to see them as much as we like, but we usually get together a couple of times a year – for a week in the summer and a week sometime around Christmas. The thing is when you do this for twenty-plus years you really get to know each other, despite not spending a lot of time together on a day-to-day or even year-to-year basis.

Matthew and I hit it off immediately. Not only do we share a name, but we have similar outlooks in life, enjoy some of the same pop culture, and just generally clicked. Paul was more straight-laced. He was an elder at his church and lead singing every Sunday. We didn’t have as much in common, but we both had a deep love of silliness and games.

Whenever we all get together we sit around the kitchen table playing games. There is a nightly, all-family, game of Road to Mexico Dominos, but in the afternoon a few of us will pull at some board game or another and play. At first, we played the simple classics: Clue, Skip-bo, Sequence, etc. But then we discovered more interesting and challenging games.

I can’t remember who was the first person to bring over Settlers of Catan, but after that we knew those old games just wouldn’t work. We loved that game and it opened up to us an entire world of gaming. It seems like every time we got together we’d start off asking each other if we’d gotten a new game.

Dominion, Ticket to Ride, and Pandemic were a few of our favorites.

Almost always, someone would have a new game to share. Often it came essentially unopened. We’d spend a few minutes reading over the rules and regulations before deciding to just dive in and play. Some games were fairly easy. Others were quite difficult. We’d play a round or two and think we had it figured out, only to play again the next day and realize we had gotten it all wrong. Further reading of the rules indicated we were playing incorrectly. Over the course of the week, we might finally get it right.

Some games were keepers, and we’d bring them back every year. Other games were less interesting and they might just stay home the next time. None of it mattered, we just enjoyed playing.

When I think of Paul, that’s what I think of – sitting around a table playing games. Having so much fun. And laughing.

Paul lost his battle with cancer a week ago Saturday. He was a good man. A loving father, and a kind husband. He was my friend. My brother.

He didn’t deserve this. I miss him already.

20 thoughts on “Rest in Peace Paul

  1. Mat,

    I’m really sorry to hear about your loss. I can imagine the shock to have someone who seemed to be young and in mid-life taken from the family.

    You’re lucky that your family found ways to gather on a regular basis, even if just a couple times a year based on distance. I know you’ll treasure those memories for years to come.

    My condolences to you and your family. Noel

  2. Hello Mat

    i’m sorry to read that you lost a friiend. But the game we all are in is neverending and you have still the memory.
    Take care for you and your loved ones.

  3. Thank you everybody for your kind words. It was a tough week, but it was also good to see everybody and spend time with the rest of my wife’s family. I am very much someone who likes to get back to business to help me with my grief, but I did want to let everyone know why I was gone.

  4. Deepest condolences to you and your wife’s family. Very touching words. We never get over our losses we just bear them with the help of others. Love your loved ones now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s