I can picture the scene….” Auugh Jesus , when’s my dad coming…. Pretty soon Paul…..Ohhhhh, excuse me Jesus, will he be coming soon….. Yes Paul, soon…… Auugh Jesus, how soon …… turn around Paul…. Dad…. Dad…. Dad…. You’re here, you’re here, you’re here…..I’m so happy”.
Well, I don’t know if that’s exactly how it happened, but I bet on August 6th when our beloved Bone went home to God, he began to remind Jesus about his dad who was very sick and suffering a lot. So 71 days later, on October 16th, Jesus said it’s time for your dad to come home.
How does the world continue to exist as great men and women leave it and go home to God? How is the world not diminished when holy people die? Who’s going to replace them? Who’s going to take the place of the husband, the father, the grandfather, the “best friend”?
I loved Paul Giegerich. He was my dear friend. He helped me in so many ways over the past 40+ years. He helped me do things I wouldn’t have been able to do without his encouragement. He told me I made the best scrambled eggs he’s ever had. Paul laughed at my jokes…… somehow I could always make him laugh, even when we were going thru hard times. I somehow knew the end was coming when I couldn’t get him to laugh these last difficult weeks. He loved our kids….. he would tell about how well our eldest daughter Angela handled the kid throwing up in the back of his car on the way home from New Hampshire…. she didn’t panic… she was great. He told my mother that she had “nice hair”… she actually did have nice hair, but who would say that? He shared his Taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwich with me on a rainy cold morning at the bottom of Mary St. He drove me to pick up my stolen car in the bowels of Newark. He and Frank Helfrich drove me to a meeting with Archbishop John Myers in Newark… our first meeting after 16 years of exile. And what about that meeting in Monterrey, Mexico… that anniversary trip to France…. that baseball game in Queens, early morning trips with our sons to the shore before you had to pay to get on the beach, followed by more Taylor ham, egg and cheese sandwiches. And how about those many, many meetings building the People of Hope and Koinonia, and especially the great times praying together. You know, I’m not even hitting the surface of all we did together over the years. In all of this, the highlight was serving the Lord together… challenging one another to give all to the Lord, not shrinking back, keeping each other going when it was hard and there were deep disappointments…. and doing it with a lot of joy and laughter and fun.
But this is just one chapter of the life of Paul Giegerich. Each of you has a chapter in this giant book. Each of you can recount the stories and blessings and kindnesses and encouragements you received from your good friend. It wasn’t always easy, none of us were perfect, we all made mistakes and even disappointed one another at times, but it was good. It was all good because we ended “loving God and one another more at the end than when we began”.
Mary Alice and the family will have the main chapter in the “Book of Giegerich”. After Jesus, Mare was Paul’s treasure. He loved and respected and cared for her with all he had. “The Bug” was number one. He was happiest when he was with her; he was the most peaceful when he heard her voice. And he treasured his children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. He was very proud of each of them and always defended them. He will continue that work from heaven. They were all number one.
So, how do you end this BLOG? A big part of me doesn’t want to end it. Part of me really doesn’t want to believe he’s not here.
So what can we do? I believe that Paul’s word to each of us would be…. “Let’s go…. let’s give all in serving the Lord…don’t settle… don’t compromise… you are special to the Lord and he has a great plan for your life… don’t give up…keep praying…. all will be well if we but trust in the Lord….. pray for my soul because I’m sure praying for you.” and, I’ll be waiting for you.”
Rest in peace dear friend… we’ll see you again.