Live – a word I took for granted as I sat at a dinner party on Thursday night. Live as a verb was taken for granted for sure…
As I walked out of the dinner party, I had two missed calls. As I looked at the two missed call names, the time, and the proximity to these two calls happening I knew it was not good. My fears were confirmed moments later as I learned of my brother being taken by ambulance to the hospital.
He was very much living that morning when I called him as I did most days. You could always call him after dropping Hudson off at school. Who else can you call at 5:30 in the morning? The list is small. (Early flights out of DIA… I could count on calling Paul! He was known to get his “delish” on in the morning with his coffee, the paper, and his iPad.)
And now, he was fighting for his life. A battle that he would lose at 10:12 PM on Friday September 15, 2017.
Generously – a word that seems would be appropriate for a person in fundraising, now takes completely a different meaning. All I can do as I walk around is see my brother’s life that he generously gave. Was it the deck at my home in Seattle that he built? Was it the sprinkler system in Houston? Was it the back wall of railroad ties and boulders in San Diego, or the front patio with flag stone? I am walking around my home in Colorado and my brother’s generous life is everywhere… his last trip on August 8-11 he left us with new shelves, new slider for our garbage cans, hung pictures, and I could go on and on.
So, after we consulted with the doctor on Friday and it was apparent that my sweet, sweet brother would be promoted to a far better life than any social media could exemplify I caught the last flight to arrive back to Colorado. Why? My eldest had his Eagle Scout Project…. He and his troop would be building and placing three very solid benches at the local elementary school. You can see that I forgot that we were given some money for this project from our Thrivent. As we tore open the box to give everyone a shirt I couldn’t believe the words that would stare me in the face all day of this project. “Live Generously.”
So, we are left picking up the pieces. A fast, last, unplanned 30 hours. There will be no more: early morning calls, trips to wherever I live to do projects, coming on my annual Golf and Grow event, family trips, controversial Facebook posts, being an impact on my boys, loving for 20 years my bride, cooking together, getting coffee, going to Home Depot for many things, seeing Wendy’s many pics of Paul and their dog Henry… the pieces are huge, the pieces cut sharp, and the pieces are everywhere.
I am still processing…. If you have not got a call back, a text back, or an email back – I am so sorry. I am not sure when life will return to normal. Well, I know that answer – never. I think the way to put is, I don’t know when I will be able to do tasks that seem today so meaningless.
For now, I am just holding two words tight. (1) Live. (2) Generously. My brother lived full life for sure, but had he known this was it – not making it to his 60th, I think he might have done a few things differently. I know he had no idea that his heart would rip, and this one tear was going to rip us all deeply.
It was 6:00 PM, it was a Thursday, and he was going to jump in the pool, and then have his (already made that afternoon) salmon salad and probably watch the Thursday night NFL game. As he told his neighbor at 5:00 – “Hey, I am living the bachelor life for a few nights!” Wendy had flown out that morning for a wedding weekend. And then, it all came to a halt. Everything stopped with this moment…
All I know is that eventually I am going to get back to living a generous life… in the meantime I am going to breath deep and focus on the word “live,” and I am going to think deep on the “generous” aspects of my older brother’s sweet life.
I miss you Paul Norman… I so wish we had another hour, day, week, month, year, decade.
16 thoughts on “Live Generously”
What a powerful post. Big was an amazing man and left quite a legacy. He gave and gave and gave. The first time I ever went hunting, Paul Scofield took me hunting for Bobcat. What a host, so hospitable. He will be incredibly missed. Sco, our hearts are with you, Marni, the boys- both yours and his, the Sund family, your mom, and especially Wendy. So hard. I know his life will be celebrated well.
Eric, I am just so sorry for your profound loss. I’ve been msg’ing with Marni the past half hour, when I caught it on FB. Paul seemed so full of life, and I enjoyed his funny posts. It’s a very surreal loss, and I’m in tears for you all. You did him so proud with this post. Well done, good and faithful… you will be in my prayers.
Beautiful memories of love and life will help heal. May the Lord`s everlasting love and mercy be with all your family as this healing begins.
So very sad for your pain. I lost my dad three weeks ago and am myself trying to navigate this profound sense of loss and grief. Will be thinking of you. Thanks for your wise words that add value to my process.
Indeed a very powerful and heartfelt post. I am sorry to say that my husband and I never had an opportunity to meet your AWESOME and WONDERFUL brother, Paul. Wendy was my deceased brother-in-laws X Sister-in-law and even though we haven’t seen Wendy for many years, we have kept in touch on FB and we have always loved Wendy and all of her family. We were so thrilled and so very happy when we discovered that she had gotten married and we could just tell by what we saw on FB that Paul was an EXCEPTIONAL and GREAT Guy and that Wendy and Paul were “Soulmates”. We are so very sorry for your loss and we are keeping your family, friends and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Our Deepest Sympathy to all.
How very saddened Nancy and I are to hear of Paul’s passing. I remember Paul in high school – always friendly and a warm smile. It was a true blessing to see him at our reunions – the 4oth just last summer. It is so hard to think Paul is actually gone. Though I did not know him well after high school, I can tell – from posts on Facebook, my time with him at the reunion last year, and all that I am reading now, that here was a beautiful person. A good man, a loving , generous man. We need more people like Paul Scofield, – truly, we do. May we all take strength from Paul’s wonderful life, and be committed to loving deeply, and being more kind and generous. Paul, you WILL be missed, but, I look forward to seeing you in the next life my friend.
I couldn’t agree more John.
Paul was amazing and a fun man to be around! We were going to trade hunts me to go with him to hunt ‘yotes and a deer or elk hunt from me.
Hugs to the family during this oh so tough time.
Eric, I am so sorry, my heart breaks for you, he sounds like an incredible guy. I dread the day I lose one of my siblings. You have inspired me to be a better sister, thank you. I will always think of you and Paul when I see those words, “live generously.” Will do, with God’s help, thanks to you, Sco.
I went from such a high feeling Thursday evening knowing that I could be with Paul for his first 5 hours in the Trauma Unit at St. Rose Hospital. Even through his severe pain Paul was still able to manage some humor with me. I was sure that all would be ok. Friday started a process of shocking and hard reality. I will be forever grateful for the memories I share with Paul. He is a truly generous and loving man.
To assemble thoughts in the brief moments after such a sudden and tragic loss is difficult.
To come forward with a charge that Paul leaves: “Live Generously” is a good task that helps give action to move forward while we try and embrace this impact.
For now, that is my prayer of intention as we all try to imagine our world as it changes and we lose individuals like Paul much, much too soon for all that he offered us.
Peace be with you Eric and your family as you suffer the immense sadness of Paul’s passing.
What a wonderful and true reflection on your brother. A few year’s back, I had posted on Facebook about a fundraiser that my son’s elementary school was having. the first to respond–before any family–was Paul. On Facebook, Paul loved to disagree with my more political posts, but he always did so in good humor and with yes, a generous spirit. I am so sorry for your loss. Please give your entire family (especially Paul’s wife, your sister and mother) my deepest sympathies.
Eric, I’m so sorry for your deep loss. Thank you for sharing your brother’s legacy.
As I walked around your old stomping grounds this past weekend at Willamette’s 50th reunion weekend, I had no idea of the tragedy unfolding with your brother’s too early home going. Words are so inadequate, but my thoughts and prayers are with you, Eric. I love reading your thoughts about your brother. Isn’t it ironic that the actor, Paul Scofield, some years ago starred in “The Man for All Seasons.” Sounds like God raised up another one a few hundred years later. Love you, friend.
Whew,.. thanks to you both for setting a high “Brother Bar”,.. praying for you,.
Thanks for the post. I shared this with my siblings. Paul was that rare light that will not be put out. Even though we cant see him he radiates in all of us. It is like looking at the moon when it is really the reflection of the sun’s light from afar. Shine on my brother from another mother as he called me.
Sandy & I love you dearly, the love you & your brother have for each other is a gift from God, we thank God for the wonderful words you have for your brother “Live Generously ” , that is what you are and that comes from God Almighty
God be with you and the entire Scofield family .
Lee &Sandy Beaty