Two Years Ago

Two years ago today I lost one of my best friends. I still remember the call from District. Miss you my friend. This was my eulogy for him.

PAUL M. D’ANGELO

Cl…early, one never knows what each new day holds in store for any of us.

For some, their work day may prove to be easier than they were expecting. For others attending school, they may find out that there’s an unexpected test they’ll have to take, and for a lucky few, some will find out at the end of the day that they’ve won the lottery!

Well, that sums up a day for me a couple years ago.  By the time I got home that evening, I knew I had won the lottery.  Not the monetary type, but one in which the winnings were so big, no monetary value could be ascribed to it.

Who would think a win that big …. and it all began with a friend helping a friend.

Paul D’Angelo, coworker, polite, full of energy and ideas, professional … he seemed like an all around nice guy.  I probably would have continued to think that way about him…. Kind of a “surface” type perspective of the person I thought he was, but indeed, there was much more to Paul than I ever could have imagined.  This I found out each time I saw him to collect my “winnings.”

Each day as we drove to and from work, we became such great friends.  We laughed, we cried, we shared stories, talked about our dreams, our fears ….. we trusted each other.  He was always honest.  He called a spade a spade…. His retort to me, after any time I vented about something, was done with a big smile and him saying “Well, how’s that going for ya!!”  It always made me giggle before calling him a wise ass.  We challenged each other.  He would tell me about various books that inspired him. He saw outside the box in so many ways.  One of the most profound things I admired about him was that he always acknowledged his shortcomings and never held anyone else but himself accountable.

Important to Paul:

FAMILY:  His parents Elaine and Paul; on any given Monday morning, he would tell me that he hung out with them over the weekend enjoying great food, great conversation and lots of laughs. His brother Mike; Paul was so proud of Mike’s innovational efforts creating the Body Evolver.  He would say to me “Robin, this program is BIG, seriously.  Mike thought his life was already crazy, well with this, he just stepped it up a notch!” Then he’d giggle. He lit up every time he spoke of Tara, Tayla, Brittany, and Josh.  He’d tell me how much he loved those kids, always looking forward to his next visit with them.  His sister Anne;  I had the distinct pleasure of meeting her when she came to the Air Station for a visit.  He was so excited to show her around.  The day after, I recall him approaching me and he said “Robin, thank you so much for being nice to my sister, making her feel welcome and at ease.  I love her very much.”  His sister Ilana;  Paul was so happy for his parents in their efforts to adopt Ilana from Latvia.  He was thrilled with the news that it finally came to fruition.

FRIENDS: Paul loved all his friends!  He spoke fondly of his Newport friends, his Nantucket friends, and so many others.  He shared many stories that he held dear.  There’s no doubt that same sentiment was felt by all of them towards him.  He was a likeable guy!!!

WORK:  He was truly a visionary.  He’d get frustrated that there wasn’t more funding available for some of the ideas that he had, but he always made due.  He was so proud of the Air Park.  On many occasions, I’d see him out there on the bobcat as I went out for my run.  He’d give me a cheesy grin, a wave and a “hey, don’t forget to bring me home!”

THE AMBITION TO ALWAYS MOVE FORWARD:  Paul lived each day with such passion.  He would tell me of places he hoped one day to see and the excitement of people he had yet to meet. Honestly, I could go on and on.

To quote Frank Lloyd Wright:

“Architecture is the triumph of human imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own Earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world. It is at best that magic framework of reality that we sometimes touch upon when we use the word order.”

Paul D’Angelo exemplified the triumph of human imagination.  His talents will be missed, his goals thus far will forever be acknowledged and his essence will live on.  Paul referred to me as his unexpected angel.  Well Paul, now you’re mine.   Fair Winds and Following Seas my friend. Miss u TONS  Paul D’Angelo