Monday, July 20, 2015

St. Paul... The World Changer

Six months ago the world suffered a devastating blow. It was not highlighted on CNN, homeland security was not called in, the President did not issue a statement... but nonetheless, the world was changed.  Schools did not close, flags were not lowered to half mast, a day of remembrance was not nationally recognized... but, again, the world did change.   I saw it.  I know.

The day Paul died was really surreal, especially for those that knew him.  Paul had the heart of a true adventurer and a love for Jesus like no one I had ever known.  He was a real life Superman that scaled mountains, jumped off cliffs, took sporadic road trips into the unknown.  He had a passion for life that I have not seen in anyone else.  When Paul was diagnosed with aggressive cancer, it was unfathomable.  It would be like telling someone the oceans had dried up overnight.  Imagine everyone's surprise when he passed one MONTH later.  My family has never experienced that kind of shocking loss.  The world had truly changed.  It was a little more empty but filled with so much more faith, hope and love than I could ever describe.

As this 6 month mark comes up, I have to reflect on all the ways Paul has changed the world.

My family also had never seen so many people come together to pray for strangers with true love and humanity.  10,000 people went to his facebook page and read the daily updates on Paul and his family.  Strangers around the world began to #LiveLikePaul.  They posted photos of how their lives were made more spectacular by this amazing man.  Strangers began to #LoveLikeAnn and collectively raised money and donated furnishings to complete a home for her and her 3 precious babies.  Strangers showed how to #LoveLikePaul as we all celebrated the birth of sweet Blaze and prayed for his mama.  The world had truly changed for the better.

Ann, Paul's Mom and Little Blaze
Paul's message to everyone who was praying
In his suffering and very early death, Ann helped to show us God's love and trusting in his perfect timing.  Her sharing of his illness and death came at a time when society was totally cool with terminal people throwing in the towel.  Paul's determination to not quit and continue to suffer through treatments has been a true testament to the value of LIFE.  While we all shared pictures of how we were going to #PrayForPaul, he held up his own sign and told us he was praying for our intentions with his suffering.  His passing with his arms raised to God is proof that he was a good and faithful servant.  He gave us hope for our own calling home.  Our world has been changed for the better.

Shawn's inspired Leap of Prayer

Dylan's Prayer

While Paul lived, he witnessed to all of us Buckleys how to pray and live with humility.  After Paul passed he was my inspiration to visit adoration, find a new love for the rosary and live my faith out loud and with passion.  He showed me, by his example, to put your faith on display... not in your face but a part of who you are.  I had never really done this.  My faith was very private but Paul's life showed me it is inspiring when you share your faith.  I began to really seek out a more fulfilling spiritual life.  I finally got the courage to get a Spiritual Director and have made daily prayer a part of my life.  My world had changed for the better. 

A quiet moment of prayer and reflection

Photo of Adoration a few nights before Paul passed

While Paul lived he and Ann were inspirational in the adoption of our Keegan.  After Paul passed he was my intercessor as I learned how to really LOVE my sweet boy who was just diagnosed with RAD.  I have always loved Keegan but for 3 years I had been trying to "Fix" Keegan.  My boy is a firecracker!  During Lent my daily prayers including asking Paul to help show me the way to be a better mom to Keegan, I heard very clearly..."Your job is not to fix him, it is to love him".  That answer gave me the peace that I was searching for and the confidence to know that God's got this.  I also found so much comfort in knowing how "crazy" Paul was and that his energy is how he served God.  I am so confident that my "crazy" Keegan will bring that same energy to his life and I am so hopeful that he will inspire others, too.  My patience and empathy increased and I was able to have more fun with my kids.  The peace I felt by this message of hope made me such a better mom to all of my children.  My children's world has been changed for the better.
Me and my Sweet Boy

My prayerful art work made during Lent

My own Superman...

While Paul lived my family would be entertained by stories of his adventures.  Mary would spend time sharing and laughing about these, seriously, crazy things he had got her to do or had done.  He never said no to an adventure.  When he lived at our parents house, his laughter filled up the room.  He hated when we fought and would make us laugh at our own stupidity.  He valued the importance of family.  After Paul passed he became my family's push.  The push to get out and make adventures of our own.  We brought Paul with us on hiking trips, on sporadic road trips and have even used him as our inspiration for a camping trip to Missouri.  My little boys wear their pink shirts on every adventure and we all remember St. Paul.  My family's world has been changed for the better.
Walking across the Bridge

Hiking at Natural Bridge

Posing at the top

Wearing his St. Paul shirt

Everyday he is carried in my heart and his family is carried in my prayers.  There are a hundred other little ways that Paul's life and death have profoundly impacted me.  Ways I could never make people understand.  These are the little miracles that Paul has given to each of us.  I know he is up there, looking down on all of us.  He is continuing to pray for us and is changing lives through the example of his own.  I am deeply humbled to have known this man.  I continue to be deeply humbled to call his wife a long lost sister.  Their examples have changed the world for the better and I have been lucky to see that in my own life.  #StPaulPrayForUs #LiveLikePaul #LoveLikeAnn

If you have not read Paul's story you should...
If you have not donated to Ann and her family, you should...
If you have not been a part of the Facebook page that is changing the world, you should....

If you have stories to share of how Paul has changed your life, please post them on the facebook page.  Let's let the whole world know how it has been changed.

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