Archive for September, 2018

Paula Tobias – A Woman of Worth- 2018

Paula Tobias,  my  dear friend, one who  fought  bravely  the obscenity  of ovarian cancer  for 5 years.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/you-have-cancer-paulas-journey-shared/

Paula,  had  written about many  varied things over the years  just type Paula Tobias in the search box. My  dear friend  knew she would only  be able to  keep  her fight going for so  long, the disease and the treatments took their toll on her  more than she let the  outside world know.

A year before she passed she asked me to  do  two  things for her, to  write and give her eulogy at her celebration of life and to  oversee  the placement and landscaping of a bench which she had chosen . “Come Sit With  Me” that would look out over her beloved Lake Erie and the east side of Lorain.

Following is part of the eulogy  for Paula, so  those that read this blog outside of this city  will hopefully  understand how we have lost a woman who  was of “worth” not just to  her friends and family  but to  her community :

 

“I loved Paula and she was “there” during my worst days- my strength-, helping me through my darkest hours

a self-portrait Chris Ritchey

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/christmas-the-day-after-chris-miss-christmas/

Paula- kind, loving…… and there.

Her words “anything I can do? Were her mantra, it didn’t matter how busy or what was going on in her own life she was there.

The loves of her life Frank, Jean and Liz were always first in her thoughts and actions. Paula fought so hard to beat the obscenity that is cancer, not just for herself but for them, her mom and the rest of her wonderful family. Paula put up a fierce battle with grace and quiet strength just as she had done throughout her life.

 

A life that touched so many of us….. in such positive ways , she would see a need and would try her best to meet those needs. Paula saw a need in Lorain and the nurturer she was…. Ran in 2007   as mayoral candidate for Lorain……. She called me from her car ….

“Luvvey! I am on my way   to the BOE to pull petitions for Mayor – this should be a surprise to some!!!!!

http://blog.cleveland.com/wideopen/2007/09/profile_paula_tobias_lorain_ma.html

Unknown in politics, she still managed a very successful campaign as an “Independent” running 2nd to the Democratic candidate and overtaking the sitting Republican candidate. Both parties having great respect for her –  her commitment and love of her community. She added class to   the campaign

 

Such was Paula’s influence and respect among all political parties she continued with soft-spoken strength crossing over and through political parties making a difference in this city she truly loved.

Always an advocate for Lorain… There she would be at City Council meetings   and reporting on them …. holding up placards when the Bascule Bridge took so long in getting repaired to filling potholes…She researched  a new machine and introduced that machine to Lorain by bringing ii into the city  .. Pitch Patch Paula putting on overalls and her personal hard hat and filling the test pot holes herself. . It took a while but Lorain has now a similar machine.

 

Paula turned her hand to being a blogger….. her thoughts and hopes for Lorain are still there on the internet waiting to be acted upon.

Paula was also on the Board of Directors for the Lorain Port Authority   bringing with her historical knowledge, passion and common sense. Paula was involved in so many of the situations good, bad and beautiful because she was “there for her beloved Lorain. She wanted the visitor to Lorain to be welcomed with inviting neighborhoods.

https://locophotogblog.wordpress.com/category/paula-tobias/

YES! Paula was there, her style was quiet determination, softly speaking sense – little notes baked goods and chicken soup if needed accompanying her lovely smiles/ .

I will so miss the lilt in her voice as she would call

“Luvey??? Do you need anything/”. I still hear her voice in my mind….

In all those terrible months after her diagnosis not once did she complain to me about her battle, the physical and emotional cost.

Paula, truly remarkable in her compassion for others asked not for sympathy for her own plight, putting on a brave face and smile. Paula became a volunteer to help other cancer patients through their journey as she fought her own battles, I remember saying to her-

I just don’t know how you are doing this you have much more bravery than I

she smiled and said I just want to help because I KNOW the journey they are on…..

How many times she offered me quiet respite from my life- to join her in her beautiful home for an afternoon by her fire or a summer evening on the lake .

Oh the days her dining room and sun porch tables fair groaned with the weight of delicious foods as she invited people to share the beauty of the lake and the hospitality of her family. Paula, nurturing, loving, protecting and intensely passionate with all she held dear.

I have–.. to remind me of her… and those times.. a small antique dining room side board,…… goodness knows where my husband purchased it……… BUT I realized whilst helping myself to food at one of those banquets that Paula and Frank had the rest of the dining room set…. my little side board was a perfect match for her set.

We laughed about my having the missing piece .. a coincidence or fate? the missing piece– her dining room set not complete…. and now my darling Paula is the missing piece., our lives will not be the same   and we are now incomplete .

Paula my words cannot do justice to the gracious, inspiring , loving and kind woman the epitome of a “lady” I came to love so very much – I know your pain has passed— which is our only consolation as we have to say goodbye. I love you as does everyone who was touched by your very soul and that is a wonderful legacy … Fare well my friend…………

The Bench — to  be continued.

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September 19, 2018 at 8:26 pm 5 comments

Sept. 3rd – The Bubble- Chris Ritchey

 

August– and the week of hell as far as memories go ( and come) has been left behind for another year. The wedding anniversary  , your birthday  and mine  now in the past once more. I live in a self-imposed  bubble, especially  now ,with  your  Nana slowly  disappearing from this existence.

I haven’t left this house for much  more than an hour at a time for weeks, and this house has become my own “living in a bubble,” surrounded by the people and things I  love most. I let  very  few intrude in the fragile existence  I  am living .

 

I have stopped letting in the distraction of “other lives” whilst I  currently  deal with  life and death  in this house. The crime, the angst, the annoyances of people , politics and  lifestyles  that I  cannot  do  anything about outside these walls  , even writing and documenting has been relegated to  another existence.

I  close  the windows , turn on the air-conditioning not only  to  deal with  the heat of August days  but to  add a sound barrier to  my  bubble  – to  defend against the intrusion of the “noise “of a people without respect for others in this neighborhood. I don’t want to  deal with them or anyone not welcome to  come into  my  bubble. I am dealing the best way  I  know how to  get through.

 

I  have taken some time to  look at “your book” – No  Limits –  still stuck after so  many  chapters, looking for strength  to  continue , it seems I  have limits .

– and I  am reminded that for  30  years I lived without “knowing you “, you  were not a part of this existence  and then you came into  our lives  and left all too soon ,  and I miss you   so much . Most of those  that knew you in your all too short existence  have  relegated you  to  a mere memory  , if that anymore. Your life ,floating as a bubble on the wind ,has left their existence  and eventually  has disappeared, a name on a headstone ,in a place not of your liking or choosing……. . you  are only  bright ,living  and  colorful in our little universe.

This  loss of you from memory  will be  repeated  in all our lives. We are all  only  remembered   for as long as “living memory ” is in play. When your Nana passes so  will all the lives of the people she loved , knew and shared her  life with  when  she was young, she is the last one left to  remember those times, people and places.

Eventually  we all  will be forgotten, relegated to  some cemetery  or plaque  that will fall into  disrepair and get buried over and forgotten, unless of course you  are famous or infamous enough to  be documented  for some great or terrible deed or happenstance of life.  Life consigned to  a  shelf in a library, computer, television program, “history” interpreted , discussed and revised .

The happiness and love you  brought into our lives is not fleeting and neither is the gutting pain left behind  after your leaving…….. the love endures …. and so  do  you in my  fragile bubble like  world.

 

September 3, 2018 at 11:50 am 1 comment


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