My Husband Died Leaving Me and Two (We Don’t Use the Name ‘Step’) Children

I read Shakespeare to my daughter (age two) and my son (five). Both understood well the plots and character traits in the plays. Paul’s picture is below as he showed me he understood the word ‘pensive’. I called both children as John my husband lay dieing. They both dropped everything and came to his side. When Paul got home he wrote his feelings about John who came into his life a little over half way through his childhood.

Things that should have been said while you were alive…

John, you were a totally unassuming man when I met you. The type of guy you walk by 20 or so times in an average weekend here in Portland… You were average height or less, bushy beard, slightly stalky build with a frame that turned out to be much like you, 15 times stronger then it looked. The one thing people might notice is that a grown man was wearing a fanny pack in public. For those of us that knew why it just added to the legend that was your personality.

The things that the average person on the street didn’t know about you could fill a house. Behind your quite nature was a silent warrior combined with a gentleness that was unparalleled, a loving and giving nature that re-defined the definition of a “real” man. You giggled like a little kid when you gave people presents, when anyone asked for help you never said no and to my knowledge you never broke a single promise. You could disagree with every aspect of a person’s lifestyle but when that person’s basement flooded you were the FIRST person over there with a flashlight and a hammer… You were an American hero, decorated several times with medals of valor and bravery in combat, but you never once mentioned it unless asked, and even then stories were told with a humbleness that can’t be taught.

Even after your days as a soldier you fought for the weak, never missing a chance to stand up for someone that couldn’t do so for themselves. And when you did everyone around you could see you meant absolute business and the cowardly attackers wanted none of it.

But most importantly you loved my mother… and you did so with the same uncompromising attitude and style that you lived the rest of your life. You wore your “nice gun” to the wedding, booby trapped your house for W2k and covered the cameras on your laptop with clay. You protected your family, loved my mother’s children, even me… when I wasn’t as accepting of my mother as my sister was.

Yesterday you died on your own terms. I would have expected nothing else from you. You told everyone how you wanted it, even if they didn’t want to listen. You bought a bracelet that said “do not resuscitate” and if that wasn’t enough you also bought a necklace that said the same thing. You refused pain killers until you couldn’t talk anymore to tell people to leave you alone… And despite all the pain, after 3 days of not being able to talk you found the strength to wake up from it all and just a clearly as when you were healthy told my mother goodbye, told her she did everything the way you wanted and that you loved her.

The world ls not the same without you. You could teach this next generation so much about how to be a man. You are the quiet warrior that walked the walk without ever needing to say one word. You gave my mother new life and for that I will always be grateful.

Yesterday we lost a REAL hero.

RIP John Mauerman

By Paul Campbell


Double Pensive - Portrait Of A Boy

Double Pensive

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