This year has been amazing! I’ve had SO MUCH FUN with this group of spokesmodels!

I just wanted to thank ALL of you from the bottom of my heart! I know you will all be INCREDIBLE, POWERFUL AND SUCCESSFUL in all that you pursue! Thank you for being a part of my team and for the laughs!

I LOVE YOU ALL AND WISH YOU THE BEST ALWAYS!!

We had a GREAT YEAR…check it out:

 

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  • Mark D. Royster

    Pati P you are doing an Amazing job with the youth of today and our future leaders. The young people that you are working with I know appreciate you very much and look up to you as a cool mentor who they can relate to and I’m sure they feel they can come to you with anything.
    Keep up the great work. I can’t wait for that time comes when you photograph my daughter Senior pictures.

    May God continue to Bless you, your family and business in a special way.

    Roysta

I knew this day was coming… I could feel it.
It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this many emotions just sweep over me. And I’ve just let them do so…
I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve felt sadness and I’ve felt hope. I’ve remembered things and I’ve tried to forget some things.

Today would have been 25 years of marriage for Peter and I.
So… I’ve decided to do what I’ve always done, and that is to write, to share, to try to express my thoughts a bit.  It’s always been healing for me.
The one thing I guess I’ve wanted to clarify is the thought that when you loose someone, “It gets easier.”
I’m sure that is true for many people. But I must confess, that has not been the case for me.

Each year that has gone by since Peter past, has personally become more difficult. Not so much outwardly. In fact, I have seen my life go in an amazing direction. God has certainly taken care of me on many levels.  My relationship with my children has grown stronger and stronger each year, even given the fact that they have been teenagers… and are now young adults. Colin turns 21 next month, Julia is 18 and Lissy – well, she’s my only teenager now.
And yes… I’m closer to my kids now, more than ever. What an amazing and priceless gift!!
God has also blessed my business in ways that I could have never imagined. It has grown from a tiny seed into a nice little tree. He brought one of the best people in the world to come along side of me and help me. My dear friend Charlotte has been that gift. I will never be more grateful for all she has done to help me accomplish a simple goal that I shared with her years ago “I just would like to create some name recognition, get my name out there so people would use me for Senior pictures.”  She too has had to walk out this same journey… and she’s done so courageously!  I know that our hearts will always be connected.

So, although life has never been easy, on these levels, it has gotten easier.

But inwardly, as the years passed, it became harder for me when I thought about my marriage.
Each year that would pass, each anniversary that came and went, I realized on a deeper level, the depth of what I had lost.
I’ve never been one to say or pretend that marriage was easy… it’s hard work at time. Worth every minute… but full of challenges. The nice thing is that those days begin to add up to years, and years begin to add up. Your love and experiences together build something. They slowly construct this amazing bond of love, commitment, forgiveness, and acceptance, and in all of that… a peace and a freedom that is priceless. It takes time, but it’s like interest on money – it grows and grows.  It adds up.    So each year that would pass for me as a widow, it felt like the loss was greater and greater.

My biggest curiosity was always, “Lord, if you are ever going to bring love my way again, HOW can I even begin again???    It’s like completely starting over.”  Getting to know someone, building trust, taking risks, getting past the insecurities… it has always felt SO completely overwhelming to me.
So before I even go further, I want to take a moment to CELEBRATE committed marriage. Those of you who have built something with your spouse, day after day, year after year, it is a GIFT. A sacred gift. A constructed tower of love, acceptance, comfort and safety and it’s BEAUTIFUL!
Cherish it – because you’ve worked hard for it, fought for it, protected it, and there is not much that can compare to it.

I think of my own parents, they just celebrated 58 years of marriage. Can you believe that… 58 years!!
MANY of those days were difficult ones. Many were mundane. Many were ordinary.  Many were wonderful,  BUT… the thread in all of it was LOVE,  committed SACRIFICIAL  love. Til death do you part love!

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Day in and day out, they stayed committed. They forgave. They shared. They loved. And it grew.. into 58 years!
You can’t help but know that you’re seeing something rare and beautiful, when two people stay committed to marriage ALL THOSE YEARS…
They have constructed something miraculous in my opinion.
So, as I’ve come to understand this all more clearly, the gift of years adding up, each year became more difficult for me inwardly.

Peter loved me unconditionally. There is no greater gift than that here on this earth. It is still a loss to me. We’d have kept building, kept constructing, kept forgiving and kept loving each other and we’d have had 25 years to celebrate today.
But, it didn’t go that way.
I will say though, that from day one, I’ve chosen to trust the God I put my faith in. The God that allowed Peter to go home, for whatever reasons, I’ll never know here, but Who has also never forsaken me or my children since then.
I could write volumes on this… But to sum it up in one word, He has been FAITHFUL to me and my family. I believe my kids feel the same way.
It’s such a deep loss – but we have been taken care of.
So… for 7 years, I’ve been on my own. I’ve remained single. And after 5 years, when each of my kids came to me at separate times, telling me I should be open to dating again, I did open my heart.

To be honest, the 1st time, it didn’t go too well.
I found myself connecting with someone who probably should have not been pursuing any kind of relationship… freshly divorced, he was in no place to do so. I was a little naive, BUT, I’m ok… I learned much! I’ve moved forward.

Early in January, I found this sign… and immediately I felt the need to purchase it.  There was just something so special about it.

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I set it on my dresser where I could see it everyday.   I felt like it was for me… to believe.  It felt real.
I felt like this was going to be a amazing year for me, on many levels, especially personally.
I laugh because I’ve had more flat tires and I’ve run out of gas more often this year than the norm, (I’m horrible about things like that…lol) but the truth is, amazing things ARE happening in my life, in my business, in my family and for me personally.
And I’m hopeful.

I started out by writing that I knew this day would coming, and to be honest, I was afraid of it a little. I was afraid that I would just need to check out for the day and mourn my loss. Afraid I would be swallowed up with deep sadness.

But I have confession. There is actually hope in my heart. There is some excitement.
There is a belief that God can still bring love to me… not 25 years of married love, but love that is new, yet safe and comforting and unconditional.
The thing that most overwhelmed me, starting over, seems possible again.
Why now? I’m not sure. But I have a feeling that God wanted me to feel HOPE today – not despair.
I think even Peter wants me to feel hope; to honor what we would have had, 25 years, but to also believe that there is man out there who could love me the way I need to be loved.  Someone Peter would trust.  Someone that might even be in my life already.

So as I navigate the ocean of emotions that I am experiencing on a day like today… the anchor for me in it, is hope, is belief, is faith and love.
I think 25 years is a milestone for me…. like that maybe its time and it’s ok, to allow myself to move forward and to really fall in love again.
Time will tell and only God knows.
My job is to trust Him and open my heart.

So today I HONOR my marriage to and the life I had with a GREAT MAN – Peter Vincent Pakulis. Great Husband, Father, Provider, Friend, Son, Brother, Doctor, Man of Faith. He will always live in my heart, until I get to see him again. We lived out…til death do us part. I am beyond grateful for that.
I think of him and miss him every day. Every single day. We all do… our lives were changed forever.

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But I am grateful that today is not tearing me apart, that somehow, in the loss,  I am hopeful.  I am grateful for my little sign that I actually do believe that this year, Amazing Things WILL Happen.

It’s already begun.

And I’m ready to embrace it.

 

 

  • Lisa Mortensen

    Happy Anniversary Pati! Your writings of your 25 years is full of love commitment adventures children careers & your lives now. A completely beautiful story! Always know you are doing wonderful amazing things in your life. You are Truley an Amazing Mom & your life is & will always be filled with love. I love your beautiful children pictures & you too May God bless you & be with you all

  • Lori Lee

    Thank you for sharing your love, your deepest love of your life. Thank you for sharing your blessings. Thank you for honoring yourself, your marriage, your family and your life. You are one truly amazing and talented woman with a heart of gold. You are loved, you are safe and life is loving on you! . Big hugs – lori lee

  • Geanine Day

    Your words are so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing them. You are such a great person I believe God does have plans for you and your heart. I never knew your husband but by how amazing you and your kids are I know he was amazing as well. Sending hugs your way.
    An old friend,
    Geanine

  • THANK YOU Geanine!! You know, the first time I ever heard the song “Freebird” was with you and Kelly Myers – I’m pretty sure we were on some soccer trip to San Mateo. Does that ring a bell?
    Anyway, that was Peter’s all-time favorite song! I think of him… and you and Kelly, who I miss as well!
    Thank you for taking to time to read and to share!!

  • Wow friend! Yet again, your faith and testimony is SO encouraging. I’m so sorry it has been so hard. I can’t even imagine. I appreciate so much what you wrote about cherishing marriage and the comfort and security of it. That is something I’m sure many take for granted. Your perspective is so life-giving. Thanks for always holding tight to Jesus and sharing your journey so openly! Love you!

  • Yvonne

    What a beautiful tribute to Peter, your marriage, marriage as a whole and, most importantly, the Lord. I find your faith to be so tangible in your posts. My thoughts and prayers are with you. <3