The following was written by our friend, Carlene, about October 23rd, the day after dad/Paul arrived at St Patrick's. The family appreciates her willingness to present dad's/Paul's story and thoughts.
Dear Friends…and to be sure, any friend of Paul Roos is a friend of mine,
I’ve known Paul since my husband, Fred Danforth, was guided by him on a MT Land Reliance trip in the early days of PRO. I spoke to Paul briefly recently and offered to write an update to the legions who love and care about him. We talked again today and he took me up on my offer.
Paul is in the hospital in Missoula. As some of you know, he was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 renal carcinoma—it has spread to the lymph nodes and lungs, and now has advanced, painfully, to the bones. The doctors won’t discharge him from the hospital unless they can get the pain managed, which they are trying to do with IV opioids and radiation. We are hopeful that he may be able to go home soon where his care can be managed by his family and Hospice. It has been painful for everyone not to be able to visit due to the pandemic restrictions. Although renal carcinoma can spread to the brain, Paul has been spared that and is as clear-headed, pragmatic, reflective, loving and grateful for the joy of life as ever. As he says, “I’m on the fence. I still might die with my boots on, but any day, I may be moving on.”
“Looking back,” he mused, “I’ve been blessed by loving three great women. Kay, with whom I built a business that continues to this day and raised a family of strong, smart, caring women. I am so proud of each one. Carolyn, with whom I shared both adventures and conservation dreams and built what I hope will be a conservation legacy of collaboration and stewardship. And now Bonnie, who has again brought love and joy to this last chapter of my life and supported me in every hair-brained scheme I cooked up. I remain astounded at my good fortune.”
“If that alone were not enough,” he continued, “I’ve been blessed by truly authentic friendships of long-standing—first through PRO and my partnership with John, then through Orvis and the Perkins family, through TU and the Challenge, and by my “family” in Lincoln. And each of the friendships have multiplied into more. It has been a wonderful life…full of love, purpose, and laughter. I couldn’t be happier.”
And then, Paul told me to make sure I told you, “When you think of me, I want it to be with joy, lots of laughter, and maybe a little bit of down-home philosophizing. When I go, I go out grateful and with joy for the love I’ve received and the love I’ve been able to give. I am accepting the reality and at peace with it. I have had a great life.”
This is Paul’s loving gift to all of us. Rest assured, he feels your love coming right back at him.
Although Paul is not in a position to take phone calls or texts at this time, if you wish to communicate, please comment on this site and the family will share those posts with Paul (dad, grandpa, husband, friend).