A quiet holiday

Posted: November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

This Thanksgiving is going to be quiet.  At least for me it will be.  I am now spending more and more time inside.  Taking a trip somewhere is so exhausting, it’s not really worth it.  Church is the only place I want to go each week, but I don’t know how much longer that will be possible. Oxygen is now my nightly companion and I sleep a lot of hours of the day.  My legs last for a only a few baby steps and then not always. I eat nothing by mouth except pudding and broth. My voice is a faint whisper and it’s a struggle to communicate anything but the necessities.

But don’t feel bad for me, because I am content.  I will have my family around me and we will enjoy our time together.

Here are a few (of the many) things I am grateful for this week:

1.  My home:  we bought our home from a couple who built this house right after they immigrated  from Sicily in 1972.  It was the space and yard we wanted, but the decor had not ever changed!  We’ve shed blood, sweat, tears and spent countless hours and dollars fixing this place up…and we love it now.  Add to that the recent renovations to make it  handicap-accessible and it’s quite comfortable for me.  It’s our home and there is no place I’d rather spend my final days.

2.  My extended family from both sides:  My step dad passed away in 2001; My mom passed away in 2009.  Both deaths left a huge void; I still miss them terribly.  But the family I have left have been phenomenal.  The ones that live out of state support me with their prayers, love, texts and calls.  Everyone from CA and PA has been to visit me in the past few months, along with my IN and IA relatives.  Dena’s parents, Ross & Karen Stevens, who now live locally, help me daily with everything from replacing the doorbell batteries to sitting with me so Dena can jog.  They truly treat me as a son.

3.  Communication devices:  Through this blog,  and the way it’s passed through Facebook, I am able to share my story.  My friends and family all over the world are kept informed.  Through email and texting, I am likewise greatly encouraged by thoughts that are daily sent my way.

4. God’s Word:  I read Scripture on my ipad or my family reads it to me.  I will never grow tired of hearing God’s promises.  They bring me comfort, conviction and courage.

5. Paige & Parker:  Every family faced with a terminal diagnosis must make a decision: to retreat or to live.  We have chosen as a family to continue living.  That meant that Paige kept her plans to attend college 2.5 hours away.  It meant that Parker still tried out and participated in the fall play.  It’s not always easy for them.  They don’t always have good days.  You see the smiles on Facebook, but there are tears too.  Their lives have drastically changed and they have made sacrifices.  They are each working through this with the Lord and the help of His people. I am very proud of them both.

6.  My hospice team:  Each day I get visits from the various members of St John Hospice.  These people are amazing.  They are professional, kind and caring.  They are helping us in big and small ways.  Hospice is another benefit of having this disease in this day and age, and it allows people like me to stay in our own homes.

Quietness is new to me;  I am accepting it.  It’s in quietness that we can check our relationship with the Lord.  We can pray and we can listen.

I pray you each enjoy your holiday and count every day as a blessing.

Isaiah 30:15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

  1. Theresa Ferry says:

    Thank you for sharing those things you are great full for, YOU are a blessing and encourager!

  2. Tim Vermilyea says:

    Just want to say thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Patrick. You have been a blessing to many through your transparency – you are showing us that it is possible to face the biggest of hurdles with God’s help. Folks up in Quebec are praying for you and your family as we share your story with them.

  3. Billie Baucom says:

    what can I say, but your blogs are such an encouragement to all who read them. thank you for the Godly example that you set before us each and every day. 1 of the beautiful things about the written word is that you can read it and reread it and still be blessed by it . thank you Patrick, Deanna, Paige and Parker for your wonderful testimonies during this most difficult of times .

  4. Joe DiVietro says:

    Another reason to give thanks is that your Fighting Irish are #1 in the nation with a week to go! I know how much you and I liked to spar with the Michigan Notre Dame games way back when I lived with you and Dena. I hope they win it all for you! Praying for you brother! You were and still are a spiritual dad for me! You amaze me everyday with your strength and faith!

    Praying for you and Dena!
    Joe DiVietro
    Aka “the prodigal”

  5. Terri Rios says:

    I have never met you Patrick but have followed your story since I heard about your diagnosis in the Lake Ann Camp Newsletter. Your words and testimony bring tears to my eyes every time I read your update. I am praying for you Dena and the children. Thank you for your openness and sharing.

  6. Janet Rice says:

    Just wanted to say that each of you have displayed Christ in an amazing way despite your obstacles you still continue to perservere through them and allow Christ to shine through you. Thank you for your transparency. I pray that you will continue to find comfot and strength through the written Word of God. Praying that you and your family will enjoy your family time. So thankful for the care that you are receiving through Hospice. I pray for your family daily. Tim Vermilyea said it well that “you are showing us that it is possible to face the biggest hurdles with God’s help.” We are greatful for you and are a blessing to so many.

  7. Diana Eisner says:

    As I read this blog, I see Christ shining through your life in every post you write. You have been real with what you have said and have told us. Thank you to both you and Dena for the example you have been to literally thousands of people. Brian and I will always cherish those few hours we spent with you in your home this past summer. It was a precious time to spend with you. We love you both!!

  8. glendasmusic says:

    Thank you for reminding us all that knowing God personaly makes even this part of the life of a believer…worth it all!!!

  9. Russ Arbuckle says:

    Your quietness is the best when there is just you and God. You speak to Him and He to you. What a loving relationship. We love you all. Russ & Karin Arbuckle

  10. Dave and Kathy Cortner says:

    We pray for you and as we think of blessings at Thanksgiving, we thank God for you, Patrick – your postive, godly example and we thank you for your impact and mentoring for Brady. We love you and your family.

  11. Aaron Manzella says:

    You and your family are constantly in my prayers. I am thankful for your ministry and the testimony that you now have. Your example of Christ’s power in your life always touches my heart and reminds me how our attitudes should be during times of adversity. I am thankful for you and this blog.

  12. Shirley Piatek says:

    What all of the other posts have said, are the truth! Patrick, Dena, Paige & Parker, you are all in my prayers daily. You are right Patrick, when you say that we see the smiles on the faces on Facebook, but we do not see the tears, and we know that they are there also. You have been give a very difficult journey to travel, but you are all shining examples of how God wants us to live throughout the most difficult of times. I’m am quite sure that God is very pleased with each of you. Thank you for being open and honest and sharing with us, your journey. Sending Love, Hugs and Prayers to the entire McGoldrick Family ~ Larry & Shirley Piatek

  13. Dave & Liz Kaynor says:


    Thanks for the blog. I appreciate your perspective on things. It must be so different from what life used to be.

    Some of the YPs and I are headed down to WAyne State tomorrow to check it out for BASIC. Don’t k ow if we will go there or not next year but we are checking it out.

    Any new ideas for BASIC? Since you have time to think, let me know any ideas. You are an idea guy!


    Sent from my Tricorder

  14. Tim Ahlgrim says:

    Patrick and family, I think of and pray for you all very day. I am humbled to keep up with all. Thanks for the updates.
    Tim Ahlgrim

  15. Jane Miniard says:

    I’m praying that you and your family will have a blessed Thanksgiving. Thanks for your words of encouragement to live each day to the fullest and be thankful for everything we’ve been given.

  16. Kay Morrow says:

    I love getting your blogs. Your family is awesome. I think It’ts great that you have made your home a place where emotions can be freely expressed. i think that’s awesome and it must be such a tension reliever for all four of you. You home sounds warm and friendly just like you and Dena. Thank you for your transparency. That’s a real asset. Well, you will continue to be in our prayers. I’m so very thankful that we were able to learn of this. It’s a privilege to pray foy you. We love you, Kay and John Morrow

  17. Pat Bradford says:

    Love you all…”Be still and know that I am God!!”

  18. Lucy says:

    We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers; we are also like many other humbled and encouraged by your postings. I have a patient at the nursing home I work, in the same situation as yours, he is being there for 4 years but now sharply declining, he is not a believer and I see he has no peace. Thank God for the peace he pours on you.

  19. Gail Archet says:

    Patrick it may be hard on Paige, Parker,and Dena but it is a gift for them to walk u to God’s front door and they will have a God sent testimony to bring others to The Lord. Your testimony has touched and reached people from all over the country and the world to show them that God’s is with u in the storms of life. A billboard I saw is so right God never promised you smooth sailing only a safe harbor. Have a wonderful thanksgiving with the ones you love.

  20. Becky Blackwell says:

    Praying for all of you daily! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  21. Les and Judy Johnson says:

    What a blessing you are. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We have such fond memories of you and the bible study.
    We thank our God up[on every remembrance of you (Philippians 1:3)

  22. Judy Stafne says:

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day with your family. We plan to spend the day with our son who has ALS. We thank God for everyday we have with him.

  23. Mark Beaujean says:

    My Brother. You have been and continue to be such a blessing in my life. I was going to wait until Thanks Giving day to send you a message. But in light of the fact that I could beat you home, I guess I should not wait. The ministry that God blessed in your life has touched so many. And I am one who knows with complete certainty that I know God more because I sat under your teaching. And did my best to run along side one of Gods faithful servants. I am eternally blessed to know you. My words cannot express how much my life has been changed by sharing time with you. So many times you listened as we shared where we were at in lives struggles. You always were gracious and kind to point me in the God honoring way. And when I needed a stern correction you did not hesitate help me see Gods point of view. Your example is one that puts Christ on display. So I am thankful to be able to say that Patrick McGoldrick is my friend. And because of the love of Jesus Christ in our lives you are my friend for eternity.

  24. Carl Reichanadter says:

    Patrick, When the time comes for the Lord to take me home I hope I respond as you have. You are a great encouragement to many brother! Carl

  25. Andrea Butler Allison says:

    Hi, Patrick and Dena. I was at BBC with you guys (class of ’89)…I worked in the cafeteria and was known for being the Snack Bar manager for a few years. Through facebook I have learned of Patrick’s illness. I was truly blessed by his sermon back in April, and have continued to be inspired by these blogs. I want you to know that you have had an impact on my life, and countless others. Well done, good and faithful servant. These words mean little coming from me, but will fill your heart with the greatest joy coming from our Father! God Bless you all continually.

  26. Matt Pollock says:

    Once again, I am so thankful for the opportunity to hear of your journey through these challenges. I also really appreciate these communication devices because those of us on the receiving end are gaining huge blessings by hearing from you. Thank you for the extra efforts to share your walk with the Lord, Patrick. You are making a major impact on me and my whole family, -Matt & Rosemary Pollock

  27. Sandy Love says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Dena and Pat. Your emails are always so inspirational to me. May God truly bless you this Thanksgiving giving memories to your family for many years to come. sandy and dave love.

  28. Bea Lovins says:

    Hi Patrick, Happy Thanksgiving to you Dena and the children. God is good all the time

  29. Jana Braden says:

    We all continue to pray for you fervently and regularly. With love…

  30. Shirley Deacon says:

    I can never read your posts without a tear or two. God frequently brings you to my mind and I pray for you. I know you probably don’t see yourself as an inspiration to others, but you are. You may not realize what a profound statement you made when you said “that every family faced with a terminal diagnosis must make a decision: to retreat or to live”. That is so very true. Those of us who have gone through trials, yet none like yours, pray that we would have the grace that you have expressed.Thank you for your testimony of a life well lived.

  31. Sue Eskelinen says:

    Dear Pastor McGoldrick,
    I dont know you but I know who you work for! Your light shines bright for our Lord and Savior and you continue to be a witness for all of us. Its amazing how you are giving us hope and strength and a joy to serve our Savior! To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us, and that is so evident when we watch you. Thanks you so much for being a blessing and that goes for your wife as well. Sue and Andy Eskelinen

  32. Joanna Carter says:

    Pat and Dena, Thanks for the recent posts. This last one came to me over and over last night, even in my dreams. Not sure if last night was especially hard, but I cried and prayed– it seemed much of the night. This afternoon, more tears and more prayer. I am praying for God to comfort and sustain you. Your posts are a sermon to me each time I read them. God is speaking to me as I read them. Much love and prayers… Joanna (Arp) Carter

  33. Mary Stahl says:

    Patrick and Dena Paige and Parker I and my entire family are here at your disposal and forever I will always be just say the word and we will be there we are truly blessed to know you and love you Patrick as a brother and the kids adore you and Dena thank you for all the smiles and for always being there to help with stuff God bless this family now and forever love always the Stahl family(Mary Kevin Ted and Erin)

  34. Jonathan says:

    Your blog is such an encouragement. Thank you for continuing to post your thoughts and feelings. You’re still functioning as a pastor, you’ve actually increased your congregation. Praying you have a wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving with your family.

  35. Lori ledford says:

    I am a hospice social worker and I have a 38 year old patient with ALS. I have followed Pastor Pat on his blog and have been able to encourage my patient through Pastor Pat,s words. I will always treasure the memories of youth group. Thanks Pastor Pat for being an inspiration to so many.

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