June 05, 2014

Moreau Lake Tribute To Paul.

Moreau Lake Tribute To Paul
By John R. Greenwood

Paul is my brother-in-law. He passed away Sunday June 1, 2014. Moreau Lake was one of Paul’s favorite go-to spots when he needed to catch a fish or clear his mind. It is also my number one place to go when I need to refuel. It’s close by, beautiful, and in the early morning it has a special feel to it--one of placidity. When I awoke on the day of Paul’s wake I was drawn to walk around the lake in his honor and memory. I grabbed my keys, wrote my wife, Paul's sister, a note and headed up the road a few miles to the park. Below is a piece I wrote from the viewpoint of Moreau Lake paying tribute to Paul for his years of faithful friendship and numerous visits to it’s waters. I felt it would fit well with what Paul was all about; the quiet unassuming support of family, friends, and coworkers. One common theme has been repeated over and over in his memory: “Good Friend”. I felt it made sense for a lake to pay homage to a man who did not take the beauty of a lake or a friend for granted. He appreciated every hug, every joke, every memory shared among his peers regardless of whether they hadn't seen each other for years or not. If you were a true friend he didn’t keep score. 

Here is,
Moreau Lake Tribute To Paul:

Dear Paul,

I’d tell you that we’d miss you but that won’t be necessary, for the waters below know very well you will be here with us as we greet each sunrise and savor each rising moon. As our peaceful waters gently caress the sandy shore we know you are near. 

You will always be as close as all of God’s children, the wind and the rain. Each honk of a lone goose will let us know you are near. The heavy croak of a bullfrog from deep within the tall grass will comfort our hearts and let us know that you are at peace with the past. 

We vow to keep our shore’s leaf filled branches waving in bright optimism for those left behind, so that they might continue on with their life, without regrets. Each song of a songbird whose chorus spreads across the rippled water will carry your memory. 

Whether the fish chooses to surrender to the fisherman, or put up a fight, the feeling will include you. It will be joyful and right. 

So dear Paul, from the heartbeat of Moreau Lake, to your generous and loving spirit, we plan for your presence and look forward to your stay. 

So many you’ve touched with your kindness and friendship we can only say, “We’re proud to call you our son too.” 


The Shores of Moreau 

I swear to you, as I penned the last word of this tribute to Paul, a flock of geese could be heard approaching from the mountain behind me. As if on cue they performed a calculated ‘Fly Over’. There were at least one hundred geese honking in perfect rhythm. The breeze was gentle. The sun shone like a beacon. As I tilted my head to the sky and as the formation V’d high across the lake, I noticed one lone goose well off to the right of the others, flying with all his might. Every other goose was in a ruler straight ‘V’. As my heart filled and my eyes flooded, as the ‘V’ minus one approached the far side of the lake, I saw that lone goose enter into the formation with an accuracy that made me smile from shore to shore and my heart pound with the knowledge that beyond a shadow of a doubt that, that was indeed Paul joining the others. He was well on his way to more beautiful lakes and vistas beyond such description that we have yet to see. 

Peace to you Paul, 



  1. Thank You John!
    Paul's sister

  2. What a lovely tribute to your brother-in-law. Peace to you, your wife, and all of Paul's family.

  3. It's hard to see the computer screen for the tears in my eyes. Indeed, Paul was feeling your every emotion and the love that poured from your heart as you penned him such a heartfelt message. My condolences to you and your wife. May every walk around this lake in the future bring you comfort and inspiration. He is near.

  4. A beautiful tribute from a beautiful place. Paul had a wonderful brother-in-law. As did you. I am sorry for you and your family's loss.