Our Love Story....
Written by Paulette Zirpoli
On February 11, 1972 I believe God had a plan for our lives as I watched this blonde hair blue eyed cute boy running up and down the basketball court. We were introduced by a mutual friend Claudio. His name was Steve and he asked if he could walk me home. As we walked home he told me "i am going to marry you one day". This really shocked me at the age of 13! I never thought about marriage at that point in my life but as a every girl dreams “someday down the road I want my fairytale wedding!”
As we got to know each other, i noticed that my heart would beat so fast when I would see him. Was this love? It definitely was love!!
We were limited with how much time we had together so we would talk on the phone for hour's every night, not having much to say, but just hearing each other breathing was enough for us. Our time together was always "Precious and Few!" We were inseparable! As time went by everyone knew Steve n Paulette belonged together. He had my heart at 13 and has had it ever since and I had his.
Throughout the middle and high school years even though our relationship was tested, it was magnetic and we always gravitated back to each other!
Over the next few years we grew up together as we saw each other almost every day. Steve was an incredible athlete and I was his best cheerleader. I would ride my bike to Branch Brook Park to watch him at football practice and i would hear "hey Zirp your girl is here" I would see those beautiful blue eyes meeting mine and a quick smile was all we needed because our language back then was already forming from 13. How could this be! I love him! We went to separate high schools and I would walk to school with a group of girls and he took the bus. If the timing was right in the morning we would see each other as I waited for the light to cross the street. We would wave as his bus went by. This made our day! Most people would not understand this, we were in love. Some called it PuppyLove.
After Essex Catholic High School, Steve went onto Fordham University to play college football and study business. I lived home and went to Essex County Adult Technical School and graduated as Certified Medical Assistant. It was always my heart’s desire to help and serve others.
After Steve graduated in May 1980 we had "my fairy TALE in June at the age of 21! And dreamed of living happily-ever-after.
I could go on and on, chapter by chapter about the numerous challenging roads our relationship went down as we started our family and by chasing the worlds definition of success. There’s a book here… However, through it all, our true acceptance of Christ in our lives changed all that and Jesus became the main focal point of our marriage, lives and our supply.
We went thru so much together but our LOVE and our vows before God kept us. We were blessed with two beautiful children Stephanie and Daniel. This just gives you a small piece of "our love story" so you would understand that our love and God’s grace has brought us through the tough time of life.
------- Falling sick with ALS – Currently a disease it is said with no cure -------
I don't know really where to begin, but I will try my best with God's help to portray my story and share the numerous types of feelings one goes through having been given the report of a terminal illness.
My Journey began in January 2014. I had just had my second ankle surgery within six months because of a former surgeon’s mistake. After my surgery, I noticed that something was not right with my voice. At first, did not say anything about it but attributed it to my having anesthesia. However, when it got worse and Steve noticed it, I needed to tell my husband. This was the start of our journey, down a road I now wish upon no one ! As we prayed, we went to every type of doctor imaginable. We had numerous MRI’s, cat scans, scopes, endless bloodwork, b12 injections, fusions, hyperbaric chambers, strong antibiotics and x-rays! Went to speech therapy for many weeks and no one could diagnose what was happening to me.
After eight months of running around I was given the worst news! You have ALS and there is no cure, so go get your house in order! At that point I just cried and shut down as this doctor explained everything that might happen to me as this disease progresses. When I got in our car, i was so angry, I remember screaming and cried and cried. I was so angry.
Our trip back home from New York City seemed so long but when i arrived home i was greeted by all my beautiful family. I am so thankful for them for coming but i sat in my backyard very numb! "I needed to go to another Doctor because this Doctor has to be wrong!" I don't have ALS, i cannot die within 2-5 Years, i will not leave my husband, kid's, family! The following day we scheduled another appointment with a different neurologist, he will tell me that it's not ALS. I will sit on the exam table and wait patiently to hear him say "you don't have ALS here are some pills and your voice will be back. But that is not what happened. He confirmed what I had been told the previous day by the NYC doctor. It was then that I knew that I was up against the fight for my life!
I am ready to fight and my Jesus said He would never leave me. I knew that he loves me and died for Me 2000 years ago to pay the price for my healing. I believe in Miracles and will never give up! God knows the Beginning and the End. Have to have faith in the middle. When You do't see anything happening, that is when you have to stand in faith! Need to “ONLY” Believe and not give up! God said has not forgotten me! He is with me! and will never leave me or forsake me! You will go through the fire but will not be burned! STAND ON ALL MY PROMISES!
YOU KNOW .... I have great hope....... I get questioned so much "how can you smile all the time "and "how can I be so happy and it encourages me " First, I realized it doesn’t cost anything to give a smile away and it has the biggest return. So if see someone without a smile; I give them one of mine.
And second, I also know life is always throwing things our way, we can curl up and give up or we can take on the challenge with all we have and fight the good fight of faith. I have such strong faith and believe that i will receive my miracle!
So I am happy knowing I will beat AL and go on living my love story because it has no end. So my friend's, smile and be happy! I know He is the way, so no matter the way, I will live for eternity with the ones I Love. ---
PS: This was our wedding song.