Paul DeCrescenzio was a good buddy of mine. He was about 3 years younger than me. I'd known him since I was 17. When I was about 19, we dated for a couple of years. Afterwards, I met Mike Dennis. Over time, Mike and I married. At some point during the marriage, Paul & Mike became friends. Some time after our divorce in 2000, Paul lost a co-worker due to the job market and thought about Mike. Mike also had lost his job around the same time. They started installing cabinets together and have become the closest of buddies, sometimes working all 7 days a week. They even went on deep-sea fishing trips every few months with Paul's brother and other friends.
Mike went to Paul's house yesterday morning as always to park his car and pack-up equipment and head to work with Paul. For some reason when Mike pulled up, Paul's brother, Michael, was at the house. He had been worried that Paul wasn't answering his calls that morning about a job they were going to work on. Mike walked in, and saw Michael sitting on the couch, very distraught. Paul was dead. I will not go over what we know, but it had nothing to do with any of us, or his immediate family. Shortly after, his wife Brandy came home. Michael had called her. Throughout the day, other family members from both sides came. And the usual array of police, ambulance, etc.
It was a very rough day, and a horrible night's sleep.
Today, we'll go see his family together, and the man who handled their job bills, to help tie up loose ends with work, and to see what else we can do for the family, if anything.
Paul and Mike were independent, contracted installers. They did not have insurance to cover a funeral, nor is this considered a 'secure' job. Mike is now no longer employed. He was an apprentice. He is hoping Michael will take him on, but we know that is a slim chance - Michael has a full crew, and few jobs. He does new-home construction. Mike only knows half of what Paul knew. This leaves him in a bad position.
Brandy cannot afford to bury her husband. I cannot imagine what is going to happen. I know she'll have help, and I know some of you know what a funeral costs. It's ridiculous. She was devastated. Paul was the only man she'd ever known. She was 3 years younger than him. Mike said she wailed and wailed. I'm so glad I wasn't there. Mike cried so much while he was here last night.
Paul's father is terminally ill with liver cancer, so please keep him and Paul's mom in your deepest prayers. Also, his brother Michael, wife Brandy, 2 children by his first wife, and friends.
Please keep Mike in your prayers for a job. There's not much out there for this. New-home construction has slowed considerably here.
The viewing will be Monday night 6-8 pm Thompson's Funeral Home, Augusta Road, Lexington, SC.
Thank you so much.