Paula Stiles to be honoured with benefit Lacrosse match
Kirk Babiak struggles to follow Stiles' example and stay positive
Each day Kirk Babiak finds himself rereading the text message fewer and fewer times.
"Goodnight sweetheart. I love you." Paula Stiles' final words to the man she loved.
- Paula Stiles final text to Babiak
The next morning the 44-year-old mother was found dead in her home. Police still haven't charged her murderer.
"I keep going back and back and back, wishing," Babiak said. "Had I just stayed there that night, maybe it would be different."
Babiak has harboured that thought for 2½ months.
He remembers the frantic phone call from the Stiles' family nanny around noon on April 15th, telling him to come over right away.
He called Stiles, but she didn't answer. It never occurred to him that something might have happened to her, even when he arrived to see her home surrounded by police cars.
"I couldn't imagine. I couldn't fathom that something like that could happen," he said.
Babiak said he fell in love with Stiles just a year ago and their relationship grew serious right away.
"She was beautiful, kind, wonderful."
They planned to move in together with her three daughters and his two sons. They had even looked at houses, but ultimately decided they would renovate his home.
He said their kids had already begun to consider each other siblings.
Babiak said he is only now starting to recover from the grief, and only because Stiles wouldn't want him to dwell on what he's lost.
"She would want people to move forward and try to find happiness," he said.
Part of that recovery is finding ways to honour her, and looking out for her three surviving daughters.
He's involved in a benefit Lacrosse game on July 15th to pay tribute to Stiles, who loved the game, and to raise funds for her daughters.
He said the benefit match, organized by a few of her friends, is exactly the kind of thing that Stiles herself would have organized for someone in need.
"She would do anything for anybody that she cared about," he said. "She was absolutely tireless."