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from Christine and Matt Lawton

15th July 2011

The years have rolled by and it is now six years on Friday 15th July since we lost our lovely son Paul known to many of you as Lolly. The love and friendship shown to us at that time has not diminished whatsoever and we still receive telephone calls, emails, cards, messages and even visits from friends so close to both Paul and to us. We cannot express just how much all of this support has enabled us to carry on and to cope with the tremendous void that the loss of Paul has created in our lives.

At the beginning of February we had a visit from three of Paul's extremely close friends from Vancouver, Pat, Paul G. and Tony. It was a short visit but it meant so much to us to see these three and also Tony's brother Colin. They all went, along with Matt, to see their beloved Everton play a never to be forgotten game, full of goals with a score of Everton 5 Blackpool 3. Before watching the game they went to the Garden of Remembrance next to the ground where those same friends, on a previous visit had laid a plaque and some of Paul's ashes in memory of their beloved friend Lolly. It was lovely to catch up with them and hear about all that has happened in their lives since we saw them last.

Also in February our dear family friend Louise Cocchetto attended on our behalf, the presentation of the Paul Lawton Memorial Scholarship to a Musical Theatre student of St. Clair College, Windsor, Ontario. This scholarship continues in perpetuity and gives us an opportunity to raise its value each year. It is a tremendous legacy and we are so grateful to Louise for representing us on this occasion at the presentation. We have a lovely picture of Louise and Caitlin, the winning student which we will endeavour to include in "pictures" elsewhere on this website.

Several things have happened throughout the year ensuring us that Paul is with us, guiding, guarding and watching over us. Some of them although truly amazing are too lengthy to share with you at this time but there are a couple of very sweet little stories which are so precious that we feel you would like us to share them with you. They involve our youngest grandson Finn who follows in his Uncle Paul's footsteps with a love of both playing and supporting football or soccer. Unlike his Uncle Paul, Finn is not a true Everton supporter but a true Liverpool supporter. To his credit however he has been known to support both Liverpool and Everton except when they play each other. Finn plays football every week and when he goes out onto the pitch he always looks for a patch of "blue" in the sky and when he sees one, no matter how small it may be, he knows that his Uncle Paul is watching him from Heaven. If he makes or scores a goal, he looks up to find the patch of blue and says "thanks Uncle Paul". Each year the Chester Catholic High School feature excellent, first class musical theatre productions. They recently held auditions for the musical 'Oliver' and Finn along with several hundred other boys auditioned for the part of Oliver. He was successful and got the part. Needless to say he looked for the patch of blue in the sky and whispered his thanks to his Uncle Paul.

Anna our youngest granddaughter is also following in her Uncle Paul's footsteps with her love of music. We bought her a guitar for Christmas last year and in a few short months she amazingly has mastered quite a large repertoire of songs and is also working on songs from the "Great Stuff" album. There is nothing that gives us more pleasure than a musical evening listening to her playing and singing. We are truly thankful for this gift and we know that Paul will be extremely proud of her and so happy that the music goes on.

On Sunday 10th July we had a family Mass here in Chester in memory of Paul and were blessed with the presence there of Norie (Dr. Strausz's youngest daughter) and her husband Dino. They were visiting us at the time. Norie was extremely fond of Paul and we spent a happy time looking at photos and recalling memories of times when as a very young girl she had a "huge crush" on him and was never happier than when she would come out of school and find that Paul had been dispatched by either Dr. Strausz or his wife to pick her up. As a treat he would take her to McDonalds for a burger and milk shake. She loved it! Later when she grew up she loved to buy him designer clothes for Christmas and Birthdays and would spend hours shopping and picking clothes out for him. Paul, not a lover of anything with labels or designer clothes made an exception for Norie and always liked whatever she picked out for him.

There will be another Mass in Paul's memory on Friday 15th at 9.00 am here in Chester and at St. Augustine's in Vancouver at 7.00 pm. Many of you will be attending the Music Festival (Paul's favourite event of the year) in Vancouver during the weekend at Jerico Beach Park and will be gathering around the tree and the bench. We know how precious this place is to all the family of friends in Vancouver; your own special place where you can gather to enjoy friendship, memories and of course music or a place where you can obtain peace and quiet at a time when you may require tranquility. With all of this in mind we have recently arranged with Vancouver Parks for the bench to be kept there and maintained until at least 2026.

In conclusion, inspired by Finn's little stories we leave you with the following words:

As you gather around the tree
I know your thoughts will turn to me
I hope your thoughts are glad, not sad
So look for the "blue in the sky"

I hope there is a gentle sun
To enjoy the music and the fun
And I will be around that tree
So look for the "blue in the sky"

Thank you Lord for the precious gift of our very special son Paul. Thank you for the years we had with him and for all the memories we have of him and thank you for giving us the courage and strength to carry on without him.

You will always be remembered son with immense love and pride.

Mum and Dad
15th July, 2011.

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