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from Christine and Matt Lawton

15th July 2012

"Time Waits For No Man". That expression is so true. Time has ticked by and certainly has not waited for us to ever stop grieving for Paul. Time has, however, helped us to cope with this tremendous loss, grief, and the ever-present ache. For Paul's sake, knowing how much he would want us to cope, we have tried to do just that. It is not easy, we miss everything about him; his love, his hugs, his smile, his stories, his concern. his all-round lovely, considerate and extremely loving nature. We do thankfully, have the memories, we have his music and we have his wonderful friends who have stayed in touch and involved us in their lives. Every picture, every phone call, every e-mail means so much and has been a tremendous part in helping us to feel that he has not gone completely because his memory lives on in their lives as it does in ours. The fact that these friends who meant so very much to Paul just as he did to them, have kept us involved in their lives, is a tremendous source of strength to us and we feel very loved.

We were recently away on vacation in Tenerife; went into a restaurant and the waiter came to us with a menu. The waiter was the image of Hanz. The likeness was incredible. Not only did he look like Hanz with that beautiful face and smile but he had the same gentle manner. Needless to say we went there every day and he greeted us with a welcoming handshake for Matt , a hug for me and the usual continental kiss on both cheeks. We had a picture of Hanz in Matt's I-pad taken when he was playing his flute at the bench and tree and we showed it to the young man; even he was astounded at the likeness. Last year Hanz sent us a copy of his latest CD on which there is a collection of incredibly lovely Christmas music, played as only Hanz can with his amazing and unique talent for the flute and other wind instruments. Hanz always has and still does call me Mum for which I feel honoured.

We have pictures of Pat's boys, Shawn's daughter and son, Paul G's Sam and of course a steady stream of pictures of Baela who never fails to bring a smile and brighten the greyest of days with her antics. Couz has the knack of capturing her at just the right time. All of these things keep us in touch not only with Paul's friends but also with the children that he loved - Pat and Ann's sons and Shawn and Connie's daughter and son. I am quite sure that although he never met Sam or Baela, he watches over all of them and loves each and every one of them. All of these things illustrate just how much Paul's family of friends have continued to keep us in their lives in so many ways. The picture sent to us of a very dark sky with a tiny patch of blue plus Genesis playing as they all arrived at Paul G's 50th birthday tells us that not only are the friends keeping us involved in their lives but Paul is also with them in their lives.

Earlier in the year we had a lovely email from Lisa who is now very happily married. She sent us some brilliant pictures and brought us completely up to date with what is going on in her life. It was so good to hear from her. She visits the bench and tree and has taken her family there also.

We also had an email from Couz telling us that she had gone to the bench and tree and found a lovely Lavender had recently been planted there but didn't know who had planted it. During a conversation with Peter (Matt's brother - Paul's Uncle) he mentioned that one of his employees who goes to Vancouver fairly regularly to visit relatives, always makes a point of going to the bench and tree and planting something. These people never even knew Paul personally but each time they go they make that visit to the bench and tree. They were the ones who planted the Lavender.

It is heart-warming to know that so many people especially Couz, Baela Milan, George, Sapna and others take the time to care for the plants and decorate it at Christmas and Paul's birthday and Paul G laying a Christmas wreath on the bench. It is such a very special place for you all to gather and have a special time with Paul and most of all have fun and good times which is exactly what he would want especially this weekend, the weekend of his favourite Music Festival, The Vancouver Music Festival. Ironically we lost Paul that very weekend of the Festival that he loved so much but the bench and the tree have become the place for you to meet up and gather during the Festival, enjoy it and spend some time with him on such a memorable and yet happy occasion.

The Rose at Everton planted at the time of Pat, Paul G., and Tony's visit has had a few hiccups just like his beloved team!!!! but is still growing strong,

The CD of Paul's music "Great Stuff" is still being sold and played and the proceeds go to the Paul Lawton Music Scholarship at St. Clair College. The recipient this year was a young girl by the name of Caitlin O'Connor.

We thank God for the gift of a very special and precious son in our lives for 41 years and for the love and involvement in the lives of Paul's loved ones for the past 7 years for which we thank each and every one of you.

There will be a Mass in Paul's memory at St. Augustine's Church in Vancouver at 7.00 pm on MONDAY 16th July and here in Chester at St. Werburgh's on Sunday 15th July.

OUR LOVE AND OUR THANKS TO ALL OF YOU.

Chris and Matt.

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