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from Christine and Matt Lawton

11th January 2013

Another Christmas, another New Year, another Birthday. There were times when we thought we would not survive without being able to wish our precious son Happy Christmas, Happy New Year, or sing Happy Birthday to him which we did on every one of his 41 years either personally or over the telephone. To face life without seeing his beautiful smile, feeling his heartfelt hugs, listening to his fascinating stories, or experiencing his perfect love just did not seem possible.

With God’s help, with the love and support from his amazing family of friends and our own personal friends and in the knowledge that Paul was never far away, we have survived and are coping with the loss of such a devoted son who was loved and still is loved beyond measure.

Once again the Lolly Magic tree stands beautifully decorated in Jericho Beach Park with the Everton blue and white baubles and a huge, beautiful wreath decorates the bench. We are so thankful to all of you who do this and in so doing keep our son’s memory alive. We love the fact that it is a meeting place for you all, not only at Christmas, Birthdays and Anniversaries but also during the year and that you tend it with loving care. Thank you so much for sending us so many pictures of your gatherings there and of the beautiful decorations at this time plus the lovely plants and flowers at various times throughout the year. You will never really know just how much comfort we receive from each and every one of you who do this

We love receiving pictures of the children that Paul knew and loved; Shawn and Connie’s son and daughter and Pat and Anne’s two boys and hearing about their lives as they grow up. We also receive pictures of the children he never knew but we know he also loves; Paul G and Sue’s Sam, Cooz and Johnny’s Baela, the Cochetto children Rian and Ciaran and Luke and Andrew from Tara and Brent. It is especially lovely for us to know that the Vancouver children also go to the bench and the Lolly Magic tree and in so doing are coming to know about Paul or Lolly as he is known to them. Pictures of Baela never fail to amuse us and Cooz seems to be able to catch her at such perfect and often funny moments.

Signs of Paul being with us continue to happen either in dreams, white feathers appearing in places where you could never understand how one could appear but are always at very poignant times. One friend told us that recently after surgery she could not sleep due to pain. Suddenly into her mind came the article written by Paul in the book on The Eucharist, published on the day Paul died. By the time she finished the article, her pain had eased and she felt tremendous peace. She now keeps the book by her bed and reads that article every night.

The red rose once again appeared straight and tall one morning in November in Cooz’s garden. As for the Everton rose well, it is just wild, probably due to the ups’ and downs’ of the team! Maybe this year it will settle down and really blossom!!!!

There is an extremely emotional and beautiful account written by George on the website wherein he writes of the friendship between himself and Paul and especially lovely is “The Hand”. What a lovely idea it is to have drawings of the hands of friends and relatives on his wall and how he personalises them. Every one of those hands must tell a story for George. It is gratifying to know that Paul’s passion for music has inspired George to methodically and systematically listen to the vast collection of Paul’s music. We know that Paul would derive much pleasure from this. He used to frequently make tapes for us of music that he liked and thought would appeal to us. They were always entitled “Songs for Mum” “Songs for Dad” or “Songs for Mum and Dad”. With these tapes, always came the same message. “Listen to them at quiet times to really enjoy them”. So, George, be assured that Paul is looking down on you and is very happy at what you are doing.

The Vancouver Guest Book is still flourishing and it is so consoling to see all the messages entered from so many people at various times over the years. Many of them are from people we know and love but there are others who for reasons of their own, do not put a signature. We do wish to thank each and every one of you, those known to us and those unknown to us for your thoughtful messages of comfort and for your tributes to our son.

In closing I must tell you of something special that we have received from a very dear friend. It is an Environmentally Friendly Balloon attached to a card which comes complete with string and instructions of how to use it correctly plus a card on which to write a message. It is entitled “Whispers to Heaven”. I am to blow up the balloon, write a message on the card, attach it to the balloon with the string and let the wind take it up to Heaven. I will do this on his birthday and send it. What a perfectly lovely sentiment this is. The message will of course be "Happy Birthday To Our Darling Son Paul - We Love and Miss You Every Day."

Masses in memory of Paul for his birthday will take place at St. Augustine’s Church, Vancouver on Friday 11th January at 7 pm and here at St. Werburgh’s Church Chester on Sunday 6th January at 1045 am.

Christine and Matt

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