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from Christine and Matt Lawton

15th July 2014

Once again we are approaching the anniversary of the day that changed our lives enormously for ever. Life without the love, the hugs, the smile, the stories and of course the music and the ever present wondering of what would have been if we still had him. I have a very strong feeling that our beautiful Sapna and he would have been together as we have this feeling that he has left her to us as a gift and real part of our family. Her love and that of her family have sustained us more than they could ever know.

Also the support of his "family of friends" what a treasure and gift they have been to us throughout these nine years. Shawn for keeping the website active and a brilliant source of contact, all who keep us informed with pictures and stories of the tree, the bench and of all who gather there to meet and have fun and also to decorate it. The beautiful wreath laid annually by Paul G. and the pictures sent to us by Lisa each time she visits are always beautiful and poignant. Our lovely Coozy who constantly sends pictures and keeps us informed of the sales and continuation of the Great Stuff which forms part of our annual donation to the Paul Lawton Memorial Scholarship which ensures that students at his former College in Windsor, Ontario, receive assistance with their studies of music. It is lovely to see pictures of Baela as she grows and how motherhood has made Couz even more beautiful if that is possible.

We often wonder if there would have been Canadian grandchildren for us and what a wonderful Father he would have been. Also we know how much he would have loved to see the achievements of his nephews and nieces; Caitlin who has completed her fifth year of a 7 year Architectural Course, Colette who has just passed all her exams with high credit in her Master's degree in law and now only has her final dissertation/thesis to complete by September which will be of no real difficulty because writing for her is the easiest part of it - no doubt her writing skills have been inherited from her Uncle Paul who also loved to write and had no difficulty in using 2000 words when 20 would suffice. Then the youngest girl, Anna who had no desire to go to University and has followed in her Nana's footsteps and become a Medical Secretary. Anna has just become Engaged to a very nice young fellow Alex and they hope to get married next year. Peter, who we affectionately call "the brain of Britain" because he is an amazing computer wizard, is doing his finals at the Chester Catholic High School and is very interested in Politics as well as IT so who knows what he will finally do. Then we have Finn who still plays football and looks for the blue in the sky when he either makes or scores a goal. Beverley has made a break from her marriage of 22 years. It is not nice and always sad to see a marriage break down but on the other hand she had put her career on hold and to her immense credit has raised five wonderful children. No doubt her happiness now needs to be considered and she is a much happier person which is so important. She returned to the work force working in the field of neurological science and after only a few short months was promoted to a Department Manager and is now the Clinical Director. There is no doubt that Paul would be so pleased to know that she is happy and proud to know how she has succeeded so well with the children and now with her career.

The other thing that I know Paul would be deriving such pleasure from is watching the children of Shawn and Connie grow and also those of Pat and Anne. It was always evident how much he enjoyed the company of all of them. Sadly he did not meet Sam or Baela but I know in my heart of hearts there is no doubt that he watches over each and every one of them from on high. The rose that pops up so steadily and so quickly each November is enough to know that he is saying hello and that he is ever present.

The Vancouver Sun Guest Book is an immense source of comfort to us as so many people write their messages each birthday and anniversary. There are lots of messages entered and many of them are from
people that we do not know and never have met. One lady Juliet wrote and told us about her pregnancy and continues to write with pictures of her children. This lady is possibly the last person to have ever seen him alive. Hopefully one day we will have the pleasure of meeting her and her lovely children. Others write and sign their name but we don't know who they are and others are anonymous with no name. Craig, who is one of the first musicians to play with Paul when he was no more than sixteen years old writes in the Guest Book with lovely messages of peace and love. The Guest Book is a truly wonderful gift to us both.

We recently had the great pleasure of seeing Tom Landa and his new wife with the Paperboys as they played in a town not too far away from us, close to Manchester. We knew none of the rest of the band but they were excellent and very well received. It was a packed theatre; the audience loved them and did not want them to finish. Undoubtedly it is a hard life going on tour, packed into a van and travelling for hours on end such long distances and it is only dedication that enables it to be accomplished. In all honesty I have to say that I am happy that Paul did have the opportunity to play with the Irish Rovers which took him to places and countries he never had visited before and that he experienced the luxury that went along with travelling and playing with a legendary world class group.

For both Matt and myself, one thing has come from the loss of Paul which is that we have suffered the worst possible thing that we could ever encounter and now, nothing is insurmountable. Yes we do miss him terribly but our memories are immense. For me, the unwavering and demonstrative love that he showered upon me and for Matt, the long chats of football and their united love of Everton are some of the things that will never fade. Whenever Matt goes to an Everton game he wears his Lollypalooza shirt and is constantly asked about it and also all of the bands on the back.

We had him for 41 precious years and as I have said so many times before, we are so thankful for those years and for the gift of our precious Son. He certainly enriched our lives and evidently the lives of many others. At some time next year - 2015 we both hope to make one more trip to Canada. It will be his tenth anniversary so we feel it would be timely for us to make a short trip to be among the friends he held so dear. We feel it should be a happy reunion as that is what he would want so it will not be around July 15th as that would be too sad and not easy to be happy, but possibly earlier in the year.

On Sunday, 13th July we will have a Mass in memory of Paul, here at St. Werburgh's in Chester. This will be for the family as it is too difficult with work and school commitments for them to attend the one that will be held on the 15th for Matt and I. The Sunday Mass will be followed by a gathering for Sunday lunch at a Restaurant here in Chester. There will also be a Mass on Tuesday 15th at St. Augustines in Vancouver at 7pm. for anyone who might like to attend and spend a short time there in his memory but I stress that no one needs to feel obliged to go as it is just that we like to have Mass there in the Parish that he loved and attended.

I would just like to finish with these few words:

Our Beloved Son Paul, we think of you so often in silence and daily we speak your name but you will never ever leave us like your picture in the frame. In our hearts you will always stay loved and remembered every day. Our love always and for ever until the day we meet again. Mum and Dad.

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