Thursday, 30 December 2010

My brother

When I think of Paul, how can I not be reminded of his exuberance? That vivacity that just exuded from him meant his presence always filled the room, even without speaking. That sparkle in his eye – often seen with just a quick wink and a cheeky smile that went from ear to ear, said it all.

He could often be heard before he could be seen, although I’m sure I could squeeze a height joke in there somewhere that he would roll his eyes at! As a little girl, that volume was the signal that my brother had arrived. I have so many memories of tearing down the stairs or scrabbling past people crowding the hallways, just so I could get to him. We were always met with an enveloping hug and a squeeze. You always felt like he was excited to see you.

I remember seeing his shadow in the door way with that familiar and safe voice of his calling out and just running full speed from the back of the garden, filled with delight. Only to then crash land on my knees when I attempted to jump the patio wall. That moment is so clearly cut in my mind, not for it’s painfulness but for how it demonstrated classic Paul. You see for me, when I remember him it’s not just his energy of his character but his tenderness. Paul loved fiercely. I remember kisses on my knees and being swept up off of the paving slabs into safe arms and snuggles on the sofa.

On my wedding day, I didn’t manage to see Paul very much but I felt his pride and his overwhelming approval all day long, often met with winks or broad smiles. He caught me for a few quiet moments in the afternoon and just held my hands and kissed my cheek. He didn’t say very much at all but he didn’t need to.

Just a few months ago, he was the Master of Ceremonies at a family wedding, a job surely created for him! His presence did indeed fill the space and his joy for them came across in the words his gave. Yet in the midst of the partying and the people, Paul sat on a sofa in a quiet room with his arms wrapped tightly around Beks and I. We sat for a quite a while, just enjoying each others company, with few words. I will cling on to that recent memory because it reminds me how his character often showed softness and warmth. I can never be mistaken how intensely he loved us.

Paul, I loved you too. I was so proud to have you as my big brother. I will remember your lust for life, the magnitude of your bravery and how you loved me. I have been so inspired by you. When people ask me what you were like, that is what I will tell them.

Thank you for loving me the way you did.

I’ll love you always,