I came to England 23 years ago on 2nd July - not knowing then that that is also my future husband’s birthday.
After our first date he said ‘we’ll take it one day at a time and see where life takes us and that’s how we lived for the next 23 years. We manoeuvred expertly and sometimes stumbled through our cultural differences always taking it a day at a time and knowing that we were each other’s rock and that our love was pure.
I learnt quickly being with Paul not to take life too seriously. Knowing that I was a practising Christian he decided to introduce good old English sense of humour by making me watch 'Life of Brian'! I’m still scarred by it! This was swiftly followed by Ab Fab, Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Alan Partridge to name a few classics.
I also learnt early on not to let him plan any holidays because most of our honeymoon was spent roughing it up in a small island in Malaysia with no running water or electricity chasing the elusive proboscis monkey.
We were ying and yan. We were polar opposites in everything from the type of holidays (he was up for roughing it up and I wanted my 5 star luxury) to shopping to food. But we complemented each other. We were good together.
I can truly say that I am a better person today because of Paul. More importantly I am the parent I am because of Paul. He taught me how to love unconditionally and how to be patient - although Harry and Andrew will say that I have a long way to go!! His moral compass was absolute, his sense of what’s right and wrong unshakeable.
Paul consciously lived a clean healthy life, eating mostly rabbit food, running and cycling most days because he wanted to live a long life, watching his 2 boys grow up and fulfill their dreams and aspirations.
Paul is the first person I think of when I want to share something with - unless of course if it is about shoes or handbags I’ve secretly bought. I’ve lost countofthe times I’ve started to think ‘I need to tell Paul...’ or ‘Paul will find this funny’ in the last 2 weeks.
We had planned our next 30 years together; we were going to grow old together. We were going to share many a proud parent moments together.
Paul was my best friend and soulmate. I cannot imagine our future without him but as one of my dear friends said: there is a bit of Paul in each of us like a stick of rock and therefore we 3 are now 1 and 1/3 and therefore we are still 4 of us.