Paul alright fella? Hows you? Can you believe I've known you for 25 years? 25 years mate so many stories and so many thank you's. We cant do this face to face so sit back, get a drink and a few tissues for your tears that are bound to fall and let me tell you how much I value knowing you.
I first met you as a 12 year old walking hormone. You were my reason for spending some, what I hoped would be, quality alone time with your sister whilst your Mum and Dad did the whole date night thing before it became fashionable. The only problem with that was you had a real passion for ice cream and unless you had, had at least 4 bowl fulls before bed time you weren't going nowhere, you git hahaha.
We then progressed through the metal years didn't we, the pony tail, megadeath leather jackets and Metallica box sets, oh those were the days, some bloke Id never heard of screeching from your bedroom whilst a pony tail was flung around your room closely followed by your head and the rest of you, moshing I think you called it, I bet you wish you still had as much hair nowadays don't you!
You are a great decision maker, always have been, do you remember the nights ordering takeaways in the flat? You, me and Sarah, all hungry trying to decide what we wanted to eat? The conversations were brilliant:
Paul: What do you fancy?
Sarah: I don't know what is there?
Paul: Well there's Chinese, Pizza, Kebab, Indian, Chippy
Sarah: Oh I don't know you decide
Paul: No Sarah its your turn
Sarah: No you decide
Paul: No you
This would go on for an hour it would then get whittled down to 3...........................
Paul: So Pizza, Indian or Kebab
Sarah: I fancy them all
Paul: So do I
Sarah: Well you choose one then and well pay
Paul: No Ill pay you choose
Another hour later..............................
Paul: So its Indian then
Sarah: Yep Indian it is
Paul: Tony that okay with you?
Me: Sorry I'm not hungry I'm in bed now trying to sleep its 12am and they are all bloody shut!!!!!
You've always been a compassionate person Paul, this showed with your love of animals down the years. The hamster you thought was eating a piece of cheese but had been dead for 3 days, Sam the psychopathic dog that bit everyone he saw, but to your absolute credit you did everything you could to try and change him and you never gave up on him, no matter what the rest of us said and that's you all over.
No matter what life has thrown at you, you just get on with it. Your a very private person and keep things very close to your chest, it takes a long time to get anything out of you but when you do tell others whats on your mind it means you trust them enough to tell them and its an honour to be part of that small group.
I've never told you his but I cant thank you enough for letting us look after Lucy when I was ill. No-one knew how bad I was because I didn't tell anyone. I was scared and didn't want to tell Sarah in case I frightened her. I was gone mentally, I was falling and I couldn't see a way back, it was the darkest place I've ever been, I don't know what bought it on, I just know I couldn't tell anyone how bad I really was. Then you showed up with the dog. Its strange I know but for some reason I connected to her and she became my focus. Taking her for walks late at night just me and her, it just gradually began to get lighter in my head. I don't know I cant explain it but she saved me Paul, and that was due to you. Every time I see her now I say a little thank you to her, because without her to focus on I'm not sure where I would be now.
You are the closet thing I've ever had to a brother, we've disagreed on things in the past but you have been a very important part of my life. You were there when Laura was born, do you remember telling your Mum to leave the room? Sorry about that but it was your dad's idea to get you to do it. You have been there for all of my kids. They love spending time with you, even if most of the time your the biggest kid there and end up getting them into trouble!
All the kids are especially close to each other, the boys especially, and its always a genuine pleasure having them stay, no seriously I mean that, the absolute pain in the arse that they are but they are my nephews and Ill always be there for them. I've watched you grow from a 12 year old walking hormone to a proud father and soon to be husband. Someone who does a job I know I could never do but am immensely proud of you for doing it as the rest of the family are.
Anyway this was just my way of celebrating our friendship of the past 25 years. Thank you for being part of it, its been an experience of laughter and stories well share with the boys when they are older.
Dont go bloody phoning me and talking about this just accept it for what it is and appreciate the impact you've had on my and your sisters life and how bloody grateful we both are that you have shared these last 25 years with us both.
Now then where are those takeaway menus?
Love Tony x