When I was 13 years-old my sister Sue got married; she was 19. I would be remiss if I didn’t first off, thank my brother-in-law, Paul, for giving me strep throat on that day! He was sick as a dog and as people went through the receiving line after the ceremony, I’m not so sure we knew he was contagious. I tried not to get to close, but lo and behold I am the only one who got strep! But I’ve let that go…
Sue and Paul welcomed their son Eric in October that year, followed by Sandra and Phillip over the next few years. They have been married for more than 36 years, serving as role models (somewhat reluctantly, I’m sure) for so many. I, along with the rest of the family, have been witness to and supporters and participants of, tremendous changes in their lives.
My brother-in-law went back to college in his 30’s, studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a wonderful artist. His medium of choice has changed over the years, from illustration to painting, to photography, to bonsai, to pottery; he can do almost anything! It seems whatever he touches, it is (in layman’s terms) beautiful. I have quite a bit of his pottery in my home and recently gave it as a gift as well, much to the delight of the gift’s recipient.
When our grandchildren lived with us, Paul was the consummate uncle to them. They LOVED being with Uncle Paul and Aunt Sue. Going out on Uncle Paulie’s boat, or to the art museum, or just hanging out watching a movie; they loved spending time with him. Coco even had a pretty good Uncle Paulie impersonation, slipping her little feet into his big shoes, putting on a pair of eyeglasses, positioning her finger over her upper lip pretending it was a moustache. Then she’d walk around the living room saying, “I’m Uncle Paulie. I’m Uncle Paulie.” It made us all laugh so hard.
On this, Paul’s birthday, I want to thank him for being a loving husband to my sister, a great father to my nephews and niece, a superb grandpa to Liam and Lily, a grand Uncle to Coco, Kash, and Izzy; and, most importantly to me, the world’s best brother-in-law. Love you, Paulie!