The fourth of June is a date of significance for me.
It is the day that I celebrate my beautiful wife's birthday. It is also the day that I lost my elder brother some 13 years ago.
I remember waking in the middle of the night to see two police officers telling my Mum and Dad that there had been accident and that their son had been killed. I will never forget the pain that I felt that night. Equally I will never forget the love shown to my family in the immediate hours of our tragedy. The strength of character that I saw in my parents moves me to tears as I think of it. While their own hearts were broken for the loss of their son, they remained stoic as one by one their children would wake. As each child would wake and come down the stairs Mum and Dad would explain to them what had happened that night and that Gene would not be coming home. I cant begin to imagine what they must have been feeling in those moments but I am forever grateful to them for their amazing strength. Without anytime to deal with their own pain they began to comfort and strengthen their children and reassure us all that things were going to be ok.
The example of my parents on that June 4th night in the year 2000 helped to shape me as a man.
Jo never met my brother Gene. I first met Jo on the 15th of February 2004. Less than a year after our first meeting, she would become my wife. While I have been married to Jo for 8 of the 9 years that I have known her, it is strange to me to think that it has only been that short. It feels like we've been part of each others lives for much longer than that. I never knew her as a child or teenager but when she is telling our boys stories from when she was younger I feel like those stories are a part of "us". It's not just that they are familiar to me in the sense that I have heard them before either. The stories and experiences of her past have helped her to become the beautiful woman that she is now. I love everything about her- and all the things that have lead her to be this way. She is the strongest person I know.
We always joke that we would never have been friends growing up- but now I can't think of life without her in it. Happy birthday Jobags!
On this day I am full of gratitude for two people that I love dearly. One that I was lucky enough to call my brother and the other my girl.