Where do I start with this one.
My husband Phteven and I are soulmates. This is just fact. Like gravity. Like life, death, or paying taxes.
I attribute every strange twist and turn on the broken road that led us to each other to divinity, and magic and some very special people who shaped us both to be the people that we are, with the ability to be so deeply and inextricably linked and deeply vulnerable and adventurous together.
There’s a few people and couples who deeply affected our perception of Love and family.
One of the most important for my husband was the Borland family. Brian and Heather were like a mother and father to a gangly, geeky, lonely little boy who was best friends with their son Daniel. And their willingness to take him in and give him hugs and boundaries, and model what being a part of a traditional family looked like, well… that’s probably one of the most integral reasons for us being together today. He believed enough in family and raising children, after having a much less than stellar childhood, to submit to my demands to become a breeder. I often think Brian and Heather, and their children Daniel and Melinda played a big part in his brain being able to accept this life path. Lucky for me, as I wasn’t going to back down on the kids thing, and here we are a decade and a half later.
So, it is not great secret that Phteven had a rough childhood. His dad was out of the picture from the time he was 7 and his mom was very busy putting bread on the table and keeping the wolf from the door. Add to this his epic intellect and equally epic void in social graces and childhood and adolescence was certain to be a bit of a struggle, and from every account I’ve had, it was.
In the midst of the tumultuous time that was his childhood, there was a home with a piano and peace and quiet and the sweet smell of home cooked meals.
This large, warm, meandering home at the bottom of a hill in Birkenhead is where my husband spent most of his time. This was the family he chose, and thankfully chose him back.
Shortly after we started dating Phteven took me to meet this family, as their approval was integral to the successful coupling of us. The family Loved me, and called me a hurricane. I feel equally in Love with them, and agreed with their diagnosis.
Shortly after meeting the Borlands we were engaged and about a year after that we were married. The Borlands were front and centre at the wedding reception in the HP building at the bottom of the city in Auckland. Their son, my husband’s best childhood friend, was unable to attend in his capacity as best man as he was invited, as he was on a cruise ship sewing wild oats and playing the piano.
In true Brian style, he said a speech. He talked about the awkward and loveable child Steve was and he beamed to see him so happy.
Ten years later the same again. We renewed our vows and Brian beamed in a speech to all our beloved cast and crew of friends and families about how well his surrogate son had turned out.
Brian was so proud of Steve. And so deeply in Love with his beautiful, gentle, warm and humble wife Heather.
I don’t want to ramble on too much here, as writing is bringing on the waves of tears that come every time I think of the tall, gentle, musical man that played such an important part in my husband’s life.
Brian, if you are listening, and I feel that you are. Know that we Love and appreciate you. We’ll work hard to stay in closer contact with your beautiful family, who I know were the proudest of your many amazing achievements.
Thank you for the years of friendship and Love for myself and my mother in law, children and especially Steve.
I don’t have the words to say how deeply sad, and unprepared we all are to have lost you Brian. We had more wine to drink and music to hear together.
Thank you again Mr. Model airplanes and Chesdale Cheese anthems. You might not have known how much I Love and admire you while you were here, but I hope you can see it from wherever you are now.
From all the West clan –
Steve, Dee, Nicole, Daniel, Stephanie-Jane, Adam, and James West