My son-in-law Alex

I wanted to write about the wonderful memories of the times Alex spent in our home in Birmingham last year. Alex would come here for a couple of days each week from June to September, before Ali moved down to Brightwell. I remember us all being so excited, with Ali, when we were waiting for Alex to arrive and her rushing out when she heard the sound of his car pulling into our drive. He had a magical quality about him which made everything better when he was around. I have lovely memories of lots of things: Alex and Ali snuggled up on the sofa, discovering they shared the same taste in chocolate bars and laughing about lots of things together, making sticky toffee pudding with him,

Alastair buying shoes from a retro shop one day because Alex said they were cool (even tho they don’t really fit him and he limps around a lot when he wears them!), Alex stopping my dripping kitchen tap (he was the only person he could do that and so we would just shout out “Alex” every time it needed sorting), and he and Ali beating Alastair and me at Risk.

He would often be sitting peacefully on the sofa, seemingly asleep, and then suddenly open his eyes and join in the conversation, totally aware of everything we’d been talking about. I remember the day he arrived for the tennis club dinner having forgotten his dinner suit and having about half an hour to buy another one with Ali and Emily. That evening, he was particularly sleepy in the taxi on the way to the dinner, and we were concerned that it would be too much for him, but once we arrived he triggered into his sociable, charming self , always listening to people and asking questions and being interested in them – something I saw him do so often.

The day Alex asked Alastair and me for Ali’s hand in marriage was one I will never forget and the secret phone calls we had in the week before he asked her. I don’t think I stopped smiling for the whole week and when the proposal evening came, Alastair and I sat in our kitchen anxiously waiting for the phone call from Ali. Joyful times followed when we the Strain family got to know the Lewis family so well and spent such special and memorable times together.

I will never forget Alex and the positive influence he had on me and the joy he brought into our home. I never heard him complain about anything, ever and it was a privilege to know him. He will always be my son-in-law.


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