How to love Alun

In case I die, this is what I want you to know:

Alun is the love of my life. He is actually really, really easy to love so my ‘instructions/guide’ are probably unnessessary – but I wanted to leave something of myself behind…for him. So bear with me on this one.

Alun loves being around his friends, so encourage that as much as you can. His best friends in Wales are Wayne Cole, Jon (don’t know his surname), Sam Flower, Dan Kalmarzie, Christian Vanstone…and they will put you onto a load of other really, really nice guys from Alun’s Rugby team or home town of Rhiwbina in Wales. His friends here in Perth are usually a bunch of old men at the Russel Inn or Morley Pub – they all have ridiculous names (eg; “Thirsty Pete”, “Johnny Sunday”) but they all think highly of Alun (Ed and Nicole especially) and he loves being around them. Al has good friends Ash and Matt that he mountain-bikes with. Ash lives in Albany. Encourage visits down there as often as possible as Ash is a really amazing guy and a great influence on Alun – especially as he doesn’t drink and is super healthy – it’s good for Al to be around him. Make sure Alun is around his friends always, they make Alun laugh.

Alun has 7 different laughs, you know:

  1. The ‘that was funny‘ laugh – raucous and lovely
  2. the “I remember something from my past” laugh – it’s really lovely and usually used when he watches TV and something sets his memory off
  3. the “It’s stupid/probably not funny at all – but I want to tell you about it” laugh
  4. the “I’m in a great mood and I want to laugh so I’ll find everything and anything hilarious right now – whether it’s funny or not” laugh. You’ll hear this most after Alun’s had a good day and usually when he’s listening to his favourite crew (Kate, Tim and Joel) on the radio – Alun loves them. This one’s my favourite laugh.
  5. the ‘you caught me doing something mischevious and I’m not sorry about it at all’ laugh. It’s more like a cheeky giggle and I love the sound of it. I suspect Alun uses it to get out of trouble and it works. Every time.
  6. the ‘I’m being polite‘ laugh – usually reserved for formal ocassions or when Alun is with someone he doesn’t know very well and they laugh at something. It’s a quiet chuckle and is really cute but Al’s smile doesn’t reach his eyes the way the rest of his laughs do.
  7. The ‘I love you/I think highly of you but you’re an idiot” laugh – I get this one a lot. I love it.

Alun loves doing things – mostly outdoors, like climbing, biking, hiking, paddleboarding – anything adventurous – so take him on adventures. Please.

Al loves his job as a Nurse but suffers badly from having a big heart and seeing patients at the hospital die – so always be gentle with him. Listen to him when he talks because Al tries to keep everything inside so in the rare ocassion when he does open up, drop everything to listen to him. It’s important.

Alun can get very sad, overwhelmed and tired – so to cheer him up, ask him about his adventures with his friends. It will work instantly. Alun loves talking about getting up to mischief with his mates so ask him about how “Huw Barrier” got his name. Ask him about falling out of a tree with Dan. Ask him to tell you how he got a certificate in going through a tunnel.

In the even that Alun is feeling especially low, ask Alun about how many bones he’s broken and how – Alun loves telling people about them and as he tells you, his face lights up, he sits up straighter and puffs his chest out…it’s something really beautiful to watch. Al has a terrible memory (alcohol is to blame) so ask Alun about these broken bones as often as you can, he will forget he told you just last night about them and delight in telling you again. Listen with everything you have.

Touch Alun. A lot. Alun is a very tactile person so he loves to be touched. Hold his hand, rub his leg, put your arm around him, hold him close when he’s happy – or when he’s hurting. It’s important. When you pass Alun on your way to the kitchen or bathroom – touch him. Squeeze his cute little bum, kiss his handsome face, squeeze his hand. He loves it and it will bless you both the more you do it. I promise.

Remember all the good things Alun tells you about because like I said, he’ll likely forget. List them in the pages of your soul so they can never be erased and remind him as often as you can about them.

Have fun with Alun all the time. Dance with him. Play games with him. Remember the little kid that lives inside you and let her out as much as possible because Alun is still about 8 years old in his heart and LOVES silliness, laughing and getting up to mischief. Jump in puddles with Alun on rainy days, go on running races on sunny days. Blow up balloons, blow bubbles, draw chalk drawings on the driveway together, go to the beach and build castles, conga through the house on random nights, watch comedies together as often as you can.

Love him. Love him HARD. Love Alun with every fibre of your being because I promise you, it will be one of the best things you’ll ever do in your life.

It was in mine.

I know that and I will forever be grateful for every single day I got to spend with him.

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