Someone told me that you were gone. I don’t remember the exact words, or their turn of phrase, I just remember how it tore in to my heart. Only days before you’d told me how well you felt, how this had been a warning and how we were going to live life to the max....
And then you were gone.
You were my best friend, you were my fiercest critic, you were my biggest fan and quite honestly the thought of life without you is too much to bear.
Let’s go back to the start, well as far back as I can remember. I think I must have been about 5, perhaps 6. I’ve never had the world’s greatest memory, but I do remember sitting at the side of you in your chair, with your arm around me as you read my favourite story to me. I remember the silver pie case we pushed down the hole at the side of the central heating controls after the mouse came up. I remember an itchy and scratchy green jumper which I wore one day, the day the Herald of Free Enterproise sank whilst I slept through a dark Sunday afternoon. I remember you waking me, and laughing because I’d fallen asleep. I remember doing something similar in your bed. Waky waky, rise and shine.
I remember the small room at the front of the house in Broadmead Avenue, and how you patiently explained that the shadows I could see wasn’t someone coming to get me, just the shadow of the drainpipe outside.
I remember climbing the stairs with you singing “hold my hand, I’m a stranger in paradise” I remember doing that too, towards the end.
I remember when you used to tuck me up in bed, and on the way down the stairs we did the same routine every night “Abysinnia, nighty night”
Bumpety bumpety bumpety bump as if I was riding my charger. Nobody sang it like us, and nobody sang I’ve never seen a Jaguar like us either.
I remember you coming to pick me up from Sunday school on the morning my Nan died. I remember how upset you were. I remember being gathered in to your arms and being told it would be ok.
I remember being in the car park outside Truro hospital radio, and how I hurt you with words. I remember being so unkind and making you cry. You blamed my hormones, I hated hearing those words.
I remember leaving you when I went to university, I remember the look on your face of pride and fear. I remember picking you up and spinning you around in the car park of the BBC in Bristol because you’d got a job back in Northampton and it meant you were no longer alone.
I remember telling you about Basil, and the calmness you showed, even though I knew you were hurting for me.
I remember how much you didn’t want me to get hurt by Stuart. I remember how you held me when he went.
I remember how many times we laughed til we cried, and how many times we cried til we laughed.
Mostly I remember how much you loved me. I remember how important you were to me.
I remember how you were so proud of me, so sure I would be ok. I remember the most wonderful woman, my Mum, my best friend, my counsellor, my ally, the one who would go in to battle for me, and would stand between me and a bullet.
I miss you dreadfully, but I know you haven’t gone. You live on in my heart and my mind, and I know you will always be there when I need you.