Wow, it’s been 15 years now, can you believe it? 15 years today since you were so cruelly stolen, but I was okay with it then, and I guess I’m still okay with it now.
15 years and a day since I sat in the left hand side back passenger seat of our red Volvo after school and they told me that the doctor said you would never get better, but that you weren’t going to die any time soon. I guess those doctors were wrong, huh? Now that I’m older, I realise there was no way they could have really known, but 7 year old Kirsty had never felt a betrayal of trust like it. I was so angry then, and part of me still is now.
They’re funny things, memories. I remember some parts so incredibly clearly, like a little HD movie in my head, yet other parts have been completely obliterated. I guess that’s the thing with being 7 years old. I have no recollection of actually being told that you’d died, but I remember going to Brownies that night as if nothing was wrong. I guess I’d done a lot of my grieving when you were ill, while you were lying there in bed everyday barely able to stay awake long enough to hear about my day at school. The cancer gave me that time to adjust I suppose. Maybe I was just too young and naive to actually realise what was going on. Maybe it was shock. Maybe it was a little bit of everything, I guess we’ll never know.
I got up the next day and went to school as if nothing was wrong, it wasn’t until the Thursday things got difficult because then people knew. “My Mum says your Granda’s dead, so why are you at school? Why don’t you cry?” Yes, he is, but I’m fine. It wasn’t a lie, up until that point I had been fine, but I have often looked back and felt like that was the point when I began to lose confidence and withdraw from my peers. They weren’t intentionally malicious, we were just kids. 7 years old and they managed to break me for being too strong, a little bit ironic isn’t it?
You are the reason I am so strongly opposed to smoking. They can warn people about the health risks all they want, but when the person you love more than anything is bed ridden with lung cancer, when they are too ill to make your 7th birthday, when they are constantly too tired to even watch a movie with you? I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want somebody to see me suffer the way I watched you suffer so many times after school. Gran stopped smoking when you died, and Nenny’s stopped too now, aren’t you proud?
Everybody’s fine by the way. Dad’s still keeping the business running, Gran’s still gallivanting in the caravan and Nenny’s still ‘living the dream’, haha! I even have a brother now, it’s a shame you never met him because I think the two of you would have got on wonderfully.
Lots of Love always,
RIP Alexander James Brown 23/09/1997 : “It hasn’t killed me yet, and I won’t stop until it does.”