Week 5 of PODcast‘s linky The Alphabet Photography Project and today is a tough date to get past for me, there could only be one subject to cover today. The Alphabet Photography Project E is for Emotional. This is a bit deeper than a normal #alphabetphoto post.
15 years ago today my ex and I received a phone call that left us realising that nothing is forever.
I remember walking into our house, a message on our answer phone to call one of our closest friends as soon as possible. I remember my ex making that call and I will never forget the sound he made as he learned that our dearest friend had been killed on his motorbike.
I remember getting straight back in our car and my ex driving us to Banbury, me calling my brother to pass on the news. I think we stayed with our friend all night, I can’t remember, in fact most of the following week was a blur. None of us could believe that our friend was gone, the 4 of us had spent so much time together, I’d been an ‘honorary bloke’ for years. We’d all seen in the millennium in at our house. We’d shared our dreams and lived through so many funny times together. We’d made plans to see the new Millenium Dome together.
How could he not be there any more? He’d not long passed his bike test, none of the rest of us were that keen on bikes, but he loved his new-found freedom. I can tell you that Friday 11th February 2000 had been a lovely sunny day, a perfect day for a bike ride before going to work in the afternoon. I can also tell you that for years afterwards 11th February was either wet or frosty and not a day you would have gone on a bike ride.
We’d lost a friend, one of those accidents where a driver pulled out, didn’t see him coming, bang. I think it was the next day, maybe the Sunday, a whole group of us drove to the spot. You couldn’t miss it, there were still bits of debris on the side of the road. But some of the anger subsided when you could see just how easy it would be, to not see a bike at that junction.
We’d lost someone I’d known for half my life, someone my ex had known since school. It felt like we’d lost part of us. He was there and then he was gone. No warning, just gone.
A group of us were asked by his family to pick the music for the funeral and the guys all carried him into the funeral service. His Dad said that heaven must have needed cheering up. That’s stayed with me for 15 years, yes, we’d lost our joker, he was making others laugh now. The crematorium was packed, totally packed, apparently there were crowds outside as people just couldn’t get inside. Our unassuming friend had been so well liked and loved, I don’t imagine he had any idea how strongly people felt about him.
I have so many happy memories shared with our friend, I can’t listen to Tainted Love without smiling, remembering the many times that we took over the dance floor to that. I think he’d have quite liked the fact that we’ve all aged, got grey hairs, while he will always remain 32. No baldness for him! I wonder what he’d have made of the life I now have? Did he know of the things I had no idea about? It makes me sad that he never got to set up his bar in Thailand, he never got to live the dream. It makes me sad that I can hear his laugh in my head, when I’d much rather him be here making me laugh right now.
I look at this photo, taken in Scotland on a mad weekend away in 1999. A mad weekend, full of so much laughter. It makes me smile and it makes me sad, emotional. The only deer we saw all weekend was in the pub garden. You had to be there, it was hysterical. It’s only funny to 4 people, and 1 of them is no longer here.
The world has moved on, 15 years have passed and ‘this could be Rotterdam or anywhere‘ and I’d still remember that day, that date. I’d still remember that friend. There are friends you meet briefly, there are friends you have forever and then there are friends who you will never forget x