26.2 miles, 26.2 memories…..

26.2 miles, 26.2 memories…

Its my Oli’s tenth birthday today, and for me, it has been an up and down day, mainly because, we met through you and Oli being at preschool together…It has brought back some memories for me, the first one being the first picnic we all went on…your dad brought strawberries…my absolute favourite, we hardly knew each other, and you kids went off to play,  the strawberries were just shouting at me…eventually, I think your dad saw me drooling and offered me one!! A firm friendship was made from that moment on…bless him…little did he realise how much he would have to put up with me over the years, but, your dad to me, is like my big brother, and your mum…well, her honesty, kindness, compassion, and her stepping into my mum’s shoes and telling me off every so often, her straight talking and no messing attitude,  well, I just love her to bits…which leads me to number 2,

You were a fantastic host! Any excuse to make me a cup of tea…since you learnt how to make the “perfect cuppa” you would be a perfect gent and constantly ask me if I needed another cup…you and Emily would sneak off to the kitchen and giggle together whilst making it, knowing you two, you were probably putting salt or something in it…but having said that, you always managed to make great cup of tea

3 , watching you all in the paddling pool during the summer, we had some great times in the garden, you all loved the pool…you could be out there for hours all of you…eventually turning slightly blue with the cold…I can picture you all now, standing there, teeth chattering…but not wanting to get out and get warm…

4, Bbqs, you lot kicking around a football with the older crew…us oldies would be sitting and nattering and you lot would spend hours playing footie, you loved football, you really did…your favourite team being Man U…which is where I struggle, I will always be a Liverpool supporter..So, I think I will leave this here!!!

5, You and Jaicob, every morning from when Jai was a babe in the pram, you would come over and say morning to him…When he started preschool, he would kiss Oli goodbye and then you, but, you didn’t just get a kiss, you would get a hug too! he loved you so much and the pair of you had a fantastically cheeky bond…you were both so similar in many ways, the cheeky little grins and giggles…Oh and I made your mum laugh the other day, when I told her how Jaicobs’ parents evening went… the more I think about it, you weren’t just similar, you were scarily similar in so many ways!!

But that’s a good thing…honestly!

6, You came across as cheeky, you were cheeky, but with a heart of gold. You were a fantastic uncle to both your nephews, and to my small ones you had such a tender way about you. I cannot put into words what it was like watching you sometimes…you were such a caring little man…you didn’t like anyone to be upset when they were with you, and you always tried so hard to cheer the small ones up (and yes, sometimes the big people)…even when they were throwing a complete strop! (the small ones!) Bless you for trying with my lot, they are a stubborn bunch! But, you never gave up until you got a smile out of whomever it was that was sad….

7. Wendover woods, we went for a picnic and you ended up walking for miles and miles with my lot and Paul. Me, your mum and dad, sat and talked, and a few hours later, started wondering where you had all got to, but you all arrived back, eventually, full of stories of what you had been up to. It was a lovely day; I just wish we could have had a few more…

8, Swimming with you, you little fish you! Now, there are so many memories to do with swimming with you and your dad I can’t list them all. You promised you would teach Jai to dive for the weights, but you didn’t feel up to it on Jai’s birthday, Jaicob is so sad that it won’t be you teaching him…but I know you will be watching him learn and laughing at him, but still encouraging him to do it, in your own cheeky way!

9, You nagging me to do more training! Oh you used to go on and on at me, and it was always before school therefore before 9 in the morning, meaning, I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet!! Bless you, you would nag me, and nag me and nag me…and then I would feel guilty and have to go out for a run, just so I could tell you I had done…

10, You loved my dog…to begin with, I have a feeling you were scared of him, but, you would never admit it…but, as time passed by, you loved ragging around with him!

11, I loved you coming round to our house for tea! You just fitted in with my lot…hence the reason I saw you as one of my own, you would help lay the table, and afterwards, fill the dishwasher and clear the table and muck in with the clan as if you were part of it all the time…I really loved that…

12, You telling Paul he looked stressed…haha! it still makes me laugh…his hair sticking up all over the place, him really stressing and you walking into the kitchen totally oblivious and asking really calmly “Paul, are you stressed?”  I asked you how you knew and you just simply said “I can tell by the hair”…oh how I laughed…it was just one of those “moments”

13,  You and your big brother… god, honestly, the bond between you two was amazing, he misses you so much, you were his little buddy. I know you are there watching him, but its still very hard Al, we all miss you.

14, Your birthday, oh, so many happy memories, you were so lucky, your dad knows how to throw a party! We have had some fantastic times on your birthday, so many people, so much fun, and that was what you were about. Fun and people…and that’s what made you happy.

15, Your big sister, we always said you had been here before; you sometimes could be such an old man! You worried about your sister, but she is fine, the boys are keeping her busy, of course she is sad, and you know that, but we also know, you are with her and the boys and that helps a great deal…

16, You learning judo and managing to get my Benji down in one move…not only that, you managed to whack his head on the sofa as he went…well done you! Still, it didn’t knock any sense into him…

17, Your love of wrestling, none of mine were really into it, except the eldest years ago, but I was so pleased that you and your mum and dad were able to have a VIP trip to the O2 to see the wrestling…not sure who enjoyed it more, you or your dad, but, I am honestly really happy that lots of planning and help from the right people enabled you all to have that experience…and a huge thanks to Rachael’s mum for sorting it out…honestly, when you rang me, you sounded like you were ready to burst! This memory also makes me smile…

That’s the thing about you, my little buddy, you managed to keep everyone smiling, you had this amazing presence about you…every child is special in their own way, But you, my little man, were one in a million, you touched so many people in such a small amount of time…all of us who knew you, have honestly been blessed, you brought so much to our lives…ok, so, a lot of cheek too, but not cheek in a nasty way, just cheek in your way…just you being you, you were such a character that once met..you couldn’t help but love…I miss your way Al, I really do, you brought so much delight to me and my kids…well, things just won’t be the same anymore…

18, You had a thing about bathing Jaicob when he was little…and you always insisted on washing his hair, oh and flooding my bathroom time and time again in the process…

19, Your impression of the Dancing Dodo from the 5 alive ad…how funny was that? you nailed it…and made me split my sides laughing….chuckling to myself now….

20, I remember how much you loved your spaghetti bolognaise…and how much you hated spicy food, you were so much like your dad…in so many ways…

21, Your determination on the Wii, oh the competition could sometimes get very fierce between all you kids…but, at least you would all eventually walk away and forget the fact that minutes before you had been squabbling over whatever game it was you were playing…

22, Your strength and courage throughout your illness, you were amazing little man, you really were, you didn’t complain, didn’t moan, you just got on with it…you, are an absolute inspiration to us all, I will never, ever forget how you kept your bloody cheeky ways even when you were so poorly…or, how you managed to keep the nurses at the hospice amused with your cheeky comments…You, young sir, actually put us all to shame…brave isn’t the right word for you…you were more than that..

23, Bonfire night…well, that was always a blast! Whether it was pouring with rain, or just chilly, we always had a fab time…all of us did…so many happy memories, too many to list… Snowy days, how much fun were they? And Halloween, traipsing round the village…all dressed up…I could go on and on and on…

24, Bike, scooter, go carting round the village…”choose a vehicle and let’s get going” you were all such a sight…each of you on something with wheels and trying to go “off-roading”…need I say more…

25, Your absolute love of the colour orange…swiftly followed by lime green…”orange?” not a normal boring colour like, blue, red or green…but that was you all over, always..just slightly different than everyone else…which, was amazing…but, I did stress over finding orange clothes for all of us to wear to your special day “the celebration of Al’s life”  I stood in a few shops, looking round and honestly cursing…”for God’s sake Al, Orange??? There’s nothing orange in here”….

26, Your love of music, especially Pink…fantastic taste little man, that’s all I can say!

.2 But…Here I am back at Oli’s birthday, and you aren’t here with us…well, not here, here, but, I know you are always here in our hearts and our memories. You, my little buddy, will always be with all of us, you were truly one in a million. Thank you for being my little buddy and thank you for bringing such joy to our lives….s xx

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6 Responses to 26.2 miles, 26.2 memories…..

  1. Judith Harper says:

    Well, that was hard to read, must have been much harder to write! Tissues anyone?

  2. Gillian King says:

    Yes please.

  3. He’ll be there on Sunday, keeping you company as you go round. Lots of love xxx

  4. Keziah Atkinson says:

    Tissues for me too please x

  5. helen says:

    Tissues for me too, I knew Adam and Al had similar traits, but WOW that’s scary! Maybe it’s a June the 13th thing?

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