I was stood, waiting in my bedroom, my Nana telling me she had something important to tell me. Nigel had gone off to school, and I was staying home, a problem with school choice not allowing me to go to the school I wanted to go to. The news wasn't expected, and soon there was lots and lots of people in the house. I remember Ian, only 4 years old, asking at the wake, who's birthday it was, thinking it was a party.
20 years ago today, our Dad died. Not something many will know since, as I've been told, I don't share myself and my life much. What's the point, other people have far more taxing things to worry about.
We'd gone shopping for Christmas, and had to cut it short, Dad suffering from chronic indegestion. It didn't get any better, so, asking me to put into practise my Scouting, he told me to ring for an ambulance. It came and rushed him to hospital, leaving me to let Mum know what was happening.
It's strange, how things stick in your mind. Like the memory of seeing Dad in hospital over Christmas, how he apologised for not taking an interest in our Christmas presents, because of all the drugs he was on. Or sitting at the top of the stairs, age 11, helping build one of many model aeroplanes before heading off to school. Or how, having completed one masterpiece, he flew it straight into a lampost at a display. And, how one winter up at Beverley Westwood, we watched Dad, a little too eager, fly off a slope in the snow at great speed, only to hit the ground and smash our sledge to bits. Oh, and put himself out of action with a bad back for goodness knows how long.
I've no idea how my Mum coped with it. It humbles me when she says she's amazed with how I've coped with everything that's happened to me.
Life is what you make it mean, nothing more and nothing less. Be comfortable in what it means, and play the game from the pitch and not sat, watching from the stands.
Some people say, "Deal with it", or "Get A Grip", in a rather foreign and sometimes callious way. Well, to those of you that say that, f&%^ off. We'll all deal with it as and when we wish. And for those many of you with the friendship and support, thank you for listening and allowing the space to deal with it.