Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
...and I won't ever get it back, but that's OK. We were brother and sister for five decades, nothing can change that, and your memory will always be with me.
Memory is a funny thing, though – yesterday I was inconsolable because I’d just idly wondered what we were doing this time last year, then realised that I’d got rid of my 2018 appointment diary and also yours. The reminder of all those medical and social service appointments; ears, eyes, skin, teeth, hands and feet and bumpsadaisy, there wasn’t a bit of you that didn’t have a problem and someone trying their best to fix it; the waiting in for wheelchair repair and every other repair under the sun; meetings with management of the awful care agency, always promising but never delivering; the council officer and police calls about the upstairs neighbour; the shopping and the schlepping and the fun things too, your lunches with Helen and Sophie and me and the cinema and your boys’ night out with Simon at the pub.
I couldn’t bear the reminders of all the bad stuff; we’d already lived it for too long. But I’m sad to forget some of those little things, though maybe they never really leave but are always there in the close weave of our souls.
We went to two carol concerts, that I remember, about this time last year. Both of which we had to jump ship halfway through because you were so uncomfortable. Being in a confined, unfamiliar space was very hard for you to manage, even in the wheelchair that you said was your most comfortable place anywhere. We’d both stopped caring if people stared as you jerked and rocked and shuffled about, but now the Christmas spirit had arrived and people were kind. You loved the craic, the decorations and festive air, and you certainly enjoyed the mulled wine and snacks.
All this stays with me in my bank of treasured memories. We never imagined that you wouldn’t be doing the same thing with us this year, and I’m still getting used to you not being here. I wouldn't want to put the clock back and see you getting worse and more uncomfortable all the time, maybe not even wanting to or able to go out much. We have a lifetime of memories and good times to look back on, and you definitely quit while you were ahead. It's just a funny time for the ones you left behind.
But don't worry. It’s Ok – just strange.