365 Happy Days – A smile a day – Part 42

A letter to Luke on the day he died.

I have no idea how we got to this day yet again – 14th July 2015!  That means it’s been 6 years since we lost you, 6 years since that horror day when I realised I hadn’t flown to Thailand to see you saved, I’d flown to see you lying in a metal cabinet.

Every parents’ worst nightmare?  Yes, I’d say so, the only thing that could be worse would be to lose more of your children; it just wasn’t meant to be this way Luke.  You were such a pain at times as a teenager, but my goodness you were a one off too!

As I have done every year I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter in your memory; Facebook is where your friends are, and as always there have been messages of comfort all day, messages that tell me I’m not the only one who thinks about you, not the only one who’ll never forget you.  You made an impression in your 21 years – so much so you have a chain of stores named after you!  Forever 21!  Ha ha!  (it’s hideous!)

A very proud big brother!
A very proud big brother!

I’ve been to work today, which is probably the best plan, yet this year I’ve been having flashbacks to those awful few days.  Seeing Mikael’s message to you on Facebook which confirmed to me that something was wrong, I knew – I have no idea how, but I did.

I can see Bob in the kitchen on the phone after the Foreign Office finally traced you 3 days after the accident – hearing the words ‘brain dead’ and hoping against hope that something had gone wrong in translation.  But, that wasn’t to be the case and you took your last breath on this day in 2009.

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I will never know if you’d have survived if you’d had the same accident in this country – but, I’m not one for ‘what ifs’ and ‘why me’s’  all they can do is prolong the pain, the heartbreak.  Not that my heart will ever mend – yet in what I call my New Normal I can tell you I’m genuinely happy, I know you’d want that for me.

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There’s been a lot of wonderful news in the last 6 years as your friends are making their way in life – Gavin is the father of 2 gorgeous little boys, he’s making a life to be proud of, it’s wonderful seeing his wife Katie and their growing family.  Chelsea is a Mum and making her way in Australia.  Lammas – otherwise known as Michael!  Is a Dad, to a beautiful little girl.  Ruth, who I know you adored is as gorgeous as she ever was and a Mum to Sivan.

And the one person you were inseparable from?  Oli – well, he became a father last week to twin boys!  His partner Terrie is lovely as are her 2 little boys Koen and Luca – the babies?  They are adorable – Freddie George and Bobby Luke.  You would have been a constant visitor I remember how much you loved babies.

All of this is wonderful, but it also confirms that when you died all of the hopes and dreams for your future died with you.  I’m not entirely sure trouble was behind you at 21, I have a feeling there would have been more to come.  But I do know you would have grown into a good man and one day maybe been a Dad yourself – it would have been the making of you.  I cried more than a few tears when Oli told me the babies names I must confess.

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You’d have been very proud of your little sister and brother, not so little now of course.  Alex is 23 and living in Paris she’s been there for 2.5 years now and my word is totally fluent in French – i can just picture you marvelling at her as she jabbers away in a foreign language.  And although I know I’m her Mum and biased (you’d be the same) she’s a beautiful young woman and nice to boot!  She has a core of kindness running through her.

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And Jake, well he’s 20!  No idea how that happened so fast!  Wow you used to torment him, how many times did I come home to find the 2 of you rolling around the floor?  It used to drive me crazy I can tell you!  Jake has a work ethic to marvel at, we know he didn’t get that from his big brother!  He’s a good looking lad, and again has that core of compassion running through him.  He’s helped more than a few young people who’ve had loss in their lives.

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Pete and Kerry are settled in their homes in South Woodham Ferrers and doing well after the loss of Bob last year – I will never forget that some of the last words you said to me were – ‘tell Bob I love him’ – I wonder if in a way you knew too?

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We lost Grandma last year, she literally sat in her chair and fell asleep – I know that would have broken your heart in the same way hers must have broken on the day you died.  Then Bob died in May, mixed emotions for you I’m sure, yet those words suggested you knew what he did for the 7 to 21 year old Luke.  On a happier note your Dad became a father again – to Oliver, Jake went to see him recently – he’s a cutie.

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I have a feeling that if you’d been watching the last four years you’d be shaking your head in horror at some of your Mums’ antics.  Yet I hope you’d be proud of the direction my life’s taking even if like Jake you couldn’t quite understand this sport obsession – you may even have been impressed, found me that Blue Peter badge that Jake refuses to bestow (he’s very unimpressed – yet maybe?).

I’ll keep on living life with a smile on my face, I know it’s what you’d want for me, but I will also cry for you for the rest of my life.  Not often, but it’d be wrong if I didn’t – you were my firstborn, my beautiful blue eyed blonde boy – I will miss you and love you until the day I die.

Mum xxx


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