Friday, November 24, 2006
24th November 2001.
I wasn`t entirely sure if I was going to post about this, but I think I must.
The picture above is of my two sons, Duncan and Robbie, and was taken in the summer of 2001 at Edinburgh Zoo. Duncan is on the left and he`s not quite five in the picture, and the pest with the innocent expression on the right is Robbie, then aged seven. The picture was taken in July and on the 24th November of the same year Robbie died after a two year fight with a rare form of soft tissue cancer.
He was a great boy...the picture really sums him up, cheeky and fun and feisty, loved playing with (and tormenting) his little brother and intent on enjoying himself despite all the unpleasant and often very painful treatments he underwent at the hospital. He always looked forwards to getting out and about on these family treats, which couldn`t happen as often as any of us wished.He was in a temporary remission over his last summer though, so we did as much as possible.
His sister Mairi was born on the 18th October. Sadly, when she was ten days old he had the first of three strokes and that was when we discovered the cancer had moved into his brain. He made an amazing partial recovery from this, though....enough to give us just a little more time together. He was always a boy who wanted to know what was happening with his cancer, despite being so young, and he had seen all too many of his hospital friends die so when he asked me the question I was expecting I told him yes, this was it. He thought about if for a little while and then told me "Okay mum, I may be going to die, but I`m going to have some more fun first." We all did. I remember going to see the first Harry Potter film...twice, going to MacDonalds, going Christmas shopping and being persuaded to buy him yet another Lego set. He enjoyed being with baby sister Mairi too. I`m convinced he held off succumbing to his cancer long enough to see her. Sadly, not for long. He died when she was five weeks old.
That was five years ago today, and we all still miss him terribly. Even Mairi talks about him and asks for the funny stories about the brother that would have been a strapping twelve year old if he`d lived. There are pictures, things that belonged to him still around and we have special days here and there when we all do things he would have enjoyed. It does get easier...I`ve got used to him not being here but I still think of him every day and I`ve never quite got past the feeling that one day he might just walk in the door, back from school, and life will go back to the way it should have been.
Today was just another day in many respects though ...school, hassle with the builders, cleaning etc. Life goes on, especially with two lively children and Christmas coming up! Tomorrow we will go to the event that for the past few years now has come to mean the start of the Christmas season for us. Nothing grand, it`s the local Scout Christmas Fair day. We had planned to take Robbie to it five years ago, to have some more fun. He didn`t make it that far. Hubby and Duncan and Mairi and I went anyway. Robbie would have approved.
Fun is important. Remember that, folks.