I know exactly where I was twenty four years, one hour ( and give or take a few minutes from this moment ) ago. My beloved daughter Stacie had been born at four minutes past eight in the evening. As a coincidence my son Adam had been born at eight minutes past four in the morning, also on a Thursday.
So the evening of the 11th of December 1990 was a joyous one, a fast flurry of this baby has to be born right NOW! From scheduled check up to we have to induce you right away.. And there she was, my perfect December the eleventh memory..
Then I think further back to another December eleventh ten years earlier.. I don’t remember anything about that night other than it was snowy. I remember a few days earlier the shock and horror of watching the news on the evening that Mark Chapman gunned down John Lennon, but not much more than that.
The Twelfth of December fell on a Saturday that year and at sixteen I was working in a shop in the village, from nine until five on a YTS scheme. I guess the morning was like any other, Time spent on the till, stacking shelves, Pedigree Chum 33 1/2p a tin.. Isn’t it strange, the things you do remember.
My memories begin at around half past four when our world changed forever. I was filling the shelves with bags of sugar. At the time the shop was unmodernised and the shelves faced the door.
I heard my name and stood up. You know that painful moment much loved by film makers? The one where the world around the hero seems to stop, freeze and then shudder into a different speed.. You know and the hero knows that something monumental, something terrible has happened but the rest of the world flows on around you..
It’s your dad, he fell in my garden.. The ambulance has taken him to hospital, I’ve just taken your mum up there..
Dad had gone to see his friend Dennis, in the ice and snow he had got off his bike and slipped, falling and banging his head on the cold, frozen ground causing a massive bleed. Dennis dropped me off at another friends house while we waited for news. My wonderful, kind beloved dad was broken. Connected to tubes and monitors. I don’t remember much of the days that followed. It’s strange isn’t it, how the mind protects it’s self.
I didn’t want to see him like that, I’ll wait until he is a bit better I said, No they said, you must go now, you need to go now.So I did and oh it was so hard. My dad was my world, I adored him.
That is my last memory. tubes, monitors and my dad, in perpetual sleep.
Then on the Seventeenth mum came home from hospital after being told that it looked like he was slightly better, only for our friends to come round to tell her that they were wrong. He wasn’t rallying. He was gone.
We said goodbye to him on the twenty third of December 1980.
I guess you could say this is my ‘Disney’ moment. That it is true, the circle of life does keep going. December eleventh and a decade of death, mourning, birth and joy.