It Was 11 Years Ago

For you, Joe. Love always.

Shooting some tiny pool.

When I woke up but my brother didn’t. On the 5th of March we lost him to an aggressive brain tumour. I haven’t got out of bed this morning. Not yet. The sun is shining in through the window. The cat is basking in it. Laying his sleepy head on my outstretched hand. I’m glad of his company. His warmth. I need all I can get today.

Joe was born on the 11th of August 1987. A summer baby brother for an autumn baby sister. I was jealous at first. Asked my mother when he was going back. I was most indignant when she told me “he’s your baby brother, he’s with us forever.” In my defense I wasn’t quite two.

Fast forward a little bit I thought it would be a nice idea to share my ice cream cone with him. I shoved it in his face. Greedy, chubby little Joe started licking at it greedily. It didn’t take us so long to become firm friends.

My brother was funny, he was quirky. He put up with no nonsense. He did things his way. He was the kindest and altogether the best human being I’ve ever known.

Today I want to talk about T Shirts.

He felt well that day. We went on the train to Cardiff. Our shopping list was short. Two T Shirts and the popular children’s game Operation. In the Plain Lazy shop Joe was thrilled with his new Make Tea not War T Shirt. So thrilled he wanted to wear it straight away. He ducked down behind a sale rail and got changed there and then.

I was always less bold than he. Young as I was then nobody needed to see that. I took my Give Peas a Chance to go.

We finished shopping and headed off to the pub. We sat down with our drinks. Joe said to me “right you go to the toilet and change and I’ll set up Operation.”

Pints and Operation. Best day ever.

I miss you still, brother. I love you always.

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