I remember you always wandering off as a little boy and having to send Pedro – our chihuahua to find you.
I remember you sitting on my knee when you were perhaps six years old. You and your friend were being interviewed by the police as someone had reported you for vandalising their garden by pulling up all their pansies. You were so upset and full of denials and the policeman was so lovely that we all knew that it couldn’t have been you. Until the police man left and you gave me a big theatrical wink.
I remember us decorating Mum’s front room and you falling off the step ladders (in a non-ambulance needing kind of way) and the whole thing descended into a Laurel and Hardy farce. Then Mum came in and really told us off while we stifled giggles. I was 28 and you were 20.
I remember how you used to lecture me about God being faithful in all things, especially our weakness and how I should lighten up a bit and just be grateful.
I remember sitting on the train with you to go to Manchester for a job interview. You had had such a bad time with a workplace bully in your first job and this would be such a leap. I was so proud when you got the job and prospered.
I remember that you were the first person I told when HOH first kissed me.
I remember when HOH had his eye operation and how you ferried me backwards and forwards to Manchester. We couldn’t have done that without your kindness.
I remember when you lost your way and you hurt so many people in your confusion.
I remember when you told me you were gay and saying “So I’m supposed to be surprised”
I remember as we watched your lifestyle and the concerns we had for your safety both physical and for your heart. I remember us losing each other completely as my disapproval and fear came up against your behaviour.
I remember how you turned up out of the blue and how Liam told us that you had wanted to get your life back on track before you came back. When we came to the celebration at your civil ceremony you asked how I had got to this place. I told you how easy it was. The day that I realised that God just wanted me to love you – not judge you – that was never my place. And I did love you and that was that and everything else flowed from that.
I remember that first Christmas with you and Liam and the evening with the Beatles Rockband. You were very unkind about my drumming.
I remember your breathlessness which became pneumonia. We wondered if it was as a result of your lifestyle (not that it would have made a difference) but the doctors said not. I remember the nurse who told me that although they saved over 90% of people with pneumonia that still meant that they lost nearly 10%.
I remember the day you became one of those 10%. Two years this week. I miss you Bro.
Dave Carter 1969-2010