I want to tell you a story. Its a good one, but it starts off pretty sad but I promise you it has a happy ending so please stay with me!
We have to go back to when I was 11 years old and the summer of 1992. I was a few months away from starting senior school and that night I’d been left to babysit for the first time. My mum had to work a night shift, and dad had been working a late shift and would be home later that evening. It was only for a few hours but at that time it was a big deal to me. My mum fed us, put my brother to bed and left me some film from the video library to watch (a western I think.) I was tired and wanted to sleep but I wanted to stay awake to see my dad and show him I’d done a good job that they could trust me to babysit again. Dad crept into my room, said good night and give me a kiss and left me to go to bed. It was the last time I’d ever see him.
That mornng I awoke to discover my dad had tried to kill himself, I’ll never forget finding the note and the horrible low I felt, its cliched but I really felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but sadly I was wrong, that was to come when mum had to tell me and my brother that evening that my dad had died. I would never wish that moment on anyone.
For weeks I felt a whole spectrum of emotion, sadness, numb, guilt, anger, denial, confusion, I went through the lot. No child should have to go through that and as the eldest I felt some obligation to be there for mum, so bullshit machoness that I need to be the head of the family. I wasn’t ready for any of this, I couldn cope. Luckily I didn’t have to.
I’m from the great city of Gloucester and as well as boasting the best rugby team, at this time it was also the start of a charity called Winston’s Wish. It looks after and counsel’s children who’ve lost a loved one. Myself and my brother, where some of the first children to go through the scheme and without it.
Fast forward to the present day and i’m a 29 year old with a good career, a lovely girlfriend and many happy memories of my dad. I don’t know how much of that I’d have without the aid of Winston’s wish.
Why am I sharing this I hear you ask? Well i’ve decided its time for me to give something back. So on May 2010 I shall be cycling for 14 days from Land’s End to John O’Groats to rasie money for Winstons wish. Now I’m not an athlete, far from it! But I want to remember my dad some how and this seems a good way to do it! So Ths blog will chart the 14 months of prep I need to put in to get ready for this event. I’m sure it will be filled with Highs and Lows, Laughter, Anger and sadness. So long as I raise a good amount of money for charity it will be worth it!
If this story makes you want to support my cause then please visit:
The money will be so greatly appreciate by the charity.
I hope you found my story interesting and that you’ll keep checking back and sharing my journey with me,