New years for me was not what you would call upbeat. On the 27th of December, I flew back from Tenerife. When I touched back on the tarmac in Manchester, I got a phonecall pretty much immediately from my mum. It was not the sort of phonecall people look forward to. “I’ve got a bit of bad news” is never a good way to start a conversation and the first thing I thought was that my dog had died. “James is in the Marie Curie center in Belfast.”
What was I meant to say to that? I was still on the plane so I had to hold it together. I held it together waiting on the taxi, going home and just about held it together getting in. Cookie answered the door and was on the phone to Kira at the time. I came in, fired my suitcase and rucksack into the corner and sat down on my bed. I don’t know how or why I didn’t cry, but I don’t think it had properly sunk in. I told Cookie I needed to go out so we went shopping at ASDA. We needed to go food shopping anyway, but I had a few gift vouchers to spend and needed to feel better. So got home, had dinner and went to bed. Was lying watching TV and I don’t know what happened. I just broke down. At 2am of all times. I rang my mum in pieces. Bless her, I wouldn’t have been too happy to get a phonecall at that hour, but she talked to me for 45 mins while I sobbed my eyes out, asked questions and generally lost it. I couldn’t stop myself from crying when I got off the phone, and went into cookie. Now I’ve lived with Cookie for 2 years, and despite having severe asthma attacks in the night, pain hitting stupid levels and sharing a room with her for over a year, I’ve never woke her up in the middle of the night. So it shows you just how upset and distraught I was that I went into her. I got into bed beside her and just had cuddles from my best friend. She’s amazing. I wish she knew just how awesome she is.
I don’t know what I feel, or felt. For so long I wished him dead, severe pain and God knows what else. But now he’s got cancer, and about 3 months max to live. Lung, Liver and possibly pancreatic cancer. My little brother is going to loose his dad. My mum’s going to loose her husband, all be they seperated. I’m angry, upset, worried, scared and a million and one other emotions at once. Nobody deserves cancer. Not even the person that caused me so much pain and upset. I said to mum that I didn’t want him to go to his deathbed thinking I hate him. Because I don’t. I hate the person he became and was because of the drink. But before he started drinking he was a different person, and was easy to be around. But drink changed him. And not in a good way. I don’t want him to be in pain, or for him to suffer. But I don’t think he will be. They’ll have him that dosed up with pain meds he won’t know where he is for the last few days.
It’s TJ and mum that I’m hurting for the most though. TJ never got to properly know his dad, and anytimes he did, James was not the dad he should’ve been. It was always an experience tainted by drink. They went to James’s sisters one day, and mum left them in the living room, so they could have some time on their own. TJ walked out after 5 minutes because he didn’t have anything to say to his dad. He’s never had a relationship with his dad. And I don’t like that. No matter how things were, I always had my dad. It was mum I struggled with, but now things are a lot better and I’m proud of that. But dad was always there for me, and I told him everything that happened when I lived at home. I had that experience of going travelling with dad, and all the happy memories involved in that. But TJ won’t have that. And he’s 12. I was his age when James started drinking, and I struggled with it for over 5 years. But TJ experienced it from such a small age that as he grew up it was what he believed to be normal and that’s no way for a child to be. But I’ve said that I would go home and be there for him when things got bad. She doesn’t quite understand that TJ might need me. But as I said to her, she doesn’t have a good relationship with her siblings, whereas TJ and I always got on so well and he does come to me when he’s struggling. And I don’t want him to look back at this period and say “Well where was Vicky when I needed her?” He’s my little brother, and is the most special person in this world to me.
So James has 3 months. Some might call it the end of an era. But I don’t. I call it the beginning of a new one. It’s never going to be the end, because there’s always going to be the difficulties associated with what’s happened, such as my PTSD. But I’ve started to address those. James being alive or dead isn’t going to change that. It’s the beginning of another story. One without him, but with dealing with everything that has been left. Such as my little brother and mum. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for James. Be it a good or bad way, I am a different person for having experienced everything I have. I’m going to make sure that I do everything I can for my family. I love my family more than anything, and my little brother needs me. And as much as she might not admit it, mum does too.
2014 is going to be tough, but I can get through it. With my friends, family, and my new boyfriend (YES! Shock horror!) I have the people I need around me to get me there.