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Revisiting The Past Memories

John Wright


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Well I woke up this morning to the news of Jade Goody's death. She was brave for the last few weeks of her short life. Who would have thought that the idiot loudmouth ignoramus from BB would have come so far


I also awoke to the news a that a baby had had its life support removed by Court order and died


Both Jade and the baby have touched peoples lives, parents, family and the wider world


I wanted to share some memories of people who had touched me


Mark who died of Aids. He was a mess toward the end, in hospice, here and on his own. His brain was affected, the virus having crossed the blood brain barrier. He was lucid and then not. I occasionally took him out in the car and brought him home. I had known him 20 years, or thereabouts. I knew his mum step dad and sister and brother.


Toward the end he came home to my house for a few hours, wheelchair bound but bright, it was a good day. He was catheterised but needed a poo. I manged to get him on the loo and to get him off, cleansed and had his pants pulled up but the turn through 180 back in the wheel chair caught us both unawares. Over he went, over I went, both in a heap on the floor. What did we do, we laughed and laughed, about half an hour, maybe more, before he quietly said"its unfair, sex with just one man, one time and look at me. Come on lets get up." WE managed to get ourselves back up together. It was the only time he talked about how he became HIV and the last time he visited. But I shall never forget laughter the best medicine.


Then there was Tom, a set designer with a drama group in Northern Ireland, a visitor to the Gaiety Easter play festival. Tom taught differently abled child en arts and crafts. The play was Butterflies are Free about how a blind boy achieves freedom moving into a flat on his own. Tom had had one class produce tin butterflies and enamel paint them as badges for the cast and helpers. I was lucky to be given one. Tom died of a brain tumour aged 35. I still have the butterfly, 30 years on


Sometimes I hear a laugh and think of Mark, or I pick up the butterfly and think of Tom


It is the same with my father and mother there are sounds. smells, reminders, all of them pleasant. I hope I leave fond memories if anything should happen to me. I hope that you will too.r


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