Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of the day my brother lost his fight with leukaemia; a day I have difficulty in remembering every year. My natural coping mechanism was to erase the date from my memory. I always know it’s August but can’t remember exactly when. But yesterday my parents sent me photographs and a message that they had been on a long walk to the swan pond to reflect on that day 35 years ago, and naturally, my memory was jogged. I thought I’d reshare a post from this time four years ago – in memory of Paul.
I found our old childhood book while rummaging through a removal box for something else. The cover was slightly torn but it brought a smile to my face; a well-loved book, Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. I opened the cover and there on the inside page his name written in blue ink in his unmistakable cursive hand-writing. I paused, remembering; so familiar and yet now a distant memory. A life cut short.
I closed my eyes trying to conjure an image of his face. I traced the letters gently with my index finger, feeling the indentations in the paper. I turned the page over and could see the impressions from his downward pressure on the pen – preserved on this page, in this book for more than thirty years. I flicked through the book hoping to find more evidence of him but nothing. I closed the book gently and laid it back in the box; he is here, with me.
Paul Delderfield (1968-1985)