For Stuwie

This was a piece I wrote for a very good friend who died on 25th December 2005. He was 25 years old, only 10 days younger than me. I grew up with him and often think of him now. It took me a long time to be able to put anything in words about him so this was the first time I managed to do that.

For Stuwie
We grew up opposite each other, remember? We walked to school beside each other. We occasionally held hands, for playing games and such first, and then we did so for friendship and comfort.

In the summer we’d play tennis after school down by that church, bouncing the ball against the building even when we were told not to. We’d search the stream for frogs born and take it home in ice cream tubs with jiggling hands. Remember when I dropped the tub on the floor and cried because I’d killed them? You told me not to cry, said that they were just jelly!

Remember that winter sledging down by the Hawth theatre? When my sister swallowed her chewing gum and nearly choked to death. Or that time my parents came to the hill and my mum broke that new sledge my dad spent his wage on? My mum limped home and I held her hand and you mine, my dad carrying the sledge a half in each hand behind us.

Remember that time we put washing up liquid on the slide in my back garden and ran it into the pool? We zoomed down that slide like never before while our parents, none the wiser drank home made punch in the sun. That’s the same day we snuck into the corn fields in our swimming costumes and played spin the bottle with our friends. The next day at school everyone found out, they asked me if you were a good kisser – remember?

I hated football, but I watched with you. Our older brothers played for Three Bridges football club every Sunday and we’d cheer them on and boo at the other team. It wasn’t long though until I was watching you play. You scored 6 goals once!

Remember your last few weeks in your bed. You were so strong while we cried. And that cold day in January that followed was bitter cold morning, where I found old school friends! I know, a reunion? On the very day we said goodbye! What a contradiction! But, it was warmer with old faces and a comfort as we smiled, drank and talked about you Stu, and that’s when we pledged Christmas day, Stuwie day.

See, Stuwie, I remember you. I remember your face like it was yesterday and that’s how it will always be. My friend, I know you hear me, I miss you.





2 Responses

  1. This is very touching-thanks for sharing.
    I also like your self-portrait–I wish I could draw!

  2. Thanks for reading Caroline, good to hear from you and abut the drawing…. I wish I could cook banana muffins! Will give it a go maybe! Thanks again!

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