Journal Jar Q88. Think Of One Thing You Wish Had Never Happened In Your Life & Write About It

I wish my best friend Linda hadn’t died of cancer when we were sixteen.

 She had a cough that she couldn’t get rid of one winter, and her mum took her to the doctor when it still didn’t go away when spring came.  Four months later, she was dead.  Lung cancer which metastasised to her brain.  Despite surgery and radiotherapy, she never really had a chance.

Sixteen bloody years old.  Sixteen.  It didn’t do much for any belief I may or may not have had in God at the time, I can tell you.

It’s over twenty five years now since Linda died, unbelievably, and she still pops into my head at least once every couple of weeks.  Ridiculously, even this many years after the event, I am struggling to write this post without letting the tears in my eyes start falling.

We met at primary school, and were friends from the age of five.  Even when I changed schools at 11, we still remained best friends and saw each other all the time.  I still know her telephone number off by heart (and use it to phone her parents, who I keep in touch with and visit when I go back home), and I still have snapshots inside my head of the times we shared together, as clearly as if they happened yesterday.  (One of my favourites is Linda throwing a roller skate at my brother, who was really annoying us one day!  Do you remember that, Nick?)

We spent hours and hours riding round the village on our bikes, loved playing board games, went horse riding together, and latterly we spent a good deal of time talking about boys, as well.  As young girls do, we had our fair share of disagreements as well.  But we always got over them and put them behind us quickly.

Linda absolutely loved children, and I’m sure she would have ended up working with children in some way, and would have been a brilliant mum one day, had she lived long enough.

The number of years since Linda died always shocks me – ten years was a bad one, then sixteen years (she’d been dead as long as she’d been alive) wasn’t good.  And as the years speed by, it won’t be long before it will be the anniversary when Linda will have been dead twice as long as she was alive.

But you know what?  Whilst the real photos may fade as the years pass, the memories remain crystal clear inside my head.  And there, Linda and I will remain best friends, frozen in time, forever.  Sixteen again, and with all the possibilities life had to offer stretched out before us.

***Edited to add: I had a whole other photo and post planned for Tara’s Gallery this week, the subject of which is ‘Togetherness’.  And then I realised that’s this post is essentially about togetherness.  So this is my Gallery entry this week.***


29 thoughts on “Journal Jar Q88. Think Of One Thing You Wish Had Never Happened In Your Life & Write About It

  1. Wow. That is so incredibly sad. You had referred to a friend dying at a young age before- thank you for sharing that with us. It must have been agony to have to cope with a death so young. So unfair What a tragedy. I am not surprised it haunts you to this day.
    But that you remember her is a good sign – and it gives you such perspective. You have a positive attitude to her memory.
    I remember those girl guide uniforms – the ties and the pins.

  2. Such a lovely post about your very special friend. Like you say she’ll always been with you in the precious memories of all the times you shared together.
    Lisa x

  3. When I saw the title I knew you were going to talk about our very good friend Linda.
    I remember all too well the day I phoned her house asking to speak to her to see if she wanted to come over, and her dad saying she was in hospital. It came as such a shock. I knew she’d had a cough for some time but didnt think that it could be something so bad. I also clearly remember her having a terrible migraine whilst at school. We were stood by our lockers when it was bad and she had tunnel vision. I find it hard walking past the area where the lockers were at work even now. She always pops into my head when I’m in that block.
    I remember playing in my loft together when I moved to Ferndown from West Moors. Years later the decorations that we put up were still there – in fact I think they were still there when my mum moved out 5 years ago.
    Its silly I know, but when my daughter reached 17 I felt guilty when I saw Doris, guilty that my daughter was older than Linda was when she died. As I say I know its silly to feel that way as life does go on, but its how I felt.
    Linda certainly was a very very special one in a million friend and we were both very luck to have known her 🙂

  4. This is such a beautiful post. How tragic for her to die so young…but what wonderful memories you have. Thankyou so much for sharing what must have been difficult to write xx

  5. A beautiful tribute to a very special friend, it must have taken a great deal of courage to write. I still have my 2 school friends from pre-school and after reading this I called them both to tell them how much they mean to me. True friends leave so many memories in our hearts, treasure the time spent together & know that wherever she is, she misses & treasures u as much. A beautiful & heartfelt post Caroline . Tx

  6. Oh dear, I don’t know you or her and I’m crying. Life is so precious and can be so cruel sometimes. What a tender age to be taken from us, at least you helped cram in a load of happy memories for both you and her. Like you said, those girls are frozen in time at their happiest.
    A beautiful and tender story.

  7. Pingback: 99. If You Had £1m To Donate To Any Charity , Which Would It Be? | What's Happening At My House

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