Further to my previous post about life changing events and how I viewed my school days I am now moving on to the next major event that had a major impact on my life. In memoria, Andrew Pearson.
I was at University reading diagnostic radiography, living in Salford and going back to my parental home at the weekends. I knew Andrew from before starting University as he was a regular at my local pub and a lively member of the group I hung out with at the weekend. We became close friends. He wanted to be more than just friends but I was young and unsure of myself and I did not doubt that my parents, or at least my mother, would not approve. He was unemployed through no lack of trying, a bit older than me at almost 30 years old compared to my 20 years old. So I said I just wanted to stay friends. And so it went for a year. I finally decided that it was my life and here was a man who adored me and why shouldn’t I at least date him a couple of times. So we started dating, at first secretly and then openly. My mother thought he was a bad influence on me, I stayed to lock-ins at the local pub with him. Somehow I knew I had to spend as much time as I could with him. I remember one weekend I went out with Andy and stayed for a lock in and spent the night drinking pineapple juice. I got home around 1 am and promptly became ill. My mum looked out of her bedroom at me, tutted and said that was what I got for staying out all night drinking. She did apologise the next morning when I entered the kitchen covered in bright red splotches, it seems I am mildly allergic to processed pineapple.
Mum started to come around to Andy after we had been dating covertly and overtly for 2 years. My happiness that she was finally able to accept my most tender lover was short-lived. I graduated from university and took employment at the hospital I had done my last year of practical training. Just part time, 2 days a week moving up to 4 days a week. It was just after my hours were increased that my days of blissful happiness with Andy came to a staggeringly swift end. He had managed to get a job and had been employed for several months and had saved money to visit me in Stockport where I had decided to take accommodation to be close to work. On the way back to our home town he was hit by a bus. Mild abrasions were the result.
The end came shortly after though. He started with a headache one day shortly after the incident with the bus and after seeing his optician thinking it was eye strain causing the headache he was referred to a neurologist. Andrew had an MRI scan which confirmed the presence of a tumour. I was with him and his mother for the results. I don’t recall much of the appointment other than us all walking out of the consultation room and Andy suddenly having the news hit him and he went weak at the knees and I called out for a nurse, my training coming in handy for once as my work voice is quite authoritative and a nurse appeared within a breath and scurried to get a wheelchair. I recall treatment had been discussed and the overall view was optimistic even with such a dire diagnosis.
Andrew was transferred to the neurology unit at the city hospital and was hopeful that things would work out well on the surface, deep down however I think he knew it was not going to end well and sought assurance that we would get married when he was better. “We will get married, won’t we?” Those are the last words I heard from his mouth, I returned to work as he was not scheduled for surgery for some days and I was still a probationary radiographer. I had a call at work to say that Andy had been taken into surgery over night and was in ICU and that I should come home as soon as possible. I was on the next train, driven to the train station by one of my seniors. 10 days from diagnosis he was dead.
I’m 40 now and I still feel the same about him and I still cry when I think about him. He was my soul mate, my true love and I miss him terribly. So much so that it is only in the last year or two that I have found myself able to almost completely give my heart to another man. I have had relationships since but I think I have always compared the men to him and none of them have ever met my expectations and it is only in the last two years that I have begun to realise that.