Well where do I even start with a story that doesn't even seem real? Where do I even begin to tell you all about my absolute best friend and hero?
Alex is such a special person. He has the ability to light up a room with his infectious personality. The ability to put a smile on your face regardless of the mood your in. Somehow he’d make you forget about your problems and just have fun. I was 11 or 12 the first time I met him and little did I know he’d become one of the most important people in my life. The one i’d turn to for absolutely everything and the one I would share some of the most amazing adventures with.
I thought the hardest thing I’d have to get through was being without him during his tour of Afghanistan back in 2014 with the army. Saying goodbye to him then seemed like the hardest thing I ever had to do even though I knew it was only going to be a few months. The first phone call I received from him I think I spent half of it crying. Mainly relief that I knew he was still going to make me smile from half way across the world and knowing he was ok. In those months I lived for that unknown number to call my phone or a random Facebook message to pop up letting me know he was thinking about me. Afghan changed him just as I think it would most people but he was still my Alex. My best friend .
Life continued with him always by my side even though we didn’t see each other as often as we used to. Not too long after he came home from tour, I received a phonecall from him..I wasn’t home when he’d turned up to tell me in person but he just couldn’t wait any longer before telling me..my best friend was going to be a dad. Now knowing Alex, I knew he was at the stage in life where he needed that little miracle to complete him. The twinkle in his eye as he spoke about preparations just proved how amazing he was going to be as a father! Every now and then he would message me with a daddy diary update and they never failed to crack me up. On the 27th November 2015, you could hear the pride in his voice as he called to tell me that Lily had been born. He was so proud that his princess was finally here. Hearing him talk about her literally would make my day and I couldn't wait to meet her. I never had the opportunity to meet the beautiful little baby girl..instead I had to receive news I never thought I'd have to hear. I guess God decided that Lily was far too precious and pure to be put on this earth and was ready for her to return to heaven after just 33 days. Why had this type of heartbreak had to hit such a special person and his wonderful family? These questions will never have answers.
Everyone's hearts were broken but Alex..a part of him left with lily and he was unable to see how he could go on. In old Alex style he would try and make me and everyone think he was ok. He'd still crack his jokes, he'd still make fun of me but he had changed. His world had fallen apart but he had the biggest support base I know and that's what kept him going. Some days he couldn't face the world and others he would be ready to take it on. He took each day as it came and the admiration I have for him is indescribable. We spent hours planning ways that he could focus his drive on making a change to other families in similar situations and that's when the fundraising plans began. That is him down to a tee..even though life threw unbearable obstacles he still managed to think of helping others. He ran the Birmingham marathon and between us wrote down so many events we wanted to do together for the Lullaby Trust.
I may be crazy but I thought that little Alex twinkle was returning in his eye. He was finally beginning to see positivity in his future and planning things he wanted to achieve.
With this in mind you will understand the heartbreak, shock and confusion I felt when I received the news that my best friend had passed away suddenly. I knew he was an angel a long time ago for the things he'd helped me overcome but I didn't think his wings were ready to grow that soon. Alex was my rock and I don’t think I quite realised how much until it was too late. I never once took our friendship for granted but if I knew this time was all we’d have, I sure as hell would have appreciated the little things so much more - the texts to say put the kettle on I’m on my way round, The ‘good morning, get ready we’re going on an adventure’ phonecalls. Those are some of the things i miss more than anything.
Alex had a way of putting everybody before himself and with that touched the lives of hundreds of people. This brings me to the reason for this page.. I could write for hours about the memories I have or about his personality but I think every individual has their own personal ones that they should reflect upon as they read this.
He may not be here to complete the fundraising we'd planned to do. The sky dives, the wolf runs, the colour runs are just a few of the ideas we wanted to partticipate in. It’s taken me almost 2 years to get the ball rolling but I sure as hell will not let him down. The first challenge I'm going to take on is the Colour Run in July 2019 with an amazing group of work colleagues and I’m going to cross that finish line in his memory. I’d like to take a leaf out of his book and raise whatever I can as a way of thanking him for the 10 years of friendship I was lucky enough to share with him.
I know his fundraising was going to be for the Lullaby Trust in memory of Lily, but this will be in memory of him and the help PTSD provided when he returned home from his tour. I refuse to let his name be forgotten. I know he's with me every single day so at least this way he’ll get to complete those events in spirit beside me
Please please give what you can whether it be a single pound I know he'd be more than grateful❤️
PTSD UK is the only UK charity dedicated to the education about and awareness raising of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it's causes, symptoms & the treatments available - no matter the trauma that caused it.Our mission is to provide support and information for anyone affected by PTSD (and their friends and family). We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of the condition and treatments available.