Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Forgotten

When you're young, you think you're indestructible. Nothing can happen, and death is many decades away. Life is for living, and there's plenty of it going spare. You can never imagine one of your friends dying 'too soon'.

That's why the death of a young person is so unexpected, so shocking. For everyone in the community, yes, but particularly for the family and friends of the deceased. And while the wider community can forget so quickly, with the litany of people dying, and other news stories coming and going, those who were close to the person can never forget.

Time seems to move so quickly, and yet it can also stand still, with memories returning of former days. Happy memories, things to smile about, yet with tears never far away.

It's hard to believe, but it's one year today since PSNI Constable James Magee died, alongside Constables Kenneth Irvine, Declan Greene, and Kevin Gorman, in a terrible accident in their police 4x4 vehicle on their way to help colleagues in Rostrevor.

As I wrote last year, James was my best friend at Primary School. We were always playing together, and I spent many happy times up at Bishopsmount, the former family home in Dromore. It was always fun taking my bike up there, as there was a path right around the bungalow for us to do cycle races. There were the goats and other animals to look at but not get too close to. There were the vintage cars in the garage to get excited about. He had the most amazing and massive model railway set which was always out in one of the garages. There were the ham and cheese sandwiches and the weak diluting orange juice. There was the times we played football and got stuck in the whirly-line, then James' mum would come out and scrub down the concrete saying that she had to get the pitch all clean for the footballers. There was the big stove in the kitchen to get warmed at when we had got cold outside. There was the stony lane between the house and Church Street under the old railway tunnel which echoed as you shouted out. There were the silly jokes that made us laugh all day. There was the time when David Riddell put his hand on the electric fence having been told it was turned on.

Despite going to different secondary schools, we stayed in touch, still going to Sunday School together, and then being Confirmed on April 9th 1995.

Confirmation 1995

It's hard to believe that James has been dead for a year now, and yet one thing is certain - he has not been forgotten.

1 comment :

  1. Thankyou for reminding me.