I came across some old CDs in a box this week while having a poke about in my spare room. As soon as I saw my old REO Speedwagon CD so many memories came flooding back and I had to sit down to take it all in properly. It’s not as if I’ve ever stopped thinking about him; more that I don’t think about all the little wonderful things about our friendship and the life we lived.
Several years ago, back when I was happily married, my husband and I lived next door to a man named Andy and his girlfriend. My ex had known him since they were kids; I got to know him and soon all four of us became firm friends. We spent hours and hours together: drunken nights in the garden, meals together, barbecues, bonfire night parties, pool parties (with the help of an enormous inflatable pool they had!) – you name it, we did it. The happiest times I had with my ex husband were the times we spent with those two. Wow. Never admitted that before. But I digress…
One evening we were sitting in their kitchen (probably because it was to cold to be outside) with music on loud in the living room. Suddenly Andy got up, pointed to me and said “I know a song you’ll love” and went to change CDs. As soon as I heard the first few notes I yelled to him, “OH MY GOD, REO SPEEDWAGON – I LOVE THEM!!!”. The other two just looked at us like we were speaking a foreign language, but Andy and I just sat there grinning, loving every minute of it.
We were so alike. I’d never told anyone that I loved REO Speedwagon. He just knew. And I miss having someone like that in my life.
Andy died of cancer a year or so later. I miss him. An impossible amount. He taught me not to take myself too seriously. If I was being a bit of a dick he called me on it. I’m a better person for knowing him.
I get a lot of comfort from the knowledge that he would be so proud of me now, getting my life back on track, not giving up, but most of all of the job I have and the fact that I’ve started appreciating whisky!
I miss him. But I’m lucky that I got to have a friend like him, even if it was only for a few years.