I have some fond memories of my brother Patrick.
He was beautiful as a child and I cared for him so much. Blondish fairing hair, skinny, cheeky, but as a teenager, often sullen with me.
As I was with him.
Mostly, Patrick, ran with scissors, in life.
As did I.
I remember being summoned one night to go down to my mother’s. A well-known crew of brothers were coming to get him.
He owed them money.
To pay the debt, he had been instructed to rob our Mother’s house, but he failed to fulfill the obligation. I suspect he summoned his own courage that night.
I lifted a pickshaft and went unaccompanied, except with the preceding reputation of these guys.
Earlier that year on an Autumn night, I had bumped into Patrick. They had sent him to the shops. In the passing small talk on the scheme bridge, the nothingness of what was said between us, had stayed with me, but I really didn’t want to know, what, he could have wanted to tell me.
On the night they were coming, during the tense wait, we spoke of the inevitability of his downfall.
They and that never came.
Not that night.
Later, I wrote in my diary of that inevitability.
A few weeks later I met him in Somerfields, he looked healthy, clear-eyed, and beautiful again. He introduced me as his big brother and that felt good.
He had been quite ill, but now was clean and starting afresh………
A week before Christmas Day on the 18th December 1987, Patrick was stabbed to death. He was nineteen. It was not those above who came for him.
It was others. They were his friends.
He died in his Mothers arms as his Father looked on. He died in the street.
Outside his Mothers house.
He had been summoned outside to go finish an earlier fight. It was a trap
It was a Thursday night.
On the Friday morning, a few peas and gristle were stuck to his dinner plate on the bedroom floor.
He had been in a hurry to get out.
It was party time.
It was a week before Christmas.
In his short life, he laughed, loved, cried
He was brave, caring and kind, a friend, brother and son