On Friday 21st December 2007 I was part of a group from the City of Belfast Concert Band playing carols in Forestside Shopping Centre, raising money for our tour to America the following summer. I was there with my cousin (also in the band), his parents and our granda.
My granda sat as close as he could to us both, feet tapping throughout, and seemed to be really enjoying his night. After I had been left home, my uncle was due to leave my grandfather home but phoned to say that my granda was complaining of not feeling well and that they were taking him to hospital where he was admitted.
The following day I was bag-packing (again as a fundraiser) in Sainsbury’s at Holywood Exchange. I noticed my dad outside a lot earlier than I was expecting him and he told me that my granda had died. A part of my world fell to pieces. This was the person who I had spent the majority of my summers with growing up, had travelling the length of Northern Ireland and further afield with and who I had seen on a daily basis for the majority of my life.