Cameron and Tom
My object that I got from Thomas, it's a plaque, a Celtic plaque that he got from Wales, er Snowdonia. It means a lot to me because Thomas suffered from epilepsy and throughout all his school life, I mean he went to mainstream schooling but all through his school life, he wasn't allowed to go on school trips because of his epilepsy. And this was his first school trip that he actually went on. And er, y'know he bought that when he was there. Y'know and I was so proud; even though he had a chest infection he was going up Snowdon... Snowden and everythin', y'know he battled through it and he enjoyed it, y'know. And he bought that for me. Well when he came back he was just so proud about it all and it's one thing that I've always kinda, it's always been on the wall and I've always like y'know, everytime I look at it I mean...
I mean Thomas was ever so generous y'know, he bought it, he didn't have a lot of money but y'know he bought it for, bought it for me, for us y'know. And I cherish it. And it will go wherever I go.
Tom was, he, he was his own, he was his own person. I mean he was kinda, I always called him, oh I don't know what, y'know he was a bit of a rocker, bit of a hippy y'know.
He got that for me because of y'know ma, I like y'know the Celtic signs and stuff like that. And he'd, he'd saw something like it on one of ma T-shirts before. And y'know, which he had. Er is it like Tom? Yeah in, in a way I mean cos he was his own, very own person. He was, he was individual. There was nothin' y'know, he wasn't stereo... he wasn't a stereotype. He wouldn't er, he didn't care what people thought. Y'know he just lived, lived life to the fullest, which I'm glad about y'know. And yeah he had his problems but don't we all really?
The first thing I think of is. God erm, there's so many. Erm...him bounding through that back door on a Sunday or whenever. And he bounded. The door would get flung open. Bang! Y'know and all you'd hear is, "Alright old man!" Y'know wha' I mean? And that's the first thing he'd shout before he'd even said hello to his mum or anythin'. It'd be, "Alright old man!" Y'know. Er, er... yeah that. The good things y'know wha' I mean?
Yeah, that's probably what I think about first when y'know. I miss that a lot y'know wha' I mean? I miss that a lot.
If I could say one more thing to Tom it would be, "Miss ya son, love you. Wish you were here with us." I mean, that's not one thing but y'know it's er, there's nothin' else ya can, I can really say y'know? "Take care, wherever ya are." Y'know?
I mean I'm not a religious person myself, I mean none of us really were. Er I think that there is somethin' about, I'm not sure what it is, I don't know if there's a heaven, I don't know if there's a hell or, y'know not anythin' like that. People y'know goin', "Oh I've seen a spirit, I've seen this." I've, I've not actually saw anythin' like that but I have had a few strange experiences where like y'know I've been, like I've, I've got a hoody that used to belong to Tom and y'know I mean there's a, there's a lot, it goes everywhere. It goes to concerts, festivals, some nights out with me and it's kinda strange because every now and again, I feel like a kinda tap on the shoulder. And he used to always, cos he was s... he was 6' 6" and a big bloke, he always used to put his arm round and tap me on the shoulder and I'd look round and course he'd be round the other side. And I, I don't, I mean people say, "It must be your imagination" and I'm like tha', "It's not imagination." There's a tug or there's a tap and I'm lookin' round and there's nobody there. And I automatically quickly look round and there's nobody there. So I mean I'm not sure, I mean I don't know if there is anything out there or not. I'd like to think that wherever he is, he's y'know in a good place. Yeah, Christ he never done anybody any harm so I mean he should be y'know?
Well it's a, it's a plaque; it's on the wall, always will be where ever I go. Er, so yeah it's been used y'know. Every, everybody that comes in always kinda has a look at it and goes, "Hmm, where'd ya get that from?" Y'know I explain and they're, "Oh" y'know. Some people are a bit, "Ohh, that must be terrible looking at it all the time." And I'm like that, "Well nah" I says, "cos he was havin' the time, he was havin' good times y'know and this that and the other." So it's not negative, being negative. Y'know what's the point of being negative? I mean I've got friends that are in the same... people I've met through Tom's death and through ESUK and they, they seem very doom and gloom about it all and I kinda think to ma self that, why ya doomy and gloomy about it? Y'know I mean, yeah the person's not here, I'm upset about that, I'm sad about that, nothing'll ever change it. Broke ma heart but... everybody's got their life to get on with and the last thing Tom would want, would me to be sitting at home y'know goin', "Aw god oh" y'know and this, that and the other. I mean grief takes people in different ways. I mean I was strong for the whole family - my wife, the rest of the kids. Yeah I did cry. I was upset but erm I was strong for them all and I didn't really start grieving ‘til later on. But as I says, my, my ex-partner, my ex-wife, I mean she's still grieving, y'know wha' I mean. And y'know I understand that and I've got no, got no issues with it because I mean there's nothin' we can, I can do about that. But I mean it's, life goes on and everybody says, I mean life goes on. It get. it gets easier. It does get easier. But y'know I mean there is days when y'know it's, does, does hit you more harder some days than it does other days y'know?
A difficult memory I have, well apart from his epilepsy and what he went though, was the actual day of his funeral. Er... I didn't think I'd manage. I mean I'd been strong for everybody else and I had to do a sp... not a speech, I don't know what it's called. I had to get up and stand up in front of everybody. Now when we got there we played, we had erm three songs picked out that Tom liked. The first one was The Trooper by Iron Maiden and that was to get played when the coffin got carried in. We turned up at the crematorium and there must have been couple hundred people outside it and I was like that, bloody hell that's a big turn out. I didn't realise that the crematorium was packed on the inside as well. And everybody was all, "Oh" y'know when we got out the cars and y'know got the coffin out. And we're behind the coffin and then The Trooper just banged in and everybody's like that, "WAAAAAAAY!" Y'know and it, it made me, I just, I felt that that kept me going. But as I says then we walked into the crematorium and I was like that, "Jesus Christ what the hell" y'know? Gettin' up to do the speech as well, I didn't think I'd hold it together. I mean we had The Trooper. We had, we didn't have any hymns because, I mean well we had one hymn er but that was just basically for the in-laws and that, y'know wha' I mean? To keep them sweet. Er then they had, I mean they had this, they had this ballad, this haunting ballad that Tom liked and it was outta bloody Green Street, the football hooliganism film, y'know!? But it was when the guy he, he was, he was goin' into a coma or somethin' and they had this haunting ballad, but he always liked it y'know. So we had that half way through it and then at the end we had er Creed, With Arms Wide Open which, he loved that song as well.
Another difficult memory was when we saw him in the hospital crematorium. I mean Tom had long hair, he always had it in a bandana. And I mean, yeah fair enough, these people, I mean y'know, he was in, he was in a hospital gown and he's in this y'know kinda, this guy had combed his hair all nice and y'know what I mean, it fanned out. And I just looked and I was like, "Nah, nah. That's, no, no." I mean when we got him back to a funeral directors, I mean I took up his 666 Double Gun T-shirt, his jeans er and his bandana ... and that's the way he was in his coffin, that's the way he woulda wanted to go in. I mean he wouldn't o' wanted a suit or anything like that cos he was not that sort of person y'know?
Enthusiastic, happy, mad and loveable.
I mean loveable - he, he would always give ya a cuddle. Give his mum a cuddle, give me a cuddle. It didn't matter if it was in the middle of town. No it didn't matter wherever it was, he'd do it. Y'know, he'd just y'know, "Ah, missed you, missed you man. Ah good to see ya" know wha' I mean? Mad - only he could get away with some of the things he, he got away with. Y'know erm I mean he, he was very popular with the young ladies. Er yeah but he could only get away with some of the things, y'know, God the stories. I mean walking through town, walking through Weymouth with him was an absolute nightmare. Y'know what normally could take you like ten minutes, to get... right come on we'll go to Finn's. We'd get off at the other side of the harbour and we'd walk through town. Yeah normally take ya about ten minutes to walk there. Two hours later we're finally gettin' in to Finn's, y'know wha' I mean, into the pub, y'know. Because that many people stopped, "Ah Tom how ya doin' mate? Haven't seen ya in ah la la la, how ya doin'?" And then he'd see somebody, "Ahh how ya doin'?" middle o' the street just shoutin' at the top of his voice, everybody's lookin' round, y'know. It's, it was er yeah... mad. But loveable, I mean he loved his mum, he loved his, he loved me, he loved y'know, he loved his brothers and sisters, and he'd do anythin' for anybody, y'know wha' I mean, if he could. I mean he'd give you ya last, he'd give you his last, his last money. Y'know wha' I mean? Not that we ever asked for it or anythin' like tha' y'know but he would. Y'know wha' I mean, if I said, "Tom, I need a fiver." "I've only got a fiver Dad but here ya can have it", he would say that, y'know wha' I mean? He never, he never ... I mean I know, I know he'd do that.
I mean as I says, he was ever so, ever so thoughtful, y'know wha' I mean? Er ever so thoughtful. He'd, I mean as I says, he'd always. . . I mean Father's Day nine times out of ten he was the only one that would remember to buy ya somethin'. And he died on Father's Day y'know, er it was the 19th erm 19/06/2011 he died. And it was, was Fatherin' Sunday. And you know he'd bought me a card and everythin' y'know but I mean I got it, I got it about three days later y'know when one of his friends brought it down y'know. I didn't know. "I wanted to make sure you got this". One of his ex-girlfriends brought it down y'know. I was a bit, well y'know she came up anyway then but I mean it, it kinda just y'know what mean? As I says I get a double whammy every year I've got Father's Day and then I've got like y'know the 19th, which is kinda difficult. Y'know it's a difficult kinda week that for me, I tend to find.
Everytime I think of this I just laugh, I cringe but laugh. There was Pamela, Daniel, Gavin was just a toddler and I had Emily in the buggy. We'd all went up to Scotland and we were stayin' in a place just outside Inverness. And there's a bird sanctuary there y'know with hawks and everythin'. There's all these wild peacocks walkin' about and I mean I was like that, opened up the boot and I says right c'mon. And they heard the rustle of this bag and the peacocks all started to get this like, they just started comin' out the woodwork y'know, they thought they were gettin' fed. So like once they realised they weren't getting fed y'know, I had, of course I had a buggy, I had like y'know couple of bags in the bottom of the buggy for stuff. I'm pushin' Emily along, y'know the kids are runnin' about havin' fun and Pamela comes back, "Look what I found a peacock feather" I says, "Let's have a competition, see who can find the most peacock feathers." All of a sudden, well yeah they all went runnin' away and y'know. Then all of a sudden I heard this CRRRAW! What the hell is goin' on here? Tom had got a bag rustled it, this peacock had came and he went like that and stood on his tail. I was like, "Quick in the car, come on get back. You're meant to pick them up off the ground, not pull them out this peacock!" y'know just! That hence the two peacock feathers in the cross, y'know we couldn't get a white one y'know wha' I mean but it's still two peacock feathers in the cross. I cringe but I just can't stop laughin' about it y'know it's er, it was just...!
After Tom died we, we found out about these anti-suffocation pillows. I mean Tom suffocated during an epileptic fit. Er now we got up to, we got a phone call, I mean Tom was one of these people that could quite happily stay in his bed for hours on end y'know, so weren't very phased that he hadn't been down. We knew he'd been out on Saturday night but I mean Tom didn't drink because of his epilepsy, he might have the odd pint y'know here or there but I mean he didn't drink. Er but then his girlfriend phoned up and then this ex, he stayed in a shared house where his ex-girlfriend stayed and one of his friends. And we got a phone call from Kay saying, "We've had to call an ambulance, Tom's in a bad way. You'd better get up here." Me and Tracy jumped in the car, we got up there. I went runnin' upstairs, while she was tryna park the car and I shouted, "Tom!" and I hear, "In here" and I thought thank God for that, like y'know. The paramedic was called Tom. Tom was lyin' there dead, blood had already settled y'know, things like that. My wife come up the stairs, I wouldn't let her in the room; I couldn't let her see him like that y'know. Er.. had we known about these pillows and he'd had them y'know, but we didn't know about them.
So we've now do, we now, well I mean for the last like three years since Tom died we've had like fundraisers every year. I mean we won't be havin' one this year y'know due to circumstances of what happened. But y'know we've raised money for ESUK, which is Epilepsy Sucks UK. And they provide free anti-suffocation pillows to people with epilepsy. The pillows cost about 25 quid each but they give them to anybody that's got epilepsy y'know wha’I mean. Y’know as the money comes in, as they raise money, they'll buy pillows and send them out to these people. Y'know very, I mean people say, "Oh what about The Epilepsy Society, are tryin' to..." I says, "Well, if he'd had a pillow, didn't matter if he had epilepsy, he'd still be alive y'know?" I says, "Y'know he wouldn't have suffocated himself." I says, "That's why we do that." And the first fundraiser with my mate's band, er we had karaoke, big raffle and I was gettin' sponsored to be waxed, which was interestin', y'know! And the second two fundraisers have been er like punk and rock nights over at Finn's. A Friday and a Saturday night, y'know charge entrance at the door. Finn's have been brilliant. Er the person that sorts 'em out, Kayleigh, she is a legend. Y'know wha' I mean? She was one of Tom's friends. He used to call her midget cos she's wee y'know wha' I mean. He'd go, "Alright Midget" and she's got a tattoo: Midget. On her shoulder.
Lot o', lot o' Tom's friends got Tom's, I mean one o' the guys has got Tom Roy on his neck, Tom Roy. And another's got Tom Roy on his knuckles. On their legs - To my brother Tom. Tom Roy Rest In Peace, I mean there's, I think there must be about thirty or fourty people with Tom's name tattooed on them just in this area, yeah. These bands, these ESUK bands we, we got them made up y'know, on it's: In memory of Tom Roy ESUK. We got these made up and we, we had to get a second batch made up because I think we got three hundred. Woomf, gone! Y'know? We had to get another lot made up and they've now, they've all gone as well. But I mean the tattoos go from y'know, something I mean like Gareth, he's got Thomas outta Tom & Jerry, cos like y'know he'd be like that, "THOMAAS" to Tom, like y'know wha' I mean. And y'know he's got that in memory o' Tom. Y'know people have got different things that mean things to them. Y'know but I can look at it and I can go, I know that y'know. Er I mean I got The Trooper done because it was his favourite song by one of his favourite bands Iron Maiden. He had it as his ringtone on his phone.
It used to drive us up the wall cos he had it as a text message alert and a phone alert. Come in, he, he'd get, because he was that popular, I mean not just with the ladies, with the young ladies and tha', he was, he had that many friends that, y'know people would forever tryna get hold of him. And things like Christmas day I'd be like tha', "Everybody mobiles off, out." Y'know Sunday dinner, "Turn ya mobile off!" Y'know things like that, just because or else it's be da na na na na na na na, da na na "Oh God's sake will ya turn that off!" Y'know I actually stopped likin' that song. I used to, I used to like it myself but I actually stopped likin' it for a while y'know. But I think the love of it came back actually at his funeral when y'know the, when we got out and it just blared out and everybody just cheered. Everybody was like tha', y'know kinda, dunno where to look, or people cryin', everybody cryin' and people sad and then that happened and there was this great big cheer and it kinda lifted everythin'. And I mean I was brickin' it. I was really, I mean I was, I mean I, we were, we were in a bad way anyway; I mean we were puttin' a boy into the crematorium. But it kinda helped me. Y'know and as I says a few songs do. I mean when I'm feelin' sad I listen to Arms Wide Open, Creed. Ah it's not the most jumpiest song like y'know wha' mean but he liked it. And y'know, and as I says Iron Maiden, I listen to a bit o' that as well, for y'know just, it was him tha' really; I never really liked Iron Maiden so I don't know where he got that from y'know what I mean?
I mean as I says, Tom didn't drink but he would go to parties. And y'know and I, I've seen him, I've heard of him walkin' people home, five miles, when they're pissed. Y'know or helpin' them when they're drunk and things like that, cos he wasn't drunk. And y'know I've heard, the stories I've heard y'know, "Oh yeah Tom, he brought ma sister home. Er ma dad wasn't best pleased but when he found out tha' Tom had brought her home and it wasn't nothin' to do with him, this bloke was stone cold sober." And y'know things like that. He would never see... any of his friends, I mean I've actually heard I, I actually heard a story that y'know that he, he found this, he didn't find this girl, this girl passed out. This young lady passed out and he sat with her until she kinda woke up and got her home. Y'know and I mean her mum and dad were, "Oh thanks very much" y'know everything and that, "let's pay for ya to get a taxi home" and he was like that, "No it's alright." Y'know and just buggered off and it was, checked the, about five miles away and he walked home y'know. Things like that. Yeah, I've not heard, y'know I mean there must be bad things about him that I've not heard of, but I mean everybody's got their secrets everybody's got bad things to hide.
But y'know, Tom: legend, son, friend. Y'know that's all I can really say about him. Y'know?