Colin John Smith Born 23rd August, 1982 Died aged 7 on 13th January, 1990
'That.' Said Colin, from his bed which was surrounded by beer cans and pizza boxes, 'was the best night I've had!'
Even then, not long before he died, Colin loved having fun. He loved his lego that littered his hospital room and in fact he banned the cleaners from coming in to clean in case they disturbed his models. His headstone is a car, complete with wheels, because he loved cars, both his toy ones and the real one he 'drove' round car parks sitting on his dad's lap. Most of all that day, though, he loved Gareth Lewis. The night before, Gareth had told us to go home for a rest, saying he would look after Colin - and he did, brilliantly. When we arrived the next morning they were fast asleep, cuddled up in bed together. Colin had had his first - and only - 'bloke's night in' thanks to Gareth, and he had loved every minute of it. He told Gareth the next meal was on him, but it wasn't to be. They were great mates and would have got up to all sorts together if Colin had lived! Colin idolised him; they were like a mutual admiration society with exclusive membership.
Colin made people laugh; he never complained; he was a little boy who liked having fun. We never talked to him about dying, but we think he knew. Once, he turned to Daniel, his brother and commented: 'You'll miss me, you know…', and of course, Colin was right; Daniel does miss him, as do his other brothers, Patrick and Darren. He told his brothers they could have his toys - he obviously knew they would get to use them for longer than he would.
We like to think that Colin wasn't afraid. Once, after his grandmother died, he remarked that it was selfish to cry because: 'You know where she is.'
For his last Christmas, his greatest wish was to have a motorised car that he could sit on and drive. We knew that he was probably too ill but we tried to get him one anyway. We had problems in getting funding and tried to put it to the back of our minds. Then, one day, Gareth turned up at the hospital with a shiny new motorised car. Colin was ecstatic - rather more ecstatic than the nurses actually, because Gareth then proceeded to unhook Colin from all his drips, lifted him into the car and showed him how to work it. He then took him out of the barrier nursing room and chased him along the corridors and even outside into the hospital grounds. The medical team weren't too impressed but a combination of fun and fresh air gave Colin the best night's sleep he'd had in ages and a great memory to last him for the short time he had left.
Gareth was so special to Colin and we want everyone to know how special he is to us, too. He supported Colin and supported us. We think the world of him.
You never get over the death of a child, especially this sort of death. One thing that has helped a little is writing poems about him. Here is one we would like to share with you all:
Hello my darling, my little son, I've been thinking of you today. Sometimes I feel so very close, Sometimes so far away; But I know you're very near us For you're kept within our hearts, And I know with all the love we feel We'll never be apart.
I remember the fun we used to share God, how we used to laugh! The little secrets we used to have We whisper while we're apart.
I'll give you some flowers today, sweetheart, And I'll smile at you and say: 'I'll see you in my dreams tonight', Then I'll look to you and pray. I know I'll see you, darling, I know you'll hear me pray, And with God's help, my little boy, We'll meet again someday.
God Bless You, my baby. See you soon. Mummy.
Posted by Janet, Colin's Mummy
To My Little Friend
I sometimes wonder to this day The fun we could have had; We could have gone to the rugby; The meal I never had.
But you left me treasured memories; Some I will not forget: The cans of lager and Chinky food - The day you drove that car!
You gave me strength to carry on, The will to kick some ass.