A view from the insideRight then. I’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to do this for a year now, so it looks like I’ve finally got there. It has been three years since my last guest post on this blog and I believe I’m well overdue another one, and more importantly, I definitely owe it to my Sis to make a contribution, even if she isn’t around anymore to edit for me! So for those of you, who haven’t already gathered it, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Jamie or James, Lisa’s Bro. I literally have no planned structure for this, so I have no idea where it’s going to lead, but stick with and we’ll see how it goes.
We’re over a year on now since Lisa moved upstairs. All of the “firsts” are out of the way, Birthday’s, Crimbo, and Anniversaries etc etc. And although they have generally been immensely wank, we have tried, as a family, to enjoy them as much as possible, which is exactly what Lisa would have wanted. Without wanting to toot our own family horn too much, I think that on the whole we’ve done a bloody good job too. We’re all dealing with what we have to deal with, the reality of the shituation that has been presented to us all. We have our moments, of course we have our moments. We’ll continue to have our moments, which is only natural, but life does go on, as we are learning, the very hard way. It’s not the same, it is worse of course. Any life without Lisa Lynch in it is going to be worse, but life is going on nonetheless. In spite of our shituation, we’ve done a lot of lovely things over the last year, and a lot of lovely developments have happened, but I’ll come on to them more later on I imagine.
Not too long ago, it was the one year anniversary of Lisa’s funeral. I thought it would be a good idea to read through the eulogy I prepared for the occasion, before I put finger to keyboard. Turns out that wasn’t such a good idea though, as it pretty much wrecked me before I started. To be fair, that was the first time I’ve read it since the funeral, so I guess it was to be expected.
The funeral itself was a remarkable occasion. It was horrible in many ways, for blindingly obvious reasons. But on the other hand it was remarkably uplifting, and made all of her family feel ridiculously proud. I like to think that my Sister would be pretty proud of me too though, for needing to get a kebab on my walk back to my hotel after the wake! She wouldn’t have called it a wake though. After party would have been more like it for her. That after party was a great occasion, even though it was an occasion that we never wanted to need to attend. The location was great; the food was great but most importantly the people were great. Only Lisa could have had a wake where people left saying “that were a fuckin’ crackin’ night out were that”. We know that’s the way she would have wanted it too.
Very recently, we’ve had yet another example of just how cruel life could be, having lost a very close family friend and ultra-long term colleague/business partner of my Dad’s in a tragic car accident. Keith Poynton was one of the finest people you could ever meet, and that is in no way any kind of emotional over-reaction, as anybody who knew Keith, knows exactly what I mean. This tragic loss has yet again left us all questioning, why such bad things happen to the best, and in Lisa and Keith’s case, the very best people. Whilst we at least had chance to prepare ourselves in some way as to what was eventually going to happen to Lisa, Keith’s family didn’t have that “relative” luxury, something that I personally just can’t imagine. We can obviously relate to the loss they are feeling now, albeit in very different circumstances, and as a family we can, will and are, going to be able to offer support, just in the same way they have to us. Keith’s funeral was another remarkable occasion, but one everybody wishes would have never been needed. It was dreadfully sad, of course, but uplifting at the same time. A marquee at Derbyshire’s Cricket Ground filled with hundreds of people immaculately dressed (just as the great man himself would have been), wonderful tributes and eulogy, and even a lovely toast made by my Dad. The sheer quantity of people in attendance was just a measure of the size of loss for the Poynton family and their friends. But the kindness on display by all in attendance restored your faith in humanity, just like it did at Lisa’s funeral. As a close family friend, Lisa obviously knew Keith very well herself, and in Keith, she has been joined upstairs by the very finest company she could have wished for.
So, back to the life goes on bit. We’ve had to keep ourselves busy to keep sane, but in keeping busy we’ve done a lot of nice things between us, as a family. You know, weekend breaks, holidays, nice meals, family days out, that kinda stuff. Lisa liked nice things, and she’d stick a rocket up our jacksie’s if she thought we didn’t continue to do nice things, even in her absence.
As much as I’m a hypocritical fuckwit for despising Social Media, yet using it every day, it has been bloody good way of keeping in touch with Lisa’s mates. That has been really important for me and just the knowing that I’m connected to these people has actually provided me with great deal of comfort. Seeing some of Lisa’s mates has been great for us too. We were fortunate enough to go on a family holiday last September to California and even more fortunate to spend a day in LA with the wonderful Ant. This day meant a hell of a lot to us, as I imagine it probably did for Ant too. Not because we’re such delightful company and because she really wanted to spend time escorting a family with whining jet-lagged nearly two year old boy around LA, but because I can imagine she felt a bit closer to Lisa with us being there. That whole holiday was great for us and I like to think Lisa would have been looking down on us taking Corey round Disneyland, over “Buddy-Owl Bridge” (long, family story, but a significant family moment) and then pushing him around our Villa’s swimming pool in his famous blow up car that she and Pete bought for our holiday in Spain together, a year earlier. We deserved a bloody good break and a bloody good break is what we got. We only wished it could have been ALL of us.
As the dreaded first Christmas crept up on us, Ant was back over in the UK and so she and the (also) wonderful Tilly arranged to come and see us. This meant that they had the ultimate privilege of entering the centre of the universe… Derby. I can only imagine that a visit to such a City as Derby was a lifetime goal for them both, as it would be for any resident of LA or London. But for us it was great to be close to some of Lisa’s very close mates again, and I’m sure that for Ant and Tilly to be able to come to the City and house where Lisa grew up, was an special moment for them too.
Lisa has missed out on a lot from a family point of view. She’d absolutely love to see her nephew Corey and some of the things he comes out with now. He still remembers her too, which is the most important thing to us. He recognises any picture of Auntie Lisa and regularly kisses them. We say goodnight to Auntie Lisa every night from his bedroom window and then Corey blows her a kiss and sometimes even sings her a song. She’d love the fact that he knows that we must say “boo” when we say Nottingham Forest, and she’d be even happier to see him singing “Auntie Lisa is the best, is the best, is the best, Auntie Lisa is the best, she hates Forest”. The “she hates Forest” bit came by accident really when I couldn’t think quickly enough when Corey requested an Auntie Lisa song one night at bed time. But it has stuck like mud, and I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not even nearly ashamed of it! Now Corey is talking more and more, I dread to think what kind of trouble Auntie Lisa could have got him in.
There have been so many moments where my natural reaction has been, call my Sis, or, I need to tell Lisa about this. Corey would say things or do things that I would have normally share with Lisa straight away. I just can’t do that anymore. Then there are things that only the pair of us would probably ever get excited about. For example, I recently discovered that the lead singer of one of our favourite 90’s bands (Audioweb) sings the theme tune to Rastamouse (check it out, it’s genius) on CBeebies. I always had a hunch that his was the case, but when I finally discovered it, I reached for my phone ready to tell my Sis, only to remember I can’t just call her or drop her a text anymore. That feeling, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a motherfucker!
Nobody else would appreciate that completely useless piece of information quite like my Sis would. Then there’s the love of music that we shared. I’ve bought loads of albums that I know Lisa & I would have loved over the last year, but I’ve hardly listened to any of them. That will come with time I’m sure though. The first one I bought was Queens of the Stone Age – “…Like Clockwork”. That was something I loved on first listen, and I knew Lisa would too. But she just ain’t knocking around anymore for us to talk about it. The amount of times the phrase “Lisa would have loved that” has been said by anyone in our family is a little bit ridiculous to be honest.
Aside from the family stuff, she has missed a lot going on in the world. What she probably wouldn’t have expected to have missed was Derby County getting good! Alright, good in relative terms then. This has obviously denied her the wonderful opportunity to royally rip into Chris Ward after Derby beat Forest 5-0 the other week. She has a funny way of coming back to haunt people does our Sis! With a lot of luck, there may even be a family showdown next year between Derby County and Pete’s Everton. I think even Pete would be rooting for Derby if that was the case! Mum, Dad and I have enjoyed going to the match much more again this season, not because things are going well on the pitch, but mainly because we’ve moved our Season Ticket seats to Lisa’s favourite stand. It just feels right again, and I personally like to think that when the seat next to me is empty that Lisa is sitting in it.
As Toby recently updated, there has been more news that Lisa has missed, but would be delighted to hear. The news that the BBC will be officially adapting Lisa’s book, The C Word, for TV was not a surprise as such for her family, but the realisation of it being out in the public domain got the emotions flowing yet again. I was away with work in Singapore when the press release came out, and was caught off guard a bit when I received a tweet about it from a friend. I was just in the process of wrapping up a week long workshop, and could have easily burst out into tears, but had to hold it in. It was a bit of a mad panic as I was flying home that night, but I just wanted to find out what was going on. I just wanted to be with my wife and parents, and talk to Pete. I remember messaging Pete before I boarded my flight home, and I took it upon myself to introduce myself to the one and only Sheridan Smith on Twitter, advising her that as she was playing my Sis, she was the only person to have the honour of referring to me as Arseface! She is a delightful young lady, and will do a fantastic job playing Lisa.
I can’t describe the pride I felt that day when the press release came out. I was so pleased for Lisa, yet so sad that she won’t get to see the finished article. Although I like to think in some way she will. Pride was the key emotion, but I’d be lying if I said all the pain didn’t come flooding back with it. I know it was the same for the rest of the family too. I can’t imagine how we’ll be when it hits the screen, but I’m pretty sure once again that the main emotion will be pride. I just wish so much that we weren’t even in the situation to be having a TV drama about my Sis, but on the flip side I’m so bloody proud and excited that the world will get to see how brilliant she is. I’m also so, so pleased that the hard work of so many people is going to come to fruition. Lisa spent a lot of time working with people like Nicole Taylor (writer) and was even in contact with Sheridan Smith herself. The fact that Sheridan has agreed to play Lisa would make her brilliant smile beam from ear to ear, because that is just what she wanted. It’s a bizarre situation for our family to be in, but if you hadn’t gathered already, it’s a bloody proud one too. And when Corey is old enough to understand fully, we’re going to have something to show him to make him fully appreciate just how special his Auntie Lisa really is. At which point we’ll probably be getting a letter from his School Head Teacher advising us that he’s being going round calling the other kids Twatclacker!
As you can see, although life on the inside is very tough at times, it is still going on. This next 12 months will be no different, as will the 12 months after that, and so on and so on. That is just the way life if is now, forever more. Just because life is continuing, it doesn’t mean that Lisa isn’t still an integral part of it. Pete has his mahoosive Bike ride from London to Paris with is mates in aid of The Lisa Lynch fund at Trinity Hospice (so pull your finger out your arse and sponsor him), then me and Pete are going to attempt to win the Trinity Golf day, with a couple of my mates soon after. We’ll continue to spread the word and thanks to the people that helped Lisa out so much. No doubt there will also be holidays, weekend breaks, nice meals, summer days out at Cricket etc etc. Myself, Leanne and Corey are even (hopefully) moving house soon. So things aren’t standing still, they are no better, they are no easier. They can’t be, because Lisa isn’t here. But we plough on as a family, because that is what we have to do. We’re not moping around feeling sorry for ourselves, but as I mentioned earlier, we do have our moments, individually and together. We didn’t need this shituation for us to realise how close we are, that was always a given. But for me, the important thing is that we think about Lisa every day, talk about Lisa everyday, do things that Lisa would like, eat things that Lisa would like, watch things that Lisa would like, go places that Lisa would like, see people that Lisa likes, and generally do the main thing that Lisa wanted us to do… quit fucking around and get on with it!
So there is a little view from the inside for you I guess, I don’t know if you’re still reading at this point, but if you are thank you. If you take away anything from this post, let it be this… for some, completely fucked up reason, bad things will continue to happen to good people, so we need to make sure we make the most of everything we do, and the people we do it with. And if you wanted to take anything else away from this post, please remember that my Sister is fucking brilliant, still! Very proud little brother signing off.
Until next time,