Losing Andy - And finding him again
I recall what happens to Will during the war-he must have been killed after '16. I remember both he and Andy in Kilted uniforms, Scottish regt.s-Will the Seaforths, perhaps, Andy- Royal Scots. I have to make do with whatever regt will take a 17 yr old and end up in an English one. I wanted London Scottish.
Andy was killed in 1915, September, I believe-or at least that's when I heard. I never got over it-by July '16, I either had a war neurosis through grief or was very close to it-I was 19. I still love, respect and admired him. He didn't spoil me, mind you-and he'd disciplined me when he had to-but I respected that a well.
I met him again in this life, in outwardly very different circumstances-I knew him as soon as his 'new host' turned to me and spoke though. I'd been having very similar problems at home to last time, and bulling at school. I was still the one that was 'different' but so was he-and he accepted me again, for what I was, praising what I achieved, gently chiding or constructively advising about what I had not or wanted to-building my confidence, explaining things to us all, however silly they would have seemed to another, treating us as equals, chiding when necessary, his punishments for us respected.. I say us, because his occupation this time meant he was in charge of a number of people. I knew he was Andrew, but I didn't know quite who Andrew was to me before-but I told my mum, this man felt like a big brother figure-one I'd looked for all this life. I felt so much better with things, even the problems I had didn't affect me so much..Then, a 'friend' got jealous. She caused trouble between us for a year, culminating in causing this man a lot of trouble but cleverly implicating me for the blame. I don't know if he rejected me through choice, or his colleagues persuaded him to-but it hurt-I lost him, in effect, again. I still feel it sometimes now. I eventually worked out, through something a friend said, that why I'd seen this man as a brother figure, was because, as Andy, he had been my big brother. I only found our birth certificates, proving that, and reminding me of Will's existence a few weeks ago; its now Sept 2003
By the way I 'lost' him again in Sept. 1995, by July 1996; I was well into heading for a breakdown-I was 19
Andy is now a successful teacher, head of department, with a different name, of course-still 'different' in ways too, still 'goofy'. I am proud of him because I know what he's been through-and I know his present life hasn't exactly been easy either. One day, I hope, we can 'clear the air' about what happened this time-even if he never realises I once was his little brother Above all, I'm just grateful to God I know what's become of Andy and, in a way, had a chance to see him again. ..May be I'll have more.