Jamie was 14 when he took his own life. He wasn’t depressed, he didn’t suffer from mental illness, he smiled everyday and had a plan for his whole life that he was looking forward to cracking on with…someone changed that, they sent a message, a threat, and changed our lives forever.
He wanted to join the police, he wanted to get his own place. He had started looking after his brother when I nipped to the shop or went out for a coffee with friends, he absolutely loved growing up.
He did Taekwando on a weekend, he was up to a Green belt and loved his lessons with his favourite Master Cameron. He had a year in the Army Cadets but as he was at the youngest end I think the lads were a little too ‘laddy’ for him and he wasn’t quite strong of character enough to get involved in the back and forth the lads would get into, he was 12 and they were mostly 15-16, so he wasn’t enjoying that as much as I would want out of a hobby so I let him stop going, thinking in the future though he might return. He would play about with tools in his Granddads garage or shed, depending on which house it was…I would always leave them to it in there as the few times I did poke my head round the door and 8 year old Jamie was up a set of ladders or drilling holes into a counter top, he was pretty good at welding by about 10-11! Going riding on his bike taking ‘arty’ pictures of beautiful coloured skies off the top of Castle Hill.
He was a popular kid, plenty of friends and the odd girlfriend, he always had someone to knock about with. There were always stories about this mate and that, and where they planned to go that weekend or sometimes after school. He wasn’t a geek but his work was always done and I always said to him as long as its his best that’s all that matters, but he didn’t struggle with any subjects. He was always 100% attendance basically his whole school life, he was hardly ever ill and loved going to school. We had that hormonal change rebellious teenager and he would come home with a detention every other day but he very soon grew out of that as he could see the stress was making me ill. He was popular with the girls at school, I think being brought up just by me made him comfortable round the girls, but then he had his group of lad mates too…he told me once he was kind of part of several groups at school so was always happy as there was always something he was happy getting involved in.
He even had a little part time job at one point washing dishes at Scar Cafe for a little while, then he was able to buy new screens for broken phones and fiddle about fixing them, he was so good with stuff like that, he had a little set of screwdrivers and his you tube tutorials and he was away, he could fix more or less anything…which was great as William would break stuff and I had no idea! He would earn his pocket money cutting the grass, doing the dishes everyday, making sure I had a cup of tea and my hot water bottles were always hot. He would get me my medication when I was stuck in bed feeling too ill, he looked after me, he was my best friend.
He was becoming independent, he had got himself to and from school since starting high school. He loved a good wander, and had started meeting up with his mates for a mooch round town, here there and and everywhere. That age where he said what time he would be home, and he was never late, and he would do whatever it was he fancied doing that day. I trusted his judgement, I was proud of the decent kid he had grown into.
Jamie had his whole life ahead of him, he had only begun to find out what he liked and who he was. There was no reason for him not to continue on with that life, this is what makes it so hard to deal with and so painful…this wasn’t supposed to happen.