Have you got a brother or a sister or even a best friend, that you can always rely on to help, advise you or just be there for a chat?
Can you imagine what it would be like if they weren't there anymore?
Well, I have been finding that out for the last two and a half years, since my younger brother, David, died from leukaemia.
Don't let anyone tell you it is easy because it isn't. Yes, time goes on and the tears are less frequent, but the desire to want to talk to him actually gets stronger. I am lucky, because I got to spend a lot of time with him during his final few months of life. We talked about his impending death and the way that it would happen, and yes it was damn hard to do. But I think, that was for David's benefit - he just wanted to cover everything off, tick every box and ensure every detail was right.
You see, he didn't want to bother anyone else with his death! He was just thinking of everyone else during those last few months, and how he could make it easier for them, when he had gone. Bloody typical of my Brother!
Even to the end he kept his sense of humour – sharing some sports jokes the morning he passed away. I was lucky to share some of his final moments with him, and see that even at that stage of his life, racked with the disease, he was still the brother I knew. Then in an instant, he was gone.
David, like me, loved his sport. He took sports knowledge to a whole new level, by learning everything he could about the sports he loved so much - football, rugby and golf. He memorised every winner, cup final, Lions squad, Championship golf course, past major Winners........... in fact pretty much everything to do with those sports!! This of course made arguing with him about those subjects very difficult, because he knew all the historical answers - but it was fun trying.
I guess this is one of the things I miss the most.
Every week there is a major sporting event somewhere in the world, that we would have 'chewed the fat over', debated and picked our respective winning choices. Every single event makes me want to just pick up the phone to him and say, 'so what do you think then?' There are still times when I go to ring him or text him – even now, several years later.
Now I can certainly have a rant, but my brother was several notches better than me at that!! Wow, could he go off on one - usually at the expense of Ferguson (Man Utd), Wenger (Arsenal) and Rob Andrew (England Rugby) and it was so funny just to listen to such a reasoned rant - they were never random!
He put his money where his mouth was one day - he even submitted a formal application for the (at the time) vacant England Football Manager job :) Unsurprisingly he didn't get an interview!
On days like today - after a poor England performance last night - I just want to be able to talk to him, ask his opinion or just facilitate one of his five minute rants (Carrick was awful after all!)
But I can't. All I can do is talk to his photograph in my office.
We would have been in our element now, with the Football World Cup starting soon, and the British Open Golf around the corner.
Leukaemia cruelly took David away from me and my family, and so when he passed away, I promised myself that every year I would try and do what little I can to help the Leukaemia Research charity raise money. I want to help them find cures for the different types of blood cancers. I want others to have that brother, sister or best friend there for them, in the way I wish David was here right now.
That is why in 7 weeks time I am going something completely mental, and jumping 750 feet off the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland, and that is why I want you to help me raise as much money as I can in the process.
Please, go to Just-Giving today and make a donation - I need all the help I can!!