Date: Monday September 11, 2017 at 12:12pm
It is nearly the 1st anniversary of my friend that passed away. She was a wife, a mum, a sister, daughter.
She was called Kiley Atkinson (Smith) and we first met on that very first day of basic training, we clicked straight away due to both of us being from the North East. We went through basic training together, then we went onto trade training together and then we both got our first posting together to 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Celle Germany. I couldn't have been happier, sat on that plane heading out to Germany with a great friend by my side.
Me and Kiley, good times and good memories. RIP
We were like chalk and cheese but we were friends, Kiley was a social butterfly whilst i was a bit more reserved. I liked peace and quiet now and then. I loved fitness she hated it, she smoked i never and boy could she drink me under the table. We were friends and it just worked. We went to Iraq together when it first kicked off in 2003, we got separated I stayed in Kuwait for a few weeks longer, Kiley made her way to Iraq.
Once back from Iraq we would spend a weekend in Celle town, drinking and clubbing. Not every weekend I would go out i was 6 years older and i had already done the whole "I must go out every weekend and get shit faced" before i had even joined the Army. We told each other our problems and we would help each other out at work. We used to have such a great laugh, she had an infectious laugh and the biggest smile that would light a room. She used to scare me out my skin with the stories of the ghostly antics that happened in her room at camp, and i remember witnessing it for myself on night and just ran out and left her there.
She was a tough girl, I would have asked to be moved, Kiley stayed in her room. I left Germany in 2004 and headed to London, Kiley got extended in Germany. I was so gutted that we were going our separate ways. After 3 years it was weird not having her by my side. I paid her a visit after i had got myself settled in London, I flew out to Germany and has a wild weekend to the point I was off work for a few days afterward (Maybe alcohol poisoning).
Iraq - 2003
Then as life does you drift away, you get wrapped up in your own existence and life and contact dwindled to nothing. Then in 2011 I heard some devastating news and I searched for her on Facebook and we got chatting again. She told me what had happened and how she had to learn to use a phone and a computer again and talk. It broke my heart and we kept in touch. Always liking and commenting on each other’s pictures.
Then January 2015 I got an awful message, she told me the cancer was back and that it was grade 4 terminal, and she was currently putting a memory box together for her little girl. I broke down, how could this be happening to one of the nicest people I know! I told her to keep fighting, to be strong and if she needs me I am there, I didn’t want to impose on such precious family time. Then May 2016 the news I was dreading become real and my lovely friend lost her battle.
We may have lost touch over the years as people do, but Kiley was always in my heart. I attended her funeral and from that day on I vowed to live my life the best I could. So far I am managing that.
I am running Bournemouth Half Marathon in October for Macmillan Cancer charity and I am running in Kiley’s memory. At the top of this page is the link to my just giving page. Please, please donate let’s get a cure for this god awful thing called C….
Live your life, be happy with all you have. Make sure you go out and get your goals and make your dreams happen. Life is short.RIP my lovely.
Dont forget to hit this link and donate – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Lisa-Brydon1
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