I started this blog with a sentence…and then deleted it.
I wrote another sentence…and then deleted it.
The third time, I realised there was only one way to start this post…and so it reads;
Katie Lee Simpkins, I love you, adore you, and could not stand to lose you.
But this sentence in itself seems so selfish in the context of our day today. At 12:30 this afternoon we arrived at Harewood Crematorium to be part of the show of strength, love and support for Rachael Fairweather-Steyant and her four children, Gabe, Zach, Bella and Alex as they laid their husband and father to rest – RIP Michael Steyant who was tragically taken from them in the PGC Building, 22 February, 2011.
If you were to die it would surely be a measure of who you were by the people, and the number of people who turned up. And the crowd that gathered this afternoon showed what a special man Michael was. I myself had only met him and Rachael last year at the Pre-school Xmas BBQ, Katie knew them little better, but after my ‘chance’ meeting a fortnight ago (read ‘Persepctive’) we both knew we had to be there.
But as much as the show of people was testament to Michael himself, it would be equally so that they and we were there for Rachael and the four kids. Amongst those there were Army Officers, teachers from our school and pre-school, rugby players, office workers and blue-collar workers…and all, and none could deny it, shed a tear or more. From the lone piper with “Amazing Grace” (what is it with that tune on pipes that gets you?) through to the modern choices played alongside a photo diary of his life;no sooner did you compose yourself from one moment, you found yourself choking back on the very next one.
It is not for me to go into too much detail for respect of those who lost an obviously great man, but it makes one think, and being the thinker and dweller that I am, I made many decisions this afternoon. But three that I would recommend all to do;
Live life. You only get one shot at it and you’re a long time dead.
Friends and family are everything – I have few fears in life (OK, spiders!), but I don’t ever want to die alone.
And I also had to get back and pick up my own two girls from school – I had an uncontrollable urge to hug them both, but not before hugging Rachael – I am so glad I got to, and despite the unnecessary thanks for being her ‘rescuer’, therein lies a special woman and Rachael, we will have that coffee again when you are ready.
Life is made up of years that mean nothing and moments that mean it all.