Another Year without you...
Well the last 6 months has been rather manic in our family and as I begin to embark on the second half of my 10th season shearing in NZ after celebrating Elliot's second birthday, Christmas and New Year with him and Kira I have had some time to write some thoughts and reflections of the last 6 months and the huge impact that Grace is still having on our lives. I say this in a happy way, because we can’t change the past as much as I would give my own life to do that but we can’t.
Grace changed our future, we see her every day in Elliot and trying to make that as positive as possible is what keeps us going. Keeping her memory alive and hearing her name being talked about, seeing her picture in The Lily Foundation posts makes me so proud. And now seeing her in the NZ shearing magazine with her name in the title of the story not mine makes me the proudest dad ever.
A lot people reading this will know of why I restarted my competition shearing and aimed to try and break the British and World lamb record but some may not. Once again... Grace, I wanted her to be proud of me and respect what I did and worked for, shearing has been the main part of my life and a big part of Kira’s, Grace’s and now Elliot’s life. Kira and I meet through shearing, we bought our house through shearing, Grace was brought up watching me shear and now with so much help from the shearing community all round the world and many other fund raising events grace has helped raise over £60,000 for The Lily Foundation.
When Grace passed away i was going to give it all up but it was Kira who supported me and said this is what we are and what grace is. So we carried on together with the to have a go at the record and try and make the England shearing team.
12 months later in July 2019 I was getting ready to go to the world championships in France. And soon after returning home Kira and I with many others help were preparing to make a bid at the 9hr lamb record in September, the one that I set out to try and beat and told grace that ‘daddy would try his best to be a record holder’
On the day, the record did not go to plan with the weather being unseasonably cold and the sheep not shearing as we had hoped.
Most of my team on the record day were also at the first shearing competition I did the day after we had The Celebration of Graces amazingly fun happy but short life. These guys were incredibly supportive on that day so having that team there especially in that last 45 mins when I found myself in a dark place was the strongest bunch of friends I could have wished for, ‘as preplanned’ they put up Grace’s photo for the last 15 mins of the record. The team felt everything that Kira and I were feeling, the emotion in that shed was unavoidable and having her looking over me kept me going.
We (this was a team effort of 30 plus people, I couldn’t have done it without any one of them) managed to break the record by 4 lambs shearing 785 in 9hrs.
There was a couple of paragraphs in my speech (that I would say after the record if It had been broken or not) that was not written down but it had been running through my head for months leading up to this. It keep me going with my training, driving round the country shearing and all the planning and I would like to share this with everyone that wasn’t there on the day.
Grace, This journey started with you our beautiful daughter, I wanted her to be proud of me and to be her hero. But through out this journey I have come to realise that she was actually MY HERO. So I would like for everyone to be upstanding and join me for 3 cheers for my hero Grace
Hip hip horay
Hip hip horay
Hip hip horay
I miss you, I Love you