Mark's life was celebrated at St Mary’s parish "a ‘little sign’ of God’s loving presence" in Williamstown Victoria since 1853 on the 7th March 2023. Mass was conducted by the 'Salt of the Earth' Fr. Greg Trythall, with my Son, my family, Mark's Sister Anna, and our dearest friends present.
We celebrated afterwards at the Hobson's Bay Yacht Club Williamstown, a place by the water that Mark loved, with panoramic views over bobbing yachts, and across to the skyline of Melbourne.
After packing up the house we had in Melbourne I made the 4 day journey back to our home in Port Douglas Far North Queensland with Mark's ashes placed behind me in the Passages Turtle Urn, with our dogs Jack and Pearl in the back.
A dedicated Memorial celebrating Mark's life with my Dad, Mark's mate and confidant, my Sister who helped me so much throughout Mark's illness, lifelong friend Jill and our closest friends here in Port Douglas, were present.
The service was conducted by another amazing man of God, Reverend Deacon Tony Moore at St Mary's by the Sea on the 13th May 2023. Thereafter, gathering at St Crispins Cafe for lunch overlooking the lake to further celebrate and remember Mark's life in our home town of Port Douglas.
Mark's faith was strong until the very end and gave him comfort and solace throughout his life, especially during the long road of his fight against MND.
Today especially, I give thanks for your 'little Sister' Anna who will always be an integral part of my life and a physical connection to you; her blue eyes, her smile, her compassion ....... and similar sense of humour will always be a comfort - but then you always knew we would connect when we first met in New York ...... as it played out, along with Brenda my Sister, Anna has been a constant support even though she has also suffered the pain of losing you ,,,,,,, her 'big Brother'.
Through your journey, Anna was with me all the way, and there to witness your last breath as we held your hands our hearts were broken that day, as were the hearts of all who loved you.
Anna has made the 3rd journey from the UK to be here with me again as together we set you free, where you were always at your happiest ...... we leave at 9am on Wednesday the 22nd November 2023. May you drift and swim with the Turtles where there's no more pain for you to deal with.
Mark my ‘life partner, my love’, you were taken away far too soon through Motor Neurone Disease.
Not a day passes that I don’t find myself remembering so many moments of the life that we shared together, the many good times, the lasting memories, and the laughter …… and then those heartbreaking times overwhelm me with grief, especially what you endured for 3 years with the physical implications of MND. You were my Warrior in the way in that you dealt with all that was thrown at you.
We could talk for hours about life, things that happened to us in our past, even respective ex girlfriends and ex boyfriends that at the time hurt us but that forged our bond, basis on trust and honesty. I still have all the messages that we sent one another when you were in the UK working – I go over them and pretend sometimes you’re just away working. We lived, loved and laughed …… even through some of your roughest days you still had a sense of humour.
Our life together with our Poodles Chai and Aston, then your Jack and my Pearl, our business renovating houses and managing holiday rentals, our own ventures and those properties of our clients. You worked physically so hard on every property whether it was ours or not, including your Cairns properties ….. whilst being forever positive about the end result, even with the last renovation where MND really had a hold on you.
We were always on the same page with our vision in designing and creating amazing homes, swimming pools and spaces to make others feel totally relaxed. Your passion for trees and landscaping was inspirational and I hope that you can see me caring for them as you would want. Your Lipstick Palms, Indian Mast Trees and your precious Flame Palm are all thriving in abundance, and the Native Gardenia planted just for you is growing.
I recall all that you shared with me about your life before we met, I listened intently about your travels, your love of your 911’s and about your businesses in the UK, in particular Doughnut Time UK that in the end caused you so much anxiety, and for that I am so sorry Mark that I couldn’t help you change what should have been the outcome that you wholeheartedly deserved.
Our love for boating, jet skiing, swimming off Low Isles on the Great Barrier Reef, the marine life, heading to the Outer Reef and Motorsport were times that I cherished then and more than ever, now. The only regret I have is not getting on your motorbikes with you!
The mutual joy we had from entertaining at home while creating an ambience for our friends to visit and share meals will live for me forever …… the candles will always be lit, only now it’s my role along with packing the dishwasher …… and come 5pm it will always be ‘our’ Gin & Tonic time.
Mark you were so so funny and engaging, a handful at times too, but looking back now you lived you life here on Earth at ‘full throttle’. I am now grateful that you didn’t listen to me at all when I was at you to “slow down”, “be careful”, “stop taking calculated risks” and “stop buying cars, motorbikes, boats and trailers”!
Your heart, and generous spirit was as big as the indelible footprint that you have left on my heart ……. always giving and helping.
Your Mum will always hold a very special place in my heart with the time that we shared but also I can’t begin to imagine her pain in losing you and the fact that you didn’t have the opportunity to say “goodbye” to one another. You were an amazing Son, witnessing your unspoken love for your Mum and your Dad was beautiful, you were real. I never had the opportunity to meet your Dad but I take comfort that you are with him now.
My life changed forever on the morning of the 22nd February 2023 6:05am, and it will never be the same, so until we swim together again off Low Isles, I miss you so much and will always love you.
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