Saturday, July 12, 2014
My Eulogy for Sophia Saly
Dearest Sophia, It hurts me so much to be the one to read your eulogy for you and if you hadn’t of asked me, I don’t think I would’ve been able to find the strength to be here today. But I’m human and you’re an Angel. And humans don’t deny Angels their wishes, so here I stand -- to tell people the story, of how my sister, the most beautiful girl in the world – touched, moved and changed all of us, to be better than who we are. It’s hard for me to separate the little girl wearing over-sized hand-me-down jumpers to school -- from the woman you became. From the very beginning you were loved so much and it’s not hard to see why. Your beautiful unforgettable smile, that the world so dearly needs and is already so missed. The sound of you laughing. Your infectious sense of humour that I crave more than anything. The sound of your voice, when you say “I love you”. To hug eachother and to feel you squeeze back. I would give everything I have and more to have you back here. With me. With us. My feelings are too raw, and all sense of clarity is gone and I find it hard to grasp memories, but you are unforgettable and I just have to try a little bit harder and I start to remember, the beautiful person you are. Looking back, what a privilege it was to grow up with you. Playing hide and seek in the cornfields in the back-yard in Glenroy, walking to the cricket fields and catching bees together, being there on your first day at school with Marra. Who played with you in the little yard for two weeks until you made friends --because you were scared. He protected you til the end. Acting out the entire Lambada movie because we could, having secret handshakes that only the special few knew, doing skits of Beyonce and Rihanna and filming it, giving each-other secret agent names and doing good deeds for strangers -- and sitting on the balcony in Broadmeadows at home, watching the sun set and under pinky purple skies we would talk about life. I miss our talks about what we wanted to do, what we wanted to become, what was important and what was not. We talked about our hopes and our dreams and how no matter what, we would help each other make them come true. And you did. You were and will always be a founding member of the best charity in the world. I loved watching you forge the amazing unbreakable bonds you have with your girlfriends. I loved watching you build a home with the love of your life Silv, I loved how you loved working at the Carlton Football Club, I love how you were love personified and brought the family together. And I loved that, in your moment of need everyone, everywhere, dropped everything just to be there for you. How a single person could do such a thing amazed me, and I am forever in your debt, because you taught me some of the greatest lessons I will ever learn. I learnt with such intense heartache and unfairness that the most precious thing we have -- is time. And none of us have much of it. And so I gave you all of mine, whenever you needed it. I will treasure these moments forever. More precious to me, than the world itself. I learnt from you the true meaning of courage. I will never forget about a week after your 29th birthday how you were in so much pain. Marra on one side, me on the other, nurses everywhere and I begged you to tell me about your special place. A place where the pain couldn’t reach you. And through your cries you began whispering: It’s near the ocean, where the water is turquoise. No broken shells just the whitest sand. The water is so clear you can see your feet and toes right through the water. There are some palm trees and a hammock. Silv is fishing with a rod he made himself. Marra is starting a fire. Xahlia is catching butterflies… And just like that you showed us how to visit you whenever we wanted. Such strength staring this cancer in the eyes and not letting it overwhelm you. Giving your brothers the key to your secret place. A place I go to every night. I learnt that you should never lose the child inside, because all these years later, as adults in hospital, we made up another secret handshake. 1 squeeze meant yes. 2 squeezes meant no and squeezing the ring finger meant ‘I love you’. I learnt from you the truth about happiness. I learnt it is about finding beauty in the smallest things and being with the ones you love. And I learnt from you that death is powerless to take it away from me. In the last few months in hospital we worked on and spoke about some projects together and I promised you that I would complete these tasks. And I will complete them in the same spirit in which you lived your life. So know… - That the Sophia Saly School will be built in your name. Honouring and remembering you by building a better future for others. - Know that I will set-up the Sophia Saly scholarship for little girls with big dreams. So that little girls who were born into a situation of not much can bloom into a woman with everything and who accomplished so much. Just like you. - And know that the first Boy & Bee range will be designed under your specific instructions and a little good deeds club will be set-up so children all over the world will be inspired to do good deeds for strangers. Everybody is missing you so much. You have touched and moved so many people. You are my little sister. You are love in everybody’s life. You are everybody’s inspiration. Everybody’s hero. Everybody’s Angel. Mum and dad know you will be okay because you have your older sister and grandma to take care of you. There is no doubt in my mind that where you are right now. In the pantheon where great souls reside, you stand amongst the greatest of them and we, when we join you, can only hope to be caught in your coat tails. I cannot wait to go riding on them again. I love you always and forever.