Thank you for being one of my heroes and never realising it. Thank you for being a hero to many without ever intending it. Thank you for being a teacher yet.
When I met you, you’d already achieved so much. There is a sometime mystique about the Gurkhas, their spirit and strength. And it didn’t surprise me that, of all the arms of Her Majesty’s forces, that was the one with which you had served. And yet, for a ‘Forces man’, you were the absolute embodiment of the officer and the gentleman. There was a softness to you. The world hasn’t hardened your gaze nor dented your broad grin. The twinkle in your eye had never been extinguished, nor the fire in your belly.
You were one of the first to hold a mirror up for me. One of the first who quietly, as is the way of the universe, nudged me along into the path I now walk. You made me see that I didn’t want to be ordinary and, although I knew I could never keep up with you, that I could carve my own little remarkable road through life. The last time I saw you in person, your spirit was fit to burst with adventure and I knew you were running headlong into the next beautiful chapter of your life as I stepped tentatively into mine. You sat at a bar in Canary Wharf, squinting your eyes at the sun and talked of tales yet to come.
From then on, I’ve had the most beautiful luck of meeting other heroes. People who hold me true to what I believe life to be and they, like you were, are a blessing to me. They show me what living with passion can overcome and how high we can all soar in our own ways. And whether from close or afar, I have watched you all with love and respect, awe and ambition.
Much life has happened then. I finally started to edge out a bit further, brave a bit more and you flew like never before. Your videos and photos showed a vibrancy of life that I am getting a taste for. And I smiled with my heart to see that you had finally found love in another beautiful kindred spirit.
The last time I saw you, I shared you with the world. You were our Bond. We looked up and you soared. You brought us pride and joy that night, and unbelievable laughter. That is how you remain. Thank you for all you did and all you do.
Fly high in the bluest of skies and may you land softly, feet first, in only the greenest and most alive of next plains.