Hero lost, hero found

Posted on Sat 10 May 2008 in Root Memory

One of my childhood heroes died last week.

I'll always remember how he taught me to ski, lessons so memorable I remember them over 20 years later.
I'll always remember how he was the one who picked me up and carried me over 100m down the ski slope when I fell and broke my wrist as a 10 year old (I still have the scar where the bone came through)
I'll always remember how he could keep us, we children, entertained with games and tricks using nothing more than a tin tray with a little water, or simpler still just our fingers. I still play those games with my children.
I'll always remember the barbeque with chicory wood chippings smoking the meat.
I'll always remember an impromptu game of rounders in the park behind his house.

At his funeral, I found he wasn't just my hero.

Over 200 people crammed in to celebrate his life and share how Bob had influenced their lives. There were a dozen readings, every one filled with how he'd inspired that person, and often their friends, to achieve a myriad of different things.
I never knew he'd introduced a city teenager to canoeing, who later canoed for England
I never knew he'd inspired so many in Skiing, working at a national level to develop the sport when I only knew him as the instructor at my local dry slope.
I never knew he'd inspired not only the children at the local rugby club, but the parents too.
I never knew... so many more things that I learnt about Bob yesterday.