Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Goodbye Steve Irwin

I just finished watching the memorial service for Steve Irwin from the Australia Zoo on Animal Planet. I guess his passing and the actual impact he made on me and my family didn't really sink in until tonight. To watch his 'Mates' tell their stories and recall fond memories of what made him just so special was both heart warming and inspiring.

As I watched countless pictures of Steve with his children and his wife at the conclusion of the show it really hit my heart to know that his family has lost an amazing son, brother, husband and father. To look into the faces of his angelic children and to know they will never be swept up into those larger than life arms of his, hurts. To know they will never be able to look into his eyes, eyes that simply danced with his love and adoration for them, brings a lump to my throat. To know that they will never again hear his voice and his now famous "Crikes!" cascade throughout the bush as they venture together as a family, while out on yet another one of dad's adventures simply breaks my heart.

The impact that this man has made in the name of wildlife conservation and education will likely never be matched. I know he will be immortalized and forever a favorite and inspired son of not only his home country of Australia, but also the world.

Today it hit me. It is if I lost a friend, my "best mate" too and my heart is really hurting. Yet through this hurt I find inspiration. I find motivation. Steve Irwin life stands as an example of what one man (or woman) can do if they put their mind to it. In his own little way, he has created such a ripple effect with his amazing efforts. Though he was always entertaining, he was alas also teaching and I can only hope that his lessons will go on for ever. That we all take something away from his special life and realize that we, if only through television, had the pleasure and the honor of seeing lightening in a bottle. He was truly a shining star and will forever stand as immortal proof that passion and shear determination can change the world.

I can only hope that one day I will be able to make one tenth of an impact that Steve Irwin did in this world.

Goodbye Steve Irwin and thank you!

Ripple On My Friends!!!

Steve Harper

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