“Many people walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave foot prints in your heart..” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I want to tell you about my dear old friend Regan Thomas Steele. Regan was battling with bipolar when it sadly got the better of him. This condition beat one of the strongest guys I have ever known. I can’t imaging the pain he would have gone through in the past three months, all I can say I’m glad you don’t have to suffer further..
I have known Regan since the age that I can only describe as ‘before its weird for two boys to have a bath together..’ And since that time he has been one of my best and closest mates.
Some of my fondest memories in Bright (where our families went every year) cruising around on our bikes exploring with our new found freedom. I have tried to remember what we filled our hours with and I’m fairly sure we just road around aimlessly seeing who could do the biggest wheelie or get the fastest speed on our newly installed speedos! We had so much fun together! We were obsessed with this little shop called ‘Country Collectables’ that 85% of the things for sale are far too expensive for two young boys!
In our younger days we thought were quite the paper plane engineers after one of our grandmother gifted us a book on how too fold all kinds of crazy planes. Now I stuck to the ‘Dart’ style plane the flew straight and rarely goes on the roof. While Regan loved this other type that did crazy loop to loops.. always went on the roof.. Now he tried on numerous occasions to teach me how to fold these.. I could never get it.. We used to sit there folding them, then modifying them by ripping the paper to make flaps.. Experimenting seeing what weights did what, hours of entertainment!
Around the same time we had grown a liking to sitting in the Tonys AU Falcon after church and listing to Tony’s CD of one hit wonders a particular fav of ours was ‘I think I’m turning Japanese’. This then progressing into the phase of them MP3 player and sharing music ‘good music, every week we would exchange songs show each other new thing and effectively influenced the music we listened too for the following 5-6 years.
Then he got his first phone before me, the old Nokia 3310 which spent more time being used for snake than it did for phone calls! The following year I got my first phone (Colour screen) which sadly didn’t have the original snake but snake 2 which was never as good… I was very disappointed :(
In older years the stories just get embarrassing, mostly for me..
Like the night we when we learnt just how far a VT Commodore bumper goes. When you bumping to a small unsuspecting pole.. Turns out if you get the sweet spot they fly :P
Or the dodgiest stereo install in the red commodore on the street of Taylor’s Rd. I was held in by the pressure of the folded bits of paper..
All through out my child hood I looked up to Regan, when I was younger you were like that older brother I just wanted to be like, he had wheelie shoes, I wanted wheelie shoes.. I look back on all of my fondest memories of Bright and you are always there, the years you weren’t there just wasn’t the same..
I remember one of my favourite nights out. We went to the Bright Pub with Beau O’brian and you guys actually sung ‘Call me maybe?’! Well that was just the start of the night of bad singing, hitting on girls who turned out batted for e other team. But my favourite part was the walk home from the pub. We rearrange some poor old ladies Garden gnomes.. shortly followed by a dare to see if I could jump over a picket fence.. Yeah, I couldn’t and ended with Regs rolling around with fits of laughter and me waking up with a massive gash in the back of my leg (still have a scar too prove it).
Though your life was short lived, I can safely say looking back on the years we spent together, my life would not have been the same without you in it. You were there when I had girl trouble, or I was angry with my parents or having serous school issues. If it wasn’t just an ear to talk to it helpful advice or a distraction. I always looked forward to Saturdays after a long week at school when I got to hang out with you! You my friend were everything I could have asked for and so much more..
I am utterly devastated that you won’t be at my 21st to share stories of all the stupid things we’ve done or be my best man or Uncle Regan to my kids.. But I hope they are as lucky as I have been to have had such a inspiring mate to grow up with.. I already miss you brother, thank you for everything, I am forever indebted to you and I look forward to the day when we meet again and I can see the infectious smile and a big strong hug that only you can give. Until then rest easy brother. Gone but never forgotten. The older brother from another mother.
Snow trip 2012