From the day that I held you in my arms as a baby to that black day when I kissed your beautiful eyes for the last time - you were the reason I pulled myself out of bed every day. You we re the one that kept me going - fighting for a better life ... dreaming.
You and I faced some difficult times together ... I know you suffered enormous disappointments - but I want you to know how proud I was that you didn't allow the pain to drag you down. As a young boy, you made choices - you refused to de-rail or become angry at the world. You chose instead to cling to people in your life that did fulfil you - and I am so honoured to have been one of them and so thankful to people like Tony, your Nana, Uncles and close friends - all offering their own brand of qualities that helped you develop in such a positive way.
You were wise way beyond your years ... often being the one that shone light and warmth when my world felt dark and cold. From a young age you aimed to prove to me how responsible and trustworthy you could be. I can't think of a single time where you let me down - nor any body for that matter.
Not only passionate about life, you were sincerely compassionate too. Your love of animals such an endearing trait. I remember when you rescued a sick animal off the back lawn thinking it was a native Bilby...it ended up nothing more glamorous than a huge rat...but that didn't matter. Life is life - you did not tolerate suffering.
Your caring nature, your kind heart - these were just the tip of what made you, you. I can't express in words the immense pride that engulfs me when I think about the projects you conquered in your short life. A thinker - a gifted solution finder - each victory saw you aiming your sights at the next 'bigger' challenge.
You were the most industrious human being I knew. You didn't just fix things - you made them bigger, better, faster...more beautiful .... except for one washing machine that is. I guess some things just were never meant to be 'high performance'...but it brought us laughter just the evening before your life ended...so perhaps even there you managed to turn an item with relative insignificance into something precious.
Your friends ... a truly great bunch - like minded spirits. It was destiny you would meet and become inseparable. I loved that our home became a place you were all comfortable enough to 'hang' out in. I loved seeing our shed full of enthusiasm, laughter and mateship. Brett, Grundy, Greg, Adam, Gately and Dane - strong bonds that will see eternity through.
Ashley...you and she will always be soul mates ...I know that without question. Because of you I have the daughter I always wanted. I was so looking forward to watching you celebrate the milestones in life...your 21st, your wedding day ...fatherhood. I know that these are the things you were aiming for...and you'd have revelled in your family where the past failed you. That was just who you were...the stuff you were made of.
I can't tell you how many times people told me what a great lad you were...you just had that impact. Just the day before the accident I received a call ...a friend of mine who'd not seen you in some time but met you earlier that day. It warms me to know that you could impress so many people - and that they would go out of their way to tell me what a wonderful, strapping fella you'd become. I'm so pleased I shared those glowing reports with you...you so deserved the recognition and to feel good about who you were..
As I sit here contemplating you in life - I am so relieved that I bare no guilt or regret. I think of you and I am filled with pride and love. I thank you for that.
There will not be a day that goes by where I won't feel this emptiness inside - but I need you to know that I will not dishonour your memory and let life swallow me up.
I know how badly you wanted happiness for me and I will try with all my heart to heal and embrace the future. You will always be my driving force...the reason I will continue to get up every morning - but there will come a day when the wind will go from my sails...and as I kissed you goodbye, I realised that day will no longer be feared ...I'll always have you to look forward to.
I love you forever...
Daniel Madeley was not just a person, he was a role model.
Nothing was too hard for Daniel and if you told him that he couldn’t do it, it would just make him more determined even if it seemed impossible or in fact was impossible. A good example of this was his cars. What he achieved with minimal tools and a lot of hard work was a credit to him, as it would have driven a mere mortal insane. His cars also represented his strong friendship with his mates, every weekend his whole group of friends would be around till the early hours of the morning either helping or hindering, but he was always glad to have the company and he knew if he needed help there was at least three people already there. He was always there to help out everyone else with their problems or cars even if it delayed his own progress. If he didn’t know something he was never afraid to ask and he was constantly learning.
Daniel was a people person it didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, everyone was equal and he would decide wether you were a top bloke or a tosser by how you treated others. If his mates ever needed advice Daniel was always the person to go to and he always had an opinion even if it wasn’t the one you wanted to hear. He was always involved in things his group were doing if not initiating them to start with and you were guaranteed that if he started it that he would see it through to the end no matter how crazy or difficult it seemed nothing, was impossible for Daniel.
He spent a lot of his time dedicated to his work - being modifying his car, taking apart his mum’s washing machine or working as an apprentice at Diemould, he would dedicate himself 110%. This was represented well by him being awarded apprentice of the month, only a few days before his untimely departure but more so by the cars that turned into legends because every time they came out you were guaranteed that some how he had improved it with a lot of hard work and there was always a great story to go with it as well as skinned knuckles.
Daniel was someone very special to all of us, someone we all really admired and respected. We all will miss his positive outlook on life, that cheeky grin that he always had on his face and of course the great times that we spent together as mates.
His memory will live on with us forever and the world is a sadder place with his absence.