This post actually relates to a date in the past. Out of respect for close friends and family I have delayed the publication of this post.
If I could do yesterday over again, what would I do differently?
1 February 2019
Dear, dear Lyssa. If I could have done yesterday differently I would have given you that long overdue call. I would have followed through sooner in catching up for a cuppa and shooting the breeze in the local comfort of Nairne. I would have seen past the busy-ness of the first week back at school for the children to do it. Anything, just anything to have made sure you weren’t on Long Valley Road yesterday.
17 February 2019
You see, Lyssa was one of the most caring and compassionate people I knew that came with a personality that was, in itself, a force to be reckoned with. She was strong, brutally honest and had the deepest care for everyone in our community. I met Lyssa through St John Ambulance (SA). When she joined as a recruit I was her Divisional Training Officer and supported her through the process of becoming a qualified volunteer.
Lyssa went on, not just to serve with St John Ambulance, but also served as a great supporter and encourager of the youth within the cadet divisions as well. It was a skill she used in other places too, so many where she has served as a volunteer over the years. Wherever she went she did her best not just to better the community through the service she was with but to also lift others up within that service as well. She was a true leader with the most brash and uncensored approach I have ever encountered. You always, always knew where you stood with Lyssa something cited by members of her current endeavours with the Strathalbyn Auto Collectors Club as well as her ongoing involvement with the Country Fire Service.
After my transition from St John Ambulance (SA) into another service Lyssa and I did not see each other as regularly, often just bumping into each other whilst I was in town whilst I was there visiting family. I knew however that she was having a rough patch and it was on my heart to touch base. It just didn’t happen soon enough to change the fateful circumstances that took her from my life, the lives of her family members and the lives of many people of the wider community impacted by her involvement.
My last conversation that was not ‘in passing’ with Lyssa was about how we as members of the community approach the matter of suicide. Both of us, of course, are passionate about our community but our perspectives on how to approach this issue were quite different when we discussed how you relate information over social media. God love her, I am going to miss that passionate debate. There is a verse in the Bible that says ‘as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another’. Lyssa was iron to my iron and I loved that about her.
20 February 2019
Lyssa, if I could have done a yesterday over again I would have been in touch on that one day, interfered with your plans and seen you home safely to your husband, Rory, and to continue to be who you needed to be for your daughter, your friends and your community.
Now with your funeral having passed I already feel like I miss you every time I post something online. I find myself asking ‘what would Lyssa do?’ and argue that out with myself before I post about any matter of community well being.
If I could change one thing, it would be to see you live life to the fullest to your hearts desire. I know it was what you wanted so much for your life too. You, Lyssa, have been one of three big reminders this last month that people are far more important than any ‘thing’ life could offer. Thank you so much for the time that we did have. I will cherish it always.