A LETTER TO AMY – THE POWER OF CONNECTIONS
On the 14th anniversary of Amy’s tragic death, Mary Safe, Amy’s mum, shares a story about connection and our mutual responsibility to help each other be safe on the road.
As you know, you are in our minds and hearts daily as we remember you constantly with our love.
Today, July 18 2019, marks the 14th anniversary of your death in Germany in 2005. Whilst this may seem a long time ago to some, for us, on some days it feels like only yesterday. Whenever there are reports of road crashes, we think about the pain, grief and loss for all concerned. The real tragedy is that a significant number of crashes are caused by human error (medical episodes excluded) and are therefore preventable if only those involved had changed their behaviour. This is why we keep striving for safe cycling and safe driving on our roads.
Many people around the world feel “connected” to you, particularly because of your sporting history. This is the story of one such connection which has bought us much comfort and joy across the last few years.
You will remember growing up as a student still in school, you used to spend time with Dana (a few years younger than you) who lived across the road. Both of you enjoyed spending happy times together after school.
Dana grew up and married Steve and together they were blessed with their own child – Ella, who is now 9. At the end of Steve’s secondary education, he went to Germany for a year as a Rotary Exchange student. He lived with Roli and Beate and their children, who in turn became his “second family”. To this day Steve still maintains his relationship with the family.
Roli and Beate learnt of your death in Germany via the media coverage at the time of the tragedy in 2005.
Some years later Beate was visiting Dana and Steve at their home in Adelaide when Beate happened to notice the book that Uncle Mike wrote about you. She was shocked to learn that Dana has a special connection to you all those years ago and she was also greatly saddened by the tragedy.
Upon their return to Germany, Roli and Beate have since made many trips by car (a three-hour journey from their home) to your memorial just outside of Zeulenroda.
They have tended the site lovingly, weeding it and have taken various flower seeds to plant so that the flowers would come alive with colour in spring near the time of your 14th anniversary.
The flowers have thrived and Roli and Beate’s actions have been a source of great comfort and joy as we can see the love that abounds in their blooms. This story reminds us of the amazing power of connection. As people, we are all born to connect and this simple kindness by two people across the world reminds me of the positive power of connection.
Since the inception of the Amy Gillett Foundation in 2006, it has been supported by so many dedicated and passionate hardworking people working towards safe cycling for all. We thank them all from our hearts.
So many of us try to remember to strive and practise safe cycling in your name as we remember all cyclists who have been killed or seriously injured on their journey.
May you continue to ride those rainbows above.
You will be forever loved, forever remembered and forever longed for.
Love Mum, Dad & Georgina