Memories of Craig – Forever a teenager 1977-1995
This is Craig my second child born on July 14, 1977. Craig was the middle child, born between Steven and Lisa. The photo of the older Craig here, is not good quality, and quite blurry, but it’s a favourite of mine as it was taken from a video which was filmed two weeks before his death, in 1995.
My memories of Craig are of a happy, slightly wild toddler who grew into a laid back, laconic teenager with a true Aussie she’ll be right demeanour and a quirky sense of humour. Craig was very kind to animals and younger children loved him. It wasn’t at all unusual to find him out in the street with BMX jumps set up and organising the young kids from blocks around who rocked up with their BMX bikes when word got out that there was some bike fun to be had at our house.
Craig loved bikes. He was always in the garage messing around with them. Most days after work, I would go bike riding. Quite often, though, I would find my bike sitting there waiting for me with no seat or no chain or no front wheel or with some other vital part missing. My bike part would have been put onto some weird and wonderful bike project that Craig was building.
Craig loved animals. I can remember when we went for a family holiday in Tasmania, he was became besotted with the Tassie Tiger and for months would read anything he could get his hands on about them. Craig usually didn’t like to read but we found a book about the Tassie Tiger, and he read it over and over.
Craig loved dogs. When he was about 15, a neighbours dog had pups and he asked me could he have one. As we already had two dogs, I said no. The next morning, I found him in bed asleep with one of those pups. I will never forget the impish smile on his face when he saw my shock. Of course we kept the pup, and he and Jess became inseparable.
Craig died in a car accident, in which he was the driver at about 5.30pm on Thursday November 2, 1995. Most people assume, as he was 18, he was hooning or doing something stupid to cause the accident. But at the inquest, the Coroner found that this accident was a rare true accident where there was no speeding, hooning or alcohol involved. The Coroner concluded that Craig must have been distracted which caused him to cross to the other side of the road. Perhaps he leaned down to adjust the radio, or was distracted by his dog which was always on the back seat when he was driving. Or maybe he turned to speak to his girlfriend, who, sadly died in the accident with him.
On this 16th anniversary of Craig’s death I remember him as a son that any mother would be proud of, who was beginning to show signs of becoming a caring adult when his life was sadly cut short. To me, Craig will always be a carefree teenager.