This is different than my usual blog posts but I wanted to share this tribute to my gorgeous, funny, intelligent and beautiful niece. Sadly gone too soon but forever in our hearts, minds and memories. All the wonderful words people have written just told us what we already knew, that you were able to love and be loved always
A tribute to Amy Shaw – loved and missed by us all
A very warm welcome to you all here this afternoon. We are here to celebrate Amy’s life, to share our memories and acknowledge our sadness that she is no longer with us, but she lives on in our hearts and minds and in her two beautiful boys Jago and Madok.
Amy was born a little earlier than expected in February 1978 during a snowstorm, an unusual occurrence in Cornwall. She was the much loved first grandchild for John and Hilary Martin. Her arrival had been so eagerly awaited and I was privileged to see her draw her first breath and hear her first cry. From day one she did not disappoint. Amy grew into an inquisitive, cute little girl with a zest for life and a curiosity to match. An early talker she soon developed an extensive vocabulary. I vividly remember hearing a recording of her talking around the age of two, reciting nursery rhymes and changing the endings, having us all laughing.
By the time Amy was 18 months old she had moved to Leicester with Kate and Phil and spent very happy years with Phil’s mum Mary and her adored great grandparents Kit and Wag. As a teacher Kit, in particular, helped develop further Amy’s love of language and learning and the trips to her imaginary worlds which amused us all.
At a check up with the health visitor for her three year check, Amy was asked if she could hold a pen. Not only did she hold it but she wrote down everything the health visitor had written. She proudly announced that her mummy was going to make her a Plasticine tortoise and her daddy was going to teach her to drive.
As a small child Phil read her all the Mr Men books and eventually she retold the whole story and at the end of every page she finished with the line “ and so it did”
Amy eventually became a “Big Sister” to Chris who was born in 1982. She saved Chris’s university course by rescuing his dissertation, it took two whole days and nights but thanks to Amy he successfully completed his course.
Other cousins joined the family and Laura, Rebecca and Emma shared the early years once the family moved back to Cornwall in 1984. Amy and Chris attended Portreath School and here Amy found friendships with so many children in the village. Life was always full of family fun as treasured memories from family members convey.
New cousins were born and Ben, Sam and Beth became part of the family gatherings too. Amy enjoyed a variety of activities over the years as she grew up, ballet, horse riding, Brownies and singing in the Carnoryan Yowynk Choir in Redruth. The beach was always a favourite place and remained so throughout Amy’s life. There were long afternoons on the beach with cousins and friends, and tea-treats in St Ives and walks in Illogan Woods
Moving to Redruth School in 1989 Amy’s circle of friends grew wider and here more life- long friendships began with girls and boys in her year including Cath Bray. Amy joined her friend Jo Austin in the village youth club, the Fish Club, and went on weekend camps to Constantine. Here she first acknowledged her faith beliefs which were important to her at that time. Romances came and went and Amy was always very popular amongst her peers.
As a member of Portreath Surf Life Saving Club Amy was one of the successful women’s team who won the March Past at the Senior Champs in Newquay 2001.Following in her Uncle’s footsteps for a while. ….
Family pets were always an important part of Amy’s life. Taylor, Alfie and Carla were much loved amongst them. Amy loved riding, competing and winning a competition with her horse High Noon. In recent years Amy’s dog Che has welcomed visitors with his noisy bark. When she went to fetch Che home as a puppy she was so busy looking at him in the back seat she didn’t notice the Porsche in front and just went into the back of it slightly. There was more damage to her car than the Porsche and the driver was more worried about her car than his own. Phil only found this out last week!
Growing up Amy could always rely on her parents Kate and Phil as her rock of stability. Phil helped her love of gardening grow and she often turned to him for advice, not just about gardening but other things too. Amy supported her mum Kate when she developed breast cancer and became her rock all through the treatment and recovery. Kate was always there for her too. Their bond was incredibly close.
In her early twenties Amy embarked on her biggest adventure when she went travelling with brother Chris and her cousin Rebecca. Australia beckoned, as it has for so many young people keen to explore the world and find their place in it. The trip was very eventful and old friendships were rekindled as new ones were formed, again some lasting to this very day. Amy’s untimely passing has sent ripples throughout the world as the sad news spread to friends in Canada and Australia. Kate and I have fond memories of e-mails and letters home and how precious those communications were in the days before Facebook and Instagram.
I will never forget the day we all went to Heathrow to meet the girls coming home from their five months away. Striding through the arrivals lounge were these very beautiful, very grown up young women, tanned and tired but glad to be home. Amy’s ability to garner friends and keep them continued into her working life and friends she made at Stralfors have remained so to this day.
Amy embraced motherhood wholeheartedly when she found herself expecting her first child Jago and we welcomed Mark into the family. Amy managed to complete her training as a hairdresser while she was pregnant. She, Mark and Jago settled into the village amongst helpful family and friends. Amy frequently entertained us all with tasty meals in their flat, sharing long evenings with Jo and Rebecca and other friends. There were nights out in fancy dress with her friends and evenings at the Portreath Arms. As a helpful critic on fashion and style Amy could be relied upon to tell you what looked good and certainly what didn’t.
Mark and Amy became parents again when Madok arrived four years after Jago. They enjoyed travelling both before and after the boys were born. Nice and Venice, Morzine and then Camp Bestival in 2012. Amy has been a devoted mother to Jago and Madok who were the light of her life and she intuitively knew what was best for them, displaying great patience and a deep protective love for her precious boys. Amy threw herself wholeheartedly into supporting both the Portreath Pre School and Portreath School, becoming the chairwoman of the Pre School Committee.
Mark and Amy moved to Forth An Nance in 2011 and Mark worked hard to bring the house up to date whilst Amy created a cosy family home. As the family hairdresser, many evenings were spent in Amy’s kitchen as she listened intently to your troubles, or gave wise advice, or just made you feel better about yourself. Friends found here, a shoulder to cry on or something funny or witty to cheer them up.
Eventually Amy went back into the workplace at the end of 2013 gaining a position with Coastline Housing in Redruth. She loved the job and the people she worked with and quickly became a very popular colleague.
Amy had so many wonderful sayings or words that she used every day, reflecting her sense of fun and unique sense of humour. Looking at photographs during the last ten days we all have so many memories that have made us laugh and cry. You too will have your memories, you all knew the many facets of her character differently. My brief tribute cannot do justice to the witty, creative, intelligent, lively and loving person that Amy was.
The one sentiment that has shone throughout all the tributes and reminiscences is that of her love. The book of condolence that so many have signed contains so much love for her and the family; it has been overwhelming to discover the depth to which she was loved.
Amy knew how to love and be loved. She gave that freely to all who needed it. She knew how to be a friend and that is why she has so many. This quote from Mother Theresa sums this up “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action”
So today I am asking that you take that love, that gift that Amy gave you as a granddaughter, daughter, partner, mother, sister, cousin, niece, aunty and friend and share it with those you love and those you have yet to meet. Make the world a little better, hold and hug the ones you love a little tighter and tell them you love them. Remember this beautiful young woman the way you knew her best, hold her forever in your heart and mind – and as she would say “See you on another time”
Amy we love you