Balloon tribute to much-loved dad

Standing on the rugby field, Kendra Stewart smiled as she remembers the man affectionately known as Bear.

It is over two years since popular Waitohi rugby player Bevan Moody died suddenly.

To mark the anniversary and to celebrate his life, his partner took their two children to the field at Marlborough Boys’ College where she first watched Bevan play.

It helps Maddie, 4, and the son he never got to meet, Jeremiah,1, understand more about their daddy, says Kendra.

In a message to Bevan, Kendra says how she knows he will be watching his family “every step of the way”.

“Showing them where a chunk of your life was held and what it meant to you, allows them to understand you more and the world you strived in.

“So, at 11.31am today, two years since you left, we released three balloons on that very field in remembrance of you.

“Missed you yesterday, miss you today, missing you for eternity,” she wrote.

Bevan played for Marlborough Boys’ College First XV before joining Waitohi.

The 22-year-old prop collapsed in a Tasman Trophy division one match between the Nelson and Waitohi clubs at Neale Park in Nelson.

He died later in hospital surrounded by family and friends.

His funeral was one of the biggest to be held in Blenheim, with hundreds turning out to pay their respects.

The 700-seater ASB theatre was full as people came from across the country to bid their farewells.

A special haka was held in tribute in front of Bevan’s casket which was draped in the yellow and black colours of Waitohi

Kendra says her two children have helped her come to terms with the loss of a much-loved man.

She says she thinks about him every day.

“She [Maddie} still misses her dad daily, waves to him on the moon and we talk about the memories they both shared. She has been learning to write her name and draw family portraits including her dad which melts my heart.

Jeremiah, well… he has blossomed Such an amazing dude with a huge amount of character. A lot like his dad I should say, he’s a very active and loving wee man,” she says.

Following a special dinner, Maddie was given an early birthday present, a telescope so she could see more of the moon.

Kendra says it helps knowing that Bevan would be proud of what she has achieved.

“We hope you’re having a fab time up there Bev. Today wasn’t easy, but we got through and I feel somewhat at ease that I have made you proud.

“Along with the great sadness that comes from missing you lives a universe of gratitude for having shared life with you at all. Our connection changed my life.

“I’m honoured to be able to miss you.”

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