The beloved conservationist and TV personality would have celebrated his 57th birthday on February 22. Instead, the world celebrated on his behalf, honoring Irwin’s legacy with a Google Doodle and sharing treasured memories of the gentle soul who loved animals so dearly.
One of the memories which best captured Irwin’s kind spirit, though, came in the form of a heartfelt letter from the man himself. In 2016, Irwin’s father, Bob, was working on an autobiography detailing his son’s life when he came across the touching note. Irwin wrote it when he was 32 years old, expressing appreciation to his mother and father for shaping him into the man he was.
“Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a ‘Bloke’s Life’ is that it takes over 30 years to realise how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS.
At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength!
For the rest of my life I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we’ve shared and will continue to share. You’re my best friends!”
Bob shared a photo of the note on Facebook, adding his own emotion message:
“Working on this book, I have been constantly reminded of Steve’s boundless energy, infectious humour and unrestrained passion for wildlife in our far too short a time together. But he is still here, still with me and I am able to gain strength from him. What he stood for and what he was able to achieve means just as much now as when he was here in the physical world.”
Well said, Bob. Irwin’s lasting legacy will live on in his family as well as the millions whose hearts and lives he touched. The world misses you, Irwin, but we’re lucky to have had you in it. Share to spread the love for such a wonderful man.
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