First Xmas with­out Dar­ryl

A boy’s gifts speak of his own gift — a car­ing, lov­ing na­ture

Townsville Bulletin - - News - By RACHELLE CHAP­MAN

DAR­RYL Holmkvist had care­fully hand-picked Christ­mas gifts for his par­ents Paul and Juanita, big brother War­rick and lit­tle sis­ter Court­ney.

Just be­fore he died in a tragic mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent on his fam­ily’s Ma­jors Creek prop­erty on De­cem­ber 20, the 13-year-old spent a day shop­ping with his mother, buy­ing gifts for the fam­ily with his own money, earned pick­ing man­goes on a near-by farm. It was his first paid job.

With mixed emo­tions, the fam­ily opened their gifts on Christ­mas day.

Lit­tle sis­ter Court­ney, 5, got a fighter fish, brother War­rick, 15, a de­odor­ant pack and a pair of thongs, his mother a pam­per pack, and for his fa­ther Dar­ryl had bought a ve­hi­cle sleeve for his beloved car.

‘‘They were all prac­ti­cal items that will be well used,’’ his fa­ther said.

Dar­ryl’s Christ­mas presents were wait­ing for him un­der­neath the tree — the fam­ily opened his re­mote con­trol car, por­ta­ble DVD p l a y e r , c l o t h e s a n d mo­tor­bike gear and have set them aside.

Dar­ryl was a hard worker, who loved his fam­ily and the out­doors.

The 13-year-old was killed af­ter his Honda CRF 150cc mo­tor bike hit a tree on the prop­erty off Clark Rd at Ma­jors Creek.

One week later Dar­ryl’s par­ents, brother War­rick — his best friend — and sis­ter Court­ney are try­ing to piece their lives back to­gether af­ter their first Christ­mas with­out him.

Mr Holmkvist, War­rick and his girl­friend Jade, and Court­ney wit­nessed the ac­ci­dent that killed Dar­ryl.

Mrs Holmkvist was work­ing at the time.

Dar­ryl died of ma­jor head in­juries caused on im­pact.

The fam­ily picked up Dar­ryl’s ashes yes­ter­day and brought him home, where he will stay.

Mr Holmkvist said his son grew up on mo­tor­bikes — he loved them and was a more than ex­pe­ri­enced rider. Like most farm chil­dren, Dar­ryl learned to drive e a r l y and c o u l d r i d e mo­tor­bikes and drive cars, trac­tors and boats by the age of eight.

Dar­ryl’s par­ents taught him the value of a strong work ethic early.

The new bike that he died on was a re­ward for the count­less hours of un­paid work he’d done around the house and on the farm since he was tiny. He was also chief babysit­ter for his lit­tle sis­ter, and was of­ten called on by his par­ents to keep an ex­tra eye on her at week­ends, never be­grudg­ing the ‘Mr Mum’ role.

His par­ents gave Dar­ryl the bike about four weeks be­fore the ac­ci­dent and it q u i c k l y b e c a m e t h e teenager’s pride and joy.

‘‘It was for all those jobs they’d done and never been paid said.

‘‘He had been promised a bike for years and this time he got a brand new one.

‘‘He was a top lit­tle kid, he was re­ally start­ing to get some­where in his life,’’ Mr Holmkvist said.

‘‘He was loved and was just a plea­sure to have around.’’

Mr Holmkvist said the young­ster was also a whiz in the kitchen.

‘‘He could cook a mean choco­late cake.’’

The fam­ily is now tak­ing it one day at a time, but Mr

for,’’ Mr Holmkvist Holmkvist said the whole fam­ily missed Dar­ryl deeply ev­ery day; the tears flowed reg­u­larly.

‘‘(Court­ney) still hasn’t got the full un­der­stand­ing of what’s hap­pened. She says she misses her brother . . . she cries,’’ Mr Holmkvist said of his young daugh­ter.

Mrs Holmkvist said ev­ery day was a bat­tle. She has lost her ap­petite and feels as if she can’t cry any more tears.

‘‘Peo­ple say they know how you feel, but no-one can know how it feels un­til it hap­pens to them,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s noth­ing like they show in the movies.’’

But the fam­ily would pull through the pain to­gether, Mrs Holmkvist said.

H e r s i s t e r , R o b y n Cus­sons, has been with them since the ac­ci­dent, read­ing the eu­logy at Dar­ryl’s funeral.

‘‘I don’t have chil­dren of my own, th­ese are my chil­dren,’’ Ms Cus­sons said.

Dar­ryl had just fin­ished his first year of high school and was set to start Year 9 at William Ross High School.

Mrs Holmkvist said the Ma­jors Creek and Wood­stock com­mu­ni­ties had ex­ceeded all ex­pec­ta­tions, ral­ly­ing around and prov­ing a pil­lar of sup­port. Com­mu­nity mem­bers have dropped round cooked din­ners, flow­ers, gro­ceries, presents and mes­sages of sup­port each day.

Mr Holmkvist’s fam­ily, who live in the re­gion, had been a god­send, help­ing him and his wife and chil­dren im­mensely.

Fam­ily friends drove long dis­tances to be at Dar­ryl’s funeral, with hun­dreds who knew him, last Satur­day.

Dar­ryl Holmkvist

GZQ07848

SHAR­ING THE PAIN . . . Court­ney, 5, Paul, Juanita and War­rick Holmkvist with Robyn Cus­sons

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