As many one-liners as her 104 years
It was the words from the police officer that definitively marked the end of Tony Cooke’s time with his wife.
Caroline Boyd, public servant, women’s advocate and avid jogger, was gone only a few hours, lay only a few hundred metres away, but this was the moment the bombshell dropped.
‘‘There’s no easy way to say this,’’ the officer said.
As Boyd’s family use her personal running map to help heal the trauma of her death, her husband has spoken about the moments after his wife was struck and killed by a car while jogging in Paeka¯ka¯riki.
She was hit near the intersection of Wellington and Ocean roads in the Ka¯piti Coast village on March 19.
Cooke sat on the sofa across from the door Boyd walked out that Sunday morning and never returned.
‘‘It was very tough to begin with, coming back here by yourself, because we have very fond memories,’’ he said.
‘‘She loved coming up here and chilling out next to the sea ... being part of the community.’’
Now the Caroline Boyd Memorial Walk/Run will be held on November 12 in Paeka¯ka¯riki, tracing Boyd’s favourite running tracks near their weekend home on The Parade.
Cooke and daughter Becky Cooke were organising the event as a fundraiser and a way to celebrate Boyd’s life. It is a way for Tony Cooke to keep moving on.
‘‘We had been married 30 years. We are just trying to put our lives back together.’’
Even though his wife lay only a block away from their house, he didn’t find out for several hours because she had no identification.
Eventually he headed to the Paeka¯ka¯riki surf club and said he was looking for a middle aged jogger. The surf club had already been told by police a woman had been hit and killed in the village.
‘‘Then the policeman arrived ... and he took me through further identification because he wanted to make sure I was the right person. And then he dropped the bombshell. I think he said, his comment was, ‘there’s no easy way to say this’.’’
Anger, he said was wasted energy.
One of the ways to keep his wife’s memory alive was the run - for family and the Paeka¯ka¯riki community, ‘‘where this has been a totally unexpected and traumatic event’’.
The event covers parts of the route she used to run, with 10km and 5km run and walking options. The proceeds would support youth, women and the local community. The family would match the money, dollar for dollar.
Becky Cooke said running was one of her mum’s biggest passions and people recognised her distinctive, wide-elbowed running style.
She would be joining in the 10km run herself.
‘‘I’ll be thinking about mum, remembering her, thinking this is the run she did.’’
Hopefully Boyd would be thinking of them and smiling, she said, ‘‘and the sun will come out’’.
A man has appeared in the HIgh Court on charges related to her death and will appear again on December 1.
For inquiries about the Caroline Boyd Memorial Walk/Run email email@example.com, or register at enteronline.co.nz.
Becky Cooke and father Tony Cooke, daughter and husband of Caroline Boyd (inset), whose life will be celebrated with a memorial walk/run on November 12 in Paeka¯ka¯riki.