Below are thoughts and memories from some of Sarah’s closest friends:
Sarah and I once shared a moment that freezes in my mind who she was and what she stood for. I was visiting from California and Stuart and Sarah had taken me to a park their family often enjoyed. One of their favorite things to do – including all FOUR girls – was to run down a little hill and jump into the waiting arms of Stuart at the bottom. Right now I can see Sarah’s beautiful, smiling face as Stuart wrapped his arms around her and spun her around. That was a few years ago but that picture comes back to my mind again and again. It showed to me how close to their hearts Sarah and Stuart hold their family. How Sarah delighted in the most simple of things. How much she loved her life.
I guess the thing I admire most about Sarah was her amazing talent at being a mother. She became a mother when she was very young and right from the start she seemed to know exactly what to do. And she had a double load of babies! I have always been amazed at the confident, no-nonsense attitude she expressed as a mom. She put up with no misbehavior and the girls knew she meant business. And yet, she had so much gentleness, patience, and love. I still marvel at how she was able to organize her family – get them fed on schedule, bathed, and into bed or out of the door in the morning – even when they were toddlers. I often asked her how she did it but she always brushed it off, humbly, as no big deal. She put her whole heart into her family and loved them and the life they created to the very core of her being. She leaves for us an example that to truly care for our children is to help them behave and give them structure; to hold close to our heart those that we love; and to laugh very often.
Sarah and I met when we first started at Hinchley Wood School. Over the years we shared the wonderful 1980’s fashions of perms and electric blue eyeliner as well as a love of Wham and 5 Star. Swapping illegal tapes around the classroom. What we we thinking?
Together we experienced our first forays into Oxford Street shopping and ordering our first McDonalds in Kingston. When McDonalds was a new thing. Shopping in H&M to find cool clothes when it was the only place to shop if you didn’t want to dress like your mother. (Not sure we were even actually cool) but they did sell much coveted white lace fingerless gloves like Madonna.
At Esher College we studied English and our first adventures into Rag Week. Getting pissed on the roundabout by the Marquis of Granby and shaking buckets down the road back to college. I think this was the first every Red Nose Day.
Later as God Mother to Lottie. A wonderful inspiration and solid rock to depend on. I still miss her everyday.
Sarah always had strong, realistic beliefs and values about how she fulfilled life for herself and for others, which in turn influenced the behaviour of those around her. She was wise, knowledgeable, determined and eternally optimistic, which made her very popular from the start of my friendship with her.
These values included compassion for those who were not as fortunate as herself through both her work and personal life, ensuring that her lifestyle did not create a barrier to those who were less fortunate. Her sense of humanity and community meant she contributed by volunteering for fundraising at school fetes, however long the preparation and completion time, to name one example.
Responsibility, justice and respect in her nursing role meant she was popular amongst all who came in touch with her as well as providing a togetherness with her former colleagues.
She was a loyal, kind, honest and loving friend, who regularly provided an injection of mischievous fun and happiness into conversation. This was often through her love of entertaining at home and travel across the UK and Europe to make ongoing memories for herself and childhood memories for all of her family.
It was refreshing to find someone who was fair, open and honest throughout her life and had a lasting faith with her community by fulfilling her principles. She has left this legacy of her values and beliefs for us to continue to take forward in our lives.
Thank you, Sarah.
In year 10 we went on a Biology and Geography field trip for 4 days in Slapton Ley in Devon, most of the kids in school year went. We walked for miles along the sunny sand bar, Dartmoor and the woods near the village. We got lost several times in the woods but Sarah always had an idea of the right way to go. Owen Paul was in the charts that week with “My Favourite Waste of Time” which we sang a lot during those happy days.
Sarah and I sat together in the front row Physics, not our best subject. So we mostly chatted our way through those lessons. Sarah wanted to get married and have lots of children and animals, she was quite sure about that. She invited me to go to the youth club in the church hall, that was run by her Dad. We had great fun. There was usually a talk in the first half and once a lady brought Rolly the dog from Eastenders. Then we would play snooker or ping pong and chat and laugh. There was a disco I think round about the time we did our O’Levels and we danced to “Don’t leave me this way” by the Communards, it was great fun.
When we took our exams Sarah did really well she had worked so hard with her usual determination.
We both went to Esher College as our school didn’t have a Sixth Form. We used to all meet up in the common room with our friends. Sarah was talking about becoming a nurse by then. One of our friends was Fizal who used to tell very long winded jokes, they went on forever which made them even funnier; she used to tell him “to get on with it” while we all there laughing so much it hurt.
Sarah and I kept up with each other when she went to train to be a nurse at Guys; she had worked hard to get there and threw herself into the work. She was a wonderful friend as always so supportive, always saying “Go for it” when there was a new plan on the horizon.
I miss her so very much.
Memories of Sarah – walking to school, meeting at the alley with the walking bus, being at the park after school and chewing the fat – our eulogy really sums that up!
Her honesty – saying it like it is; I remember her commenting on my wobbly backside whilst I was laying on the ground and Abigail was jumping on me – not rude, just a funny observation – we were both in stitches. Her humour even when the worst was happening to her she could still find something.
Being everybody’s mum, all the kids loved her and still do and being a champion of all things right. Sarah telling Katie she would wear a pink wig if she lost her hair and Katie being horrified! (and Alex thinking it hilarious)
Warm and fluffy text messages and emails
Sarah making it to my 40th birthday party. Having hit my 50th this year I can say that I’m not sad to be 50, it’s a right not granted to Sarah and I live every day grateful that I made it thus far, just the thought of that pulls me back in line if I ever feel low. The picture of us girls from that night is on my sideboard and the picture of us at our leaving do before heading to Oz with you Stu and the girls and the picture of Sarah with the letter you wrote is still there and will always be. Rarely a day goes by that we don’t think of you of talk about you, my only regret about moving to Oz was leaving you guys.
Many years ago I set my thoughts and memories on paper and just sitting here and reading it now brings a tear to my eye. My beautiful, bright and funny friend – so many lives touched and changed by her.
Lots of love to you all always xx
‘I am running in memory of Sarah, my lovely friend, 10 years to the week in which she died from ovarian cancer – this race is for her. Our friendship was the diary I never kept, from the champagne moments to the trivial and mundane. We shared tears and laughter, trials and joys of nursing, marriage and motherhood. She was the friend I planned to grow old with but that was not to be. The chance to care for her was my greatest privilege and one I will always be grateful for. Ten years on, 10 years older but hopefully not slower, Sarah, this one is for you with my love xx’
Jodie O’Regan (May 2018)
Ten years have flown by !
Something that I will never forget is Sarah’s voice it was so beautiful. I used to say she reminds me of Lady Diana; such a amazing lady such elegance! I will never forget her. She will always be in my heart forever and always. I’m sure Sarah is looking down and thinking what a fantastic job Stuart has done looking after her beautiful girls.
We miss you so much Sarah all my love.
Amanda Smith Xxxxx
Maddy Thompson (nee Treasure)