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A BOY IN A BRIGHT RED SHIRT A Tribute to Daniel Morcombe by Jeni Robinson

On 7 December 2003 a young boy – only 13 years old – was taken from the side of a busy highway … never to be seen again.  

The citizens of Australia rallied around his family, horrified that an innocent, brand new teenager could be snatched away just like that … with no warning … and no witnesses.

Almost eight long years later, a man was charged with his murder after a clandestine confession.  Daniel’s remains were found in a creek in bushland in that same month.  

On 13 March 2014 a Queensland jury found his abductor guilty of murder, indecently dealing with a child and interference with a corpse.

For the first time since my career as a Court Reporter folded, I returned to a courtroom –  Daniel’s place of justice – and while waiting for the sentencing to begin, the following piece of prose flowed from my heart for his parents, Bruce and Denise Morcombe, his older brother, Dean and twin brother Bradley.

 

 

A BOY IN A BRIGHT RED SHIRT

A Tribute to Daniel Morcombe

 

At rest now – far from the madding crowd…

A spirit safe at last, no longer seeking…

Searching for long-awaited justice to bring grieving hearts a sense of closure.

 

Justice – yes … but closure never fully found –

For a little boy – with trusting eyes…

And a chin splattered with food particles framing a cheeky grin.

 

Loving arms always seeking to hold him –

Just once more … please

Yet in every pore – on every tiny hair sprouting from those same arms…

Nestle memories of that familiar soft skin…

Along with nostrils still able to catch a whiff of that never forgotten smell…

That belongs only to him.

 

A parent’s dreams his new playground –

A place where hope never fades away…

And where that beloved chuckle bursts into that subconscious realm…

So a mother and father’s faces turn into smiles again…

In a way they haven’t for years…

Not since large chunks of reality became the place of nightmares.

 

A beautiful boy with sunshine in his eyes –

The joy of innocence in his laugh –

A cheeky grin causing love to rise in your soul…

And no amount of darkness can ever steal away those much-loved traits…

From that first glimpse of a newborn’s face…

Until forever…

 

Years of heartache – endless waiting … wondering … why?

Answers never enough to ease that chasm of aching…

In hearts that will forever hold him close.

 

The support of a nation standing shoulder-to-shoulder

Clothed in red – with a glimmer of moisture…

And heartfelt anger – in their eyes.

 

But forever those images of an adventurous boy…

Standing on the bow of a boat – arms outstretched, embracing the world…

Now ingrained in all of our hearts.

 

God bless you and your strong and brave young men, Denise and Bruce –

Along with your darling star – now shining forever in the Heavens…

 

 

With my sincere and heartfelt compassion…

Jeni Robinson, aka Jennifer Larmar – Australian Author

14 March 2014

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