Yesterday afternoon, I received word that the 49-year-old partner of my niece, Sam Swales, tragically died in an Aberdeen Hospital with Coronavirus. Mark and Sam had been in a relationship for a couple of years and towards the latter part of 2019, they decided to move up to Aberdeen where they would start afresh living as a family unit with Sam’s two children, 13-year-old Millie, and 7-year-old Leon.
My niece’s Sam’s working life has been spent in the caring profession helping others, obtaining her qualifications at Bradford University to facilitate and advance her career in the Primary Care section. She is a kind and gentle person whose compassion is self-evident to all who know her, a loving daughter to my brother, Peter, and his wife, Linda, a good mother to Millie and Leon, and the closest of siblings to her sisters Emily Forde and Janie Foster and Kathryn Forde.
The death of any person one knows is hard and the death of a family member is much harder, especially when the person concerned is only in his late 40s and his departure from this world was so sudden and therefore, totally unexpected and all the more tragic. No person, male or female, should have to suffer so sad a loss of a partner at such an early stage in their life, and my heart goes out to Sam, her two children, Millie and Leon, and also to Mark’s parents and other family members from the few times we met, Mark instantly came across as being very friendly and amiable. He appeared to be an ideal partner for my niece Sam to accept as her soul mate.
The death of any person one knows is hard and the death of a family member is much harder, especially when the person concerned is only in his late 40s and his departure from this world was so sudden and therefore, totally unexpected. Such circumstances merely make Mark's passing all the more tragic. No person, male or female, should have to suffer so sad a loss of a partner at such an early stage in their life and relationship. My heart goes out to Sam, her two children, Millie and Leon, and also to Mark’s parents and other family members in their time of bereavement.
I recall the very last time I saw Sam and Mark. It was at their leaving do in the ‘Milnsbridge Working Men's Club’ in late 2019. They both looked so happy to be starting life anew up in Aberdeen. Sam, please know that as far as all the Forde Family is concerned that Mark was a much-liked man. Also, please know that you are a much-loved daughter, mother, sister, aunt, and niece.
While I understand that Mark did not have a job to go when you moved to Aberdeen towards the end of last year, you both carried a million dreams within your luggage that you shared, dreams about your future together and making a fresh start in a new place as loving partners and parents to Millie and Leon. I could sense in the brief time I spoke with you both that afternoon, you each exuded a degree of that excitement about experiencing a new life together that only a couple in love can hold. I believe that you'd both dreamt the same dream about the certainty of future happiness together, the like of which only soul mates dare to dream in an uncertain world of shifting times.
I am so sorry, Sam, that your million dreams were not to be realised with Mark, but I am nevertheless pleased that they were dreamt together and so proud of you and Mark for daring to dream them. From an old man, aged 77 years, and an uncle who has had his fair share of miracles dispensed to him throughout his lifetime, I only wish that I could have loaned yourself and Mark one of them at your greatest moment of need.
Sam, nobody knows why things happen in our lives, both good or bad, happy or hurtful. As though fate might have decreed it yesterday, I received a message from a lady called Eva Gaspar about half an hour before I learned of Mark’s death. Eva is a Facebook contact who is fast becoming a good friend. Eva told me of a song that she believed was meant for me to sing on one of my future Facebook posts.
She was so right with regard to both the song title and its message. I have only had half an hour to learn it before posting it today, but it seems highly fitting for this morning's post that refers to yesterday's tragic news concerning Mark's death.
I found it a most difficult song to sing from the show, ‘The Greatest Showman’ and is outside my comfort zone, but I needed to sing it today as my dedication to the brief life you and Mark shared as a loving couple. It is called, ‘A Million Dreams’. Please accept it in the spirit intended. It is sung with the love I hold for you and the pain I wish I could take from you at this sad time.
Love and peace Uncle Billy, Sheila, and all the Forde Family xxx