Ruth November 3rd, 2020

This is the tribute I wrote for Calvin’s funeral service. Some of you may recognise your words here as I’ve drawn from the many beautiful thoughts you have shared. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration. “There are no words”. That’s a sentence we’ve heard over and over again these last 2 weeks as people try to come to terms with the shock, grief and unutterable pain at the loss of our very precious Calvin. And it’s true. There are no words to adequately describe the depth of pain and grief we feel at his loss. But there are words to describe Calvin: He was a son to Brian and me, one of the most amazing gifts God has given us. He may have had a traumatic entry to this world and a traumatic exit, but in between he gave us great joy. He was a big brother to Eva, a constant source of love and inspiration in her life. He loved her dearly and would have done anything for her. His pet name for her was ‘Ed’, I probably shouldn’t repeat her pet names for him! He was a beloved grandson to my parents, Trevor & Carol, and Brian’s parents, Matthew & Ellen. He was loving and devoted to them. He had a very special bond with Granda Gilly, with whom he loved to spend time messing around, especially on the golf course. He was also blessed to have a 3rd set of honorary grandparents in Ian & Isabel Murray, who introduced him to a love of curry and an interest in the world. He was a special nephew to Lisa & Alastair, Jane & Declan, Karen & Peter, Elaine & Ian and Sharon & Scott and very dear cousin to Emily, Imogen, Bronwyn, Kaitlan, Shannon, Jasmine, Megan, Misha, Ethan, Jordan and Emma. Imogen may think she was his favourite cousin, but he would have been too kind to ever say that in case he offended any of the others! He was an integral and vibrant member of our church family, who is feeling his loss keenly. And he was a friend to so many. We hugely appreciate the outpouring of love we have been wrapped in from all of you, both love for Calvin and love and care for us as a family. This is helping us through this dark valley and is something that we will always treasure. It is hard to find the words to capture what was so incredibly special about Calvin. He was an amazing young man, a “hero from a boy’s story”. He was kind, gentle, loving, affectionate, tender-hearted, always giving, fun-loving and funny. He was full of light. He was also “annoyingly smart”! But the word which comes to our minds again and again when we think about Calvin is KIND. He was so sensitive towards others and always wanted them to feel loved and cared for and to protect them from hurt. He often came into the kitchen when I was cooking and would ask “How can I help you?” – a question that made my heart sing every time I heard it and a question which I think sums up his attitude of service and devotion to others: “How can I help you?” Calvin always embraced life and was ready to give anything a go – he threw himself into his studies, playing the trumpet and piano, basketball, Scouts, skiing, canoeing, surfing, golfing, abseiling with me off a lighthouse, camping, performing sketches at church and playing pranks. Who will ever forget him giving it laldy swinging his trumpet in the Jazz Band at school or dancing the Charleston at Porty Does Strictly? Or sharing his faith with the children who came to the holiday club at our church, dressed up as a mad inventor? But his great passion, which he shared with his Dad, was rugby. It was at Portobello Rugby Club where he made some very special, enduring friendships. I can’t say much about his team’s performance on the pitch as I couldn’t bear watching him and his friends get hurt, but Brian never missed a match, getting up in the pitch dark in the middle of winter, driving Calvin and his friends to matches, cheering them on from the sidelines, dissecting the play afterwards. There was nothing he and Brian loved better than yelling themselves hoarse cheering on Scotland as they won or lost at Murrayfield, in Ireland, France, Italy, wherever and whenever they could. As team captain, Calvin was Mr Motivator and kept up everyone’s morale when they were cold, soaked in mud and up against hulking opponents. One of his friends, Lewis, described the highs and lows of their rugby ‘we nearly had them this time’ experiences and Calvin giving them a scathing talk about how they needed to get their act together with tears in his eyes – Lewis had never seen such passion in anyone, for anything else, ever. Despite Calvin’s lean frame and his gentle nature off the pitch, he could certainly floor the opposing team by the sheer force of his determination, driven to play his heart out for his team. Calvin was warm, easy-going and incredibly hospitable. He loved to have his friends back to the house every lunch break from school and share whatever sweet treats he could find. He also loved to throw parties, particularly if they involved dressing up – Harry Potter and the Swiss bob-sleigh team were 2 of my favourite. We will never forget how handsome and happy he and his school friends looked in their kilts, posing for photos in our garden before their 6th year Prom or his broad smile with his arms around Sally on the beach after their primary school Qualy. Calvin inherited his love of barbecuing from his Dad and the Stubbs family, with whom he grew up. They had a special relationship, cemented by many hours on the Playstation during lockdown, driving Eva crazy as the excited yelling from his room sounded like he was shooting an action film. We were so blessed to have 6 wonderful months with him living at home again during lockdown, spending time in the garden, playing epic table tennis tournaments with his Dad and friends, building Lego, making cocktails and dressing up as a waiter with Eva to serve us a memorable wedding anniversary dinner. Calvin was adventurous and we travelled as much as we could as a family. People often associate him with his trip to Japan which was his cool choice of destination for his 16th birthday. But it was his weeks up north at Scripture Union holiday camps with his friends Jack and Alec which he said were the best weeks of his life. Those and, of course, the legendary inter-railing trip around Europe with Callum, Louis, Fergal, Lewis and Sean. The photos and stories from Lake Bled will always make us smile, and it was special that he was able to hook up with his childhood friend, Joe, there. Calvin was well loved and loved well. He made everyone around him better. We’ve been so deeply moved to hear stories from so many of his friends, long term and more recent, about how he quietly and gently looked after them when they were anxious or hurting and inspired them to keep going and be the best they could be. He will be an important part of what you all become. We’ll all miss him so much, but we hope and pray his influence and the memory of the love you knew from him will inspire you to do him proud. When we need words, there’s no better place to turn to than God’s word, as it’s in the Bible we find the light, understanding, joy and deep, deep comfort we need to face this loss. There are so many words there which have been soothing our aching hearts and healing our souls. These verses are particularly uplifting just now: Revelation 21, v4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more for the former things have passed away”. And from John 1, v5 “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it”. That light shone in Calvin and is shining ever more brightly now in heaven. We know we will see our darling boy there again. We will miss him sorely every day until then, but know he is safe just now in the arms of his loving heavenly Father. Au revoir, mon amour. Until we meet again.