PATIYA May will be remembered as a little girl who moved at 100 miles an hour, but always stopped to say ‘I love you’.’’
She loved butterflies, sandpits, jumping on the trampoline, drawing, running and swimming.
The four-year-old was about to start ‘big girl’ kinder, and was so excited she practised walking from her nan’s car to the front door on her own.
She was the petite little girl with a demanding voice; the sweetest face with a cheeky sense of humour.
“You always knew she was around,’’ her poppy, Geoff Dudley, said.
“She was a hundred miles an hour, you knew she was in the room – you would think butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but then she would open her mouth and it was like a foghorn.
“She was just full of beans – she wouldn’t run out of air.
“But then all of a sudden she would stop and say out of the blue, ‘I love you’.’’
Patiya was equally loved in return – particularly by her mother, Kristy Thomson, and father, Kyle Schreiber.
From the day she was born, Patiya was their princess.
“She was my princess, my world, my everything,’’ Kyle said.
“All her ideas were good ideas – ‘that’s a good idea’ she would say.
“I asked her what she wanted for breakfast and she said chips.’’
McDonald’s chip, of course. They were Patiya’s favourites.
But her father would tell her despite it being her idea to always eat McDonald’s, it wasn’t always a good one.
Kyle and Kristy shared care of Patiya, and ensured she spent time with her extended family.
Her cousins on both sides were her best friends – she has become the star in the sky they say goodnight to.
“She was loved by everybody,’’ Patiya’s nan, Cheryl Roberts said.
“She would sit on my bed for hours and draw or play with hair ties, putting them around my wrist.
“The only thing she never liked was wind in her face.’’
Patiya’s life was taken tragically when a tree fell in Rosalind Park on Monday.
Her mother Kristy was seriously injured in the accident and remains in the Alfred Hospital with spinal injuries.
The road ahead is long and painful, but Kristy’s father says his daughter is stronger than the rest of her family.
“She may not walk again,’’ Geoff said.
“But we are never saying never.
“If there’s a slight chance of walking again, she’s going to have a good, hard crack at it.
“She is tough as nails – it’s one step at a time, one thing at a time, but she is trying to keep positive and doing a good job.
“She is stronger than all of us.
“Her mother Trish is down there by her side and doing a good job, too.’’
Geoff said Kristy and Kyle were overwhelmed by the support of the Bendigo community, and many from across the country.
“Kristy just can’t get over how much people care,’’ he said.
“And Kyle is just so grateful for everything people are doing to help and to raise money for Kristy’s ongoing care.’’
Cheryl said Patiya’s extended family appreciated every little effort being made to support them in their grief, and Kristy in her recovery.
“We are so grateful for the help and support of everyone,’’ she said.
“It’s just so beautiful – the candles at the fountain were beautiful, the flowers in the park, it’s just all so beautiful.’’
Beautiful tributes, for a beautiful little girl.
All of a sudden she would stop and say out of the blue, ‘I love you’