The Hopkins Family
After I ran into Trenton again at our mutual friends gig (12 months after the first gig that we had me at)
I really couldn’t get him out of my head. Sonya, a close mate, had pointed him out and said “There’s that Troy guy you met at the bar last year….” I eyed him off for a while, then after a few glasses of Dutch courage I approached him and asked if he remembered me. He said “Of course!” We chewed each other’s ears off all night about what we’d done in the year leading up to our reunion, and funnily enough, we’d both separated from the partners we were with.
Trent always knew I had a daughter, and it just never seemed to come into the equation for him….. We were a package deal. We talked all evening, then all of a sudden he had to go, and it all happened so quickly that I didn’t even get to grab his number. I was shattered. Even worse, just as he left he said, “By the way….. My name’s Trent…….!” I could have died!!!! I thought I’d missed an opportunity, and I remember a few days later talking to my housemate and sister about it, and I just felt that it wasn’t going to happen. Then a week later when Sonya was around, I asked if she had his number. I mean how often do you feel really attracted to someone, get along amazingly and have no trouble talking to them? She dug out an old number and then she called in the hope that someone would answer that knew where he was! Ironically, one of his best mate’s Stevo answered, and said “Trenton, yeah he’s sitting next to me right now on the couch!!!!” I told Son to call on my behalf and to pretend that I wasn’t there…… I felt like a school girl again, I was giggling and falling all over the place in the background. She said Hi, asked how he and the boys had been and did some small talk….. Then she said that a friend of hers had asked after him. “I hope it was that Emma chick…..” he had said to her, and I nearly peed my pants!!!!! She passed on my number and I waited a couple of days, and once he rang, we started talking and literally couldn’t stop…. We spoke every night for seven nights, and I reckon we pushed five or six hours a night on the phone. I was having trouble sleeping at the time, so Trent started talking to me until I fell asleep each night.
It was the most beautiful beginning of a relationship than I’ve ever experienced. We never in our eight plus years ran out of interesting and enjoyable conversation…. From day one we were on the same wavelength. We came from the same backgrounds, had such similar upbringings… we adored our families, and we wanted the same for our own children. We lived parallel lives within our friendship groups, both muso’s, both the loudest, both inappropriate with our humour…. yet there was 350 km’s between us when we grew up. He was living a good 50 minutes away with his best mates when we re-met, and I’d had a mate move in with Ruby and I on the west side of Melbourne. She was eighteen months old, and clearly I had her to think about.
After a week of talking I invited him over for a catch up, I told him that she would probably be there, and he said “And so she should be!” It was so refreshing to have a man behave that way…. I was sure that it would be so hard to meet and fall in love with someone when you already had a child to someone else. I never thought that I would become a single parent in the first place…. I secretly organised for all my closest friends to be at the first meeting, and I called at the last minute to tell him it had turned into a bit of a BBQ! He was very nervous to have our first date with a toddler and eight adults he didn’t know…… but boy did he cope! I think most of the boys fell more in love with him than I did! He was funny, kind, polite and cheeky…… and he was immediately fabulous with Rubes. The funny thing is, after speaking for a week night and day, we naturally acted like a couple already, holding hands and sitting close to each other…… yet we hadn’t even kissed yet. We rectified that, and the deal was sealed. Everything flew into place from there, with never a hesitation between us. We moved in together after two months, were engaged after six, and married with our second little girl Poppy on the way within 18 months.
From the eighth of March 2005 until the 23rd July 2013, I can honestly say that these were easily the best years of my life. After breaking an ankle at a mates 40th on the 30th June 2013, followed by ankle surgery the week after, Trenton spent his last three weeks on Earth in agony. He couldn’t understand how he was in so much pain with such an incredibly high pain threshold. He drove himself to the hospital in the middle of the night twice via emergency complaining of severe leg pain, and both times they sent him home with further pain relief. On the night of the 22nd of July 2013, after a beautiful night of snuggling on the couch watching The Game of Thrones, we went to bed as normal. At 2am he woke grabbing his chest and tried to walk forgetting he had a broken ankle in a boot. He fell to the ground and was struggling to breathe, and was rushed to hospital via ambulance. He had giant clots in his calf that have moved through his body into his lungs. That would be the last place Ruby, Poppy and myself would see him alive. He died on the 23rd July 2013 in hospital surrounded by more than forty devastated friends and family.
Life will never be the same without him.
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