I'd just got back from a day out with ristin and sat in front of my computer when I saw the news. pouchhopper passed away in his sleep. Ristin and I had been talking about how they were planning to come down to Australia just today on the way back. It was my great privilege that I got to meet him at Further Confusion this year. At the time, none of us thought it would be the last time.
Pouch first touched my life in December 2003. That's when I met Ristin, through a suit he made. The suit was called Pouch (no doubt in honour of his creator) but when I showed the photo to Pouch he identified it as Spaceroo. At the time, I was living in my own shell, I guess afraid of the world out there. I thought I was ugly. I was down at ozkangaroo's house and he owned the suit at the time. He wore the suit for me, held me, cuddled me, and let me see myself for the first time as he saw me: a person deserving of love. (That's him in the photo below.) Spaceroo/Pouch got under my radar, gave me confidence in myself and helped me come out of my shell. Spaceroo/Pouch was just so soft and sweet. Thank you, Oz. I owe a great debt to him for making me ready for Ristin. Ristin was one of several who wore the suit for me, but to me he is the one who most beautifully channeled the spirit of Pouch. The morning after I knew it was love. It was Pouch and Ristin together who saved my life.
In the years that followed, I grew and learnt to love myself just as Ristin loves me. It all started from that beautiful suit, so imbued with Pouch's spirit, and I've never forgotten the debt I owed him.
In January of 2007, at Further Confusion, I got the chance to tell him in person. FC was my first furry con and it was the most wonderful and spiritual experience. I got to do so many wonderful things there. But easily the highlight for me was getting to meet Pouch and his husband rainhopperroo. (Photo of the couple here. Pouch is on the right.) They were the warmest, kindest people I could hope to meet and were so glad to hear my story of how Pouch changed my life. Made it possible for me to be at FC at all. They welcomed me with open arms, and far more kindness than I would have any business to expect. I am still warmed by their heartfelt acceptance of me and my story. He told me that he puts part of his spirit into every suit he makes, and there's no doubt that it was that spirit that shone through in Spaceroo/Pouch and that healed me spiritually when I most needed it. Rain told me that my story gave Pouch a big lift (he's been ill and in pain for quite some time) and that hardly a day went by that he wouldn't mention me. It was quite by chance that I got know he was at the con at all. Sometimes things do work out just as they should.
Pouch has left a lasting legacy of happiness behind, and I know that is what he would have most wanted. I love you, Pouch. I'm so sorry to have lost you, but so glad I got to share a few hours of your time. When I look at how I feel, I can only imagine what this must be like for Rain. If you knew or knew of Pouch, or he or one of his suits touched you at some time in your life, please leave a message on the post Rain made in Pouch's journal.