Bob Irwin, the father of the late Steve Irwin, has shared an intimate letter written by a 32-year-old Steve to his parents.
The letter was misplaced at the time and remained unopened until after Steve's tragic death in 2006, at the age of 44.
The touching message, which will be published in Bob Irwin's memoir, The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father And Son Legacy on 26 October, provides an intimate insight into Steve's relationship with his mum and dad before his untimely death in an accident during filming – 10 years ago this Sunday, which also happens to be Father's Day.
Bob says he found the letter unopened in its envelope when it slipped from a book during his research for his new book, which is co-authored by Amanda French.
The letter (pictured, above) reads:
Dear Mum & Dad,
Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a bloke’s life is that it takes over 30 years to realise how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS.
At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength!
For the rest of my life I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we’ve shared and will continue to share.
You’re my best friends!
Thank you, Steve
WATCH: Terri Irwin talks about the Steve Irwin Wildlife reserve. Post continues after the video...
Last year, Steve's daughter Bindi addressed her family's rumoured rift with Robert Irwin senior.
“Everyone deals with grief differently. When my dad passed away he chose to distance himself from everything that dad loved the most," the dancing champ told The Daily Mail Australia.
“At the moment we’re really just respecting his wishes because he hasn’t had anything to do with us for a long time and he decided his own path. That’s important so good for him," she added.
A decade after his death, Steve's legacy continues to be nurtured by his family, including wife Terri and two children Bindi and Robert, who run Australia Zoo in Queensland, including the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve named in Steve's honour in Cape York.
This Sunday, there's no doubt his family will be remembering Steve's incredible wildlife work, energy and love for life.
Story via Australian Geographic
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