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Celebrating the life of Sailor (Sara) Maya Court

5th March 2007 to 17th September 2021

I will be referring to Sailor, as Sara as I had her permission to do so. And she was my favourite daughter and my baby girl.

For those of you that didn't have the pleasure of meeting her and for those of you that did, I wanted to share some facts about her:

Sara was an incredibly easy baby, by the time it comes to the third child, all the rules books and parental manuals are thrown out of the window. I would feed her for 10 mins intervals several times a day, as that was the only amount of time we had before I was distracted by one of the boys needing something. This was frowned upon by healthcare professionals as you are supposed to breast feed a baby 30-40 mins, but she was fine, content and growing well.

In the morning, Sara was bundled into the "Phil & Ted's" double buggy, popped on to the ‘parcel shelf’ as a good family friend described it … Adam strapped in the top part of the buggy and Ryan walking obediently next to us during the school run. In Purley, everyone seemed to drive, but I found that this was much easier to walk, rather than trying to put 3 kids under 4 into individual car seats. Sara was always happy on her parcel shelf, peering up at me, checking that I was in close proximity but never demanding.

When she was a little older, she was looked after by grandmothers (my mum, Nanni-ma and Jason’s mum, Mamo) so she wouldn’t be dragged along to the afternoon school pick-up, well that was their excuse to have a few precious hours with her all to themselves. We were so lucky that she was calm and content, and didn’t have toddler tantrums. Except for one one occasion when she was one year old and threw herself on the floor as we asked her not to stick her fingers into the electric socket. She rolled around the floor with sheer indignation that we had dared to say ‘No’ to her.

She started to walk at the age of 14 months, she didn't really see the need for walking, as she would simply point to a toy, smile at her brothers and they would get what she wanted. However, one afternoon, Daddy comes in from work, still in his suit and tie, and started playing the game ‘push me’. This meant that Jason would stand on his knees, at one end of the living room, while Ryan and Adam would take a run up from the front door and push Daddy over. Within a few minutes, and after the entire day of my Mum and I cajoling her to walk, she stood up and toddlered over to the door so that she play the game to “push me”. My mum and I were laughing as she did her first steps for Daddy…. despite all our efforts earlier that day!

Sara was conscripted by her older brother Ryan to play Mario cart on the wii, he would complain that she was rubbish. I pointed out that she was only 3 and that he had too high expectations!! However he persevered and soon she rose to the challenge and was considered a good enough player for Ryan. Sara would play with both Ryan and Adam into her teens, you could hear laughter from the trio in the front room, only to be silent whenever parents walked in !! Sara also played chess, but we cant establish who taught her, so assumed that like Adam, she was self-taught.

When Sara was 4 and started going to primary school, she could get herself dressed and would entertain her mum’s shocking attempts at french plaits. At the tender age of 6, she was quiet and determined and managed to win an academic scholarship at Cumnor House. She loved to play with Adam, we were at the park and both of them were walking up the slide the wrong way. I pointed out that this was not safest way to play on the slide. However, she was messing around with Adam and tried to trip him up on the incline, she failed, but he successfully tripped her up, and so managed to break her arm. She would recant the story that ‘her middle brother broke her arm’, but I pointed out that she wasn't entirely innocent and had provoked him. Sara also liked to recall how her older ‘brother broke her nose’ … again we pointed out that she actually walked behind him and into his elbow, given that he couldn't see her .... Attributed this to another sibling accident!!

Sara was also academic, with a talent for languages, she enjoyed french, Spanish and was embarking Japanese at GCSE. She was also excelling in STEM subjects. She was awarded the academic scholarship at Royal Russell and enjoyed teasing her younger brother about it. She loved discussing her academic accomplishments with Ryan, who when she attained at ‘9’ in a project .. he simply replied, well that's expected you are a Court. Sara was also artistic and enjoyed sketching and painting, loved Manga [graphic novels originating from Japan] … hence the button holes that some of you are wearing.

Sara was 6 when she started playing the guitar, and her Dad encouraged her to learn classical guitar so that she wouldn’t look at her fingers while playing. As a teen, she would be heard playing her electric guitar hooked up to one of Dad’s amps. Jason made a slightly smaller version of electric guitar for her. It was meant to be a cheap and cheerful project, but by the time he added Seymour Duncan pickups and Schaller machine heads it ended up being one of his most expensive guitars.

Sara and Adam were very close in age, only 18 months and often people thought that they may have been twins. They were peas in the pod. When she was born, he would lie next to his sister on the her baby gym and keep her company. Adam was always so gentle towards her, I would keep an eye on him thinking that he might give her a swift kick if she was being annoying ……..but he never did. In recent years, Adam & Sara would conspire to buy junk food after school, consume the contraband in strange places .. surreptitiously disposing of the junk food wrappers in bins !! Sara was known to sometimes eat chips in the bathroom … with the shower on to ensure that she wouldn't be disturbed..

I am not really a music geek, preferring to listen to Capital radio. She proceeded to educate me, by playing her heavy metal bands on spotify each time we were in the car. During lockdown, she sent me a photo of her lying on her pillow with her guitar with no eyebrows. My phone pinged, so I picked it up looking at this photo in complete horror. I called out ‘SARA” and I could hear her counting, to see how long it would take me to log off from work and come running up the stairs to her bedroom. A minute later, I found her in bed, in fits of laughter, eye brows intact and incredibly proud of her photo editing skills!!!

For me, she was the perfect daughter, always great company and so easy to be with, a mischievous sense of humour and an inspiration. Love you baby.

Finally, I wanted to share with you a poem:

The Way I Feel

They say there is a reason,

They say that time will heal,

But neither time nor reason,

Will change the way I feel,

No-one knows the heartache,

That lies behind my smile,

No-one knows how many times,

I have broken down and cried,

I want to tell you something,

So there won’t be any doubt,

You’re so wonderful to think of,

But so hard to be without.

Author [Unknown]


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