It’s been 20 years since 100 tonnes of earth tumbled down the hillside at Thredbo, killing 18 people and miraculously sparing one it had trapped below.
That man, Stuart Diver, has buried two great loves in those two decades. His first wife, Sally, who tragically perished alongside him in the rubble, and in 2015 his second, Rosanna Cossettini, who was cruelly felled by breast cancer.
Of Sally he has cherished photographs and memories, of Rosanna he also has a daughter, six-year-old Alessia.
Speaking to 60 Minutes this evening, Diver said that little girl is “key” to where he is right now.
“She has a real understanding that I haven’t seen and a compassion in a lot of kids that age, in, you know, purely because I believe, what she’s been through,” he said.
Like her father, Alessia is somewhat of a miracle.
Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, just a week after she and Stuart returned from their honeymoon. Years of treatment meant children were unlikely. But at the age of 44, Rosanna gave birth.
Tragically, just four and half years later, it became clear that she would not be there to watch that little girl grow up. Together the family begun counselling, and despite her failing health Rosanna devoted everything to creating memories for Alessia that would live well beyond what the cancer would allow her.
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Along with cuddles and precious moments spent cooking together, Rosanna left her daughter birthday cards that she could open each year, a collection of their favourite recipes, a chest of treasured possessions and special clothes, clothes that still carry her smell.
“Things like that that bring back beautiful memories of when Alessia was lying on the couch cuddling in to her mum,” Stuart told 60 Minutes. “I think subtle things like that will stay with her forever.”