MARCELLE Rudd knows her son was no angel but she says his story is one to learn from.
Dylan Aylward, 19, was killed after he came off the Suzuki GSX 600F he was riding along Emerald Avenue in West Wodonga on Friday night.
Mrs Rudd sat at a dining table in their Baranduda home yesterday and flipped through photos of her second-eldest child, brother to Tamara-Lee Rudd, 26, and Sarah Aylward, 16.
“He wasn’t an innocent fella,” Mrs Rudd said.
“He was a typical teenager.”
Dylan had done a 12-month stint in juvenile detention in 2010 after he crashed the stolen car he was driving, causing potentially life-threatening injuries to a passenger.
He came home from custody and said there was only one thing that got him through it — his mum.
“That’s the only way I made it through,” he told her.
His mother will be forever waiting for him to come home.
The last time she saw him was the day before the crash as he left the Baranduda house in his typical style.
“As he left on Thursday, he turned to say, ‘I love you Mum’,” Mrs Rudd said.
The “love you Mum” was a catch-cry Dylan never lost through difficult teenage years.
No matter the extent of the love and honesty between the two, Mrs Rudd couldn’t wrap him in cotton wool and protect him from the world, or himself.
She said Dylan, who battled depression, could never have realised how final death could be, nor how perilous his actions were.
She urged the young to heed her warning.
“No one told them the consequences of their actions,” she said.
“Kids think they’re invincible. What’s happened?”
Just then, Dylan’s friend Kristy McLennan, the girl he had settled his heart on, walked into the house with Tamara-Lee.
Ms McLennan had just arrived from Sydney and she would be sleeping in Dylan’s room that night.
“It still stinks,” she said with a hollow laugh.
Ms McLennan, who grew up in Albury, said Dylan was planning to move to Sydney on Sunday so they could start a fresh life together.
“I could’ve texted him earlier,” she said, tears starting.
“He could’ve been in the car with me — you don’t know what could’ve been.”
Today Dylan’s sister and Ms McLennan will get tattoos today with the words “I came, I saw, I conquered” to remember him.
The family has been inundated with messages on Facebook and via mobile phone.
Dylan, who went to James Fallon and Albury High schools, was completing a first-year builder’s apprenticeship course at TAFE.
Suddenly the phone rings.
It’s Dylan’s father Mark Aylward, who recalled a motorcycle trip they had gone on when Dylan was nine.
“His whole life he wanted to be with motorbikes,” he said.
“I know one took him, but there’s going to be motorbikes at the funeral and he would love that.”