His Legacy Lives On

That sudden sound of panic in my father’s voice as he woke me up early Sunday morning, told me it was time. This was a time my family and I had been hoping we would never have to face. It was something a ten year old should never have to experience; watching my brother die in our home. The experience of losing a loved one has changed my whole philosophy on life and has given me a zeal for living.

I felt a chill in the air as I walked downstairs into our library, which we made into his bedroom a year earlier since he had to be under twenty-four hour care of nurses. My older brothers were already sitting there with my parents watching him take his last few breaths. My parents called all the family over to say their goodbyes, as well as our parish priest to give him a final blessing. It was a moment that only lasted a few hours, but it felt like an eternity! He fought a long battle, but he was tired and it was his time to let go and be at peace again.
He fought this battle for five years, visiting every doctor in the country, receiving surgery after surgery. Each doctor had their own opinion about what it could be, but not one was exact. My family decided his quality of life was now the main goal. We took a vacation to Turks and Caicos, we bought a condominium in Florida, and we spent as much time together as possible. It was a time to enjoy each other because we did not know when it would be too late. He taught us the most important things in life. He gave us a whole new outlook on how to live and that a thing is as big as you make it.

The morning of April 25th will always be a memory that follows me for the rest of my life. It was a morning that changed how I view the world and the attitude I have for living. He taught me how to except the things we cannot change. His attitude was the most remarkable thing he left us with. He was resilient, optimistic, compassionate, loving, spiritual, and always happy. His only enemy in life was his brain tumor.

The strength I have received from experiencing a death at such a young age, has guided me through the other experiences I have gone through since. It has taught me that the little things are petty, and there are bigger things to live for. My philosophy of life has changed tremendously. I have changed the way I view the world. I try living everyday as if it will be my last. I have a whole new zeal and enthusiasm for life.

Death can have either negative or positive effects on people depending on the way the circumstances are handled. My brother, Christian, would not have wanted me to stop doing the things I loved, but to cherish all those things and to live life to the fullest. He was a person who I will always look up to and someone whose legacy I will try to carry on.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

KaylaHogan said...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 8:17 am
Incredibly well-written article Maggie. You did a wonderful job of capturing the impact that Christian made on all of our lives. I'm so proud of you & love you so much!
 
hockey coach said...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm
A beautiful story of faith, hope & love. Never lose sight of the prize. God Bless you Maggie.
 
lhogan replied...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 7:22 pm
Maggie great job! What a beautiful tribute to your brother, so much love! His legacy will live on in so many peoples lives. L
 
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