Happy Birthday Dan.

Today you would be fourteen.
Not yet an adult but not a child.
Even though we will mark your birthday today,
and think of you as another year older,
in our minds eye you will always be thirteen.

Perhaps it would be more truthful to say,
that to most of us you will always be twelve.
Because that is the age you were, when life really stopped for you.

In what was a matter of weeks,
you went from a sports mad, very talented young boy,
to a tired, weary boy.
To a very sick boy.

We looked on and shook our heads.
This could not be true.
But it was.

It is only now, knowing the outcome, and all you went through,
that we can look back at the past year and wonder.

How could such a young child bear so much?

What was it like to be told at twelve that you had leukemia?

You fought and you fought.
You got an entire hospital on your side,
and a village of thousands in your corner willing you well.

On the field or court you had been a tremendous athlete.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oncue147/4185799966/">SeanByrne</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
In sickness you showed a different strength,
yet just as  you were in all the sports you loved,
you never gave up.

Today as your family and friends face another day without you,
I think it is important to mark this special day.
Your birthday.

Because even though you cannot be here to celebrate it with everyone,
it is a special day.
It is the day you made your appearance to the world,
and affected so many lives.

In life you were wild, completely wild.
There were no limits for you.
When your school principle was asked to speak at your funeral,
we laughed as she said you were “unforgetable”.

So today we say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN”.
We all hope you are in a better place than you were this day last year.

Personally I know, that if there is any fun, craic or devilment to be found,
where ever you are, that is where you are today.


photo credit: SeanByrne via photopin cc

20 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dan.

  1. Happy Birthday, Dan.
    I don’t know what else to say. We’ve just been through cancer treatment with my 9yo daughter. I have so much respect for all kids who go through this, and I ache for all the parents too.

    1. I am very mindful of your situation. Dan was horribly unlucky. Childhood cancer is so curable these days. I hope your daughter continues to do very well.
      A friend of mine who nursed Dan and many others with cancer told us that almost all children make a great recovery mentally too which I think is hugely comforting when you see all they go through. Best wishes to your little lady.

  2. Happy Birthday, Dan. It was a very HAPPY day when you were born, so let us celebrate the joy and delight you have brought to everyone – those who met you and those who haven’t.

  3. A beautiful, moving tribute. Happy Birthday Dan!

    This March it will be 10 years since my wife’s son, my step-son, died. Nothing ever fills the hole in your lives, but his memory is kept alive every day.

  4. this will be a day of mixed emotions for friends and family of Dan

    here’s hoping the remembrance of happy times in the past with Dan outweighs the sadness at the thought of a future without him

    1. I am sure they will eventually. Today was a difficult day, but his family are amazing. It’s still very hard to believe and so awful to think how unlucky he was, and how young.

  5. happy birthday from all of us dan, and i hope you have come to know, hazen, a little boy i love, who also left us too early, is almost exactly one year younger than you, and would have turned 13 a few days ago. may you play together forever. wonderful, tric.

    1. Hazen, it’s lovely to know his name. That was an amazing post you shared. I shared it with Dans mum and she so got his answer that day when he made his wish. Thanks a million Beth. It was a sad day but nice to mark it.

      1. i’m happy to share it and i’m so happy you shared my post with dan’s mum. i imagine she understood his kind wish so perfectly. i hope that all of the little ones, and sadly i see more taken too early from your other readers, are somewhere together. they were each such special souls, there is no reason to believe that ever changes, only the form they take. )

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