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