He's the Best Boy in the Whole World
Born: Wednesday, 26 June 1991 (White Plains, New York)
Passed: Tuesday, 15 September 2015 (Ossining, NY)
The hardest moments are the ones where I happily think, "I need to tell Brendan this" or "I can't wait to see Brendan soon" and realize in that moment, I forgot. I forgot that I will never get the chance to see my brother again. I forgot that a part of my identity was unexpected stolen from me. But in those moments, I forget, I realize how special and how much of a presence Brendan still is in my life.
Brendan is the most considerate person I will ever know. His unconditional love for my parents, our younger sister Meghan, and myself is very humbling. He never asked for much, except for my family to be together as much as possible. From countless summer vacations on Cape Cod, our adventures around New York City, cheering him on as he crossed the finished line at seven half-marathons, to spending time with our aunts, uncles and cousins. We did a lot together in the 24 years that we shared. He knew how to make us laugh, and would entertain us with his spot on Disney references we loved so much. When he eagerly asked, "Don't you remember?!", we knew he was in a good mood and wanted to spread his happiness. I hope my family and I are able to tell his memories with as much enthusiasm as Brendan had sharing them.
My parents could always count on him to watch Meghan at school and work. He taught himself sign language to better communicate with her, and much to her dismay, he took great pride in keeping an eye out on her when she was being mischievous. She would roll her eyes when he would yell (just loud enough for us to hear), "Meghan Maureen! That's bad! That's terrible!" It is not a coincidence he saved the sinister Disney characters as nicknames for her. Although he took the role of protective older brother very seriously, they both cared for each other deeply. He had his way of being protective over me too. He looked up to me, probably more than I deserved. Whether we were swimming far out in the ocean, taking our Sunday walks in Central Park, or even simply letting me rest my head on his shoulder during a long car ride, he made sure we stayed close. It is easy to take those moments for granted while they are happening, and I would do anything now to relive them just one more time. I am so proud to be Brendan's older sister. I admire him for all the he accomplished, but I am especially proud he was able to move mountains when others doubted his abilities. All Brendan wanted was to love and be loved in return. He never gave up on himself or other around him. His simple and beautiful outlook on life is a lesson we all need to keep reminding ourselves to follow.
Brendan got together with friends through a social program several nights a week. Shortly before he passed, there was a dance night for everyone in the program. Always the shy one, Brendan, was on side watching others dance and having a good time, and not quite sure how to start. A girl who had wanted to dance with him came up and asked, "Brendan would you like to dance?" He shouted, "Yes!" walked right paster her and went straight to the middle of the dance floor. He danced his heart out, and didn't leave the dance floor until it was time to go. That is the Brendan I want to remember forever. He is dancing the night away, and I can't wait to dance with him again, someday.