My baby brother has been gone for 11 years now, but I think of him every single day. He is one of the first things I remember when I wake in the morning. I remember that he is no longer physically with us since that dreaded day in 2002 when I got the call that he was on life support. I will never forget that moment because it changed me to the core. My babies were only 4 years old and 9 months old and having to care daily for them is what kept me going. I really can’t describe the raw pain and anguish that I experienced that first year after losing my brother….who was also a best friend to me. Although we were 12 years apart in age, we were very close and he flew to Phoenix all the way from Maryland several times a year to see me. He especially enjoyed being a young uncle and my kids really dug him.
In addition to my supportive family and to my daily duties of caring for a preschooler and a baby, the other thing that kept me and my heartbroken Mother going was the fact that Shane had been a card-carrying organ donor, which is an usually mature decision for a then 22-year-old to have made. And he had just simply checked the yes box to being an organ donor when he excitedly obtained his driver’s license. So when he was taken from us in the accident, and my Mom was told that he could not be saved, she honored his wishes and donated his organs. Receiving letters from the organ recipients has been one of the best gifts…and healing aid…that we have been given. Of course, the best gift of all was the gift of our sweet Shane. We will never understand why such a beautiful, bright, energetic, promising young man (who fiercely loved his family) was taken from us, but we will always be thankful for the 22 years we got with our Sunshiney Shane (he was always smiling, so that is my nickname for him).
So when I came upon this story about another family who lost thier precious child and sister, I had to share this to honor our Shane, his organ donations, his memory and to remind everyone that organ donation is the best gift you can leave behind. This story shows the parents actually meeting and hearing the heartbeat of the Arizona mother who received their daughter’s heart. And this family started the Taylor’s Gift Foundation, too. Please watch this beautiful story and spread the word about the power of organ donation. Oh and definitely symbolic, just the other day my Mom was telling me on the phone that the trees that Shane planted for her have bloomed beautifully this Spring.