My Brother

Written By: Christopher Terry

February 1, 2017

“We ought to make every moment count, because it may be our last.” This quote by Dr. Parker holds a high value in my life, due to its relatability.
As I sat at the highest point of Chimney Rock State Park, I found myself frozen, staring upon the vastness that the horizon offered me. As I sat, only one thought came to mind. I wish my brother were here. With this thought, memories of my brother began to flood my mind. He had been gone from this world for a little over three months, and he’s missed so many events, birthdays, holidays, even just a simple family dinner. Let me tell you how I got there.
December 21, 2014.
While an ordinary Sunday for me, that day was an exciting day for my brother, as he had been given the opportunity to attend a motocross training facility. He had ridden a dirt bike for the last 2 years, but only by himself or with his friends. Today was a monumental day, as he would finally join the rankings of the motocross league. When he returned from church, he immediately changed to his riding gear, and soon he was heading out of the door. As he left with my father I wanted to say “Drive safe.” After that, it was like a normal day. Then the phone call came in.
It was my father. “Patrick’s been in an accident, a motorcycle landed on him.” I could hear the sadness creeping into his voice. I began to drive to the hospital. As I sat in the car, the thought that my brother might pass away began to overwhelm me. I told myself things would be okay, but when I arrived at the hospital, my father only had one sentence to say to me.
“He didn’t make it.”
With this sentence, my whole world had changed. I was now an only child. He would never graduate from high school. I would never be an uncle. He would never marry. I would never get a call at 3 A.M. asking for help. He would never have a future. A future that seemed unavoidable was now impossible.
As I recalled all of this at the top of the rock, one haunting thought came to me. I never appreciated his presence when he was around. Despite all of my fond memories of him, I never told him how much I cared for him. With this thought, I became ashamed of myself. If I didn’t care for my own brother, how much did I care for anyone else? I reflected on my relationships with others, and I saw how self-centered, even childish, I was. If I continued with that kind of behavior, it would be an insult towards my brother’s memory. While I was more reserved after my brother’s passing, it was this event that catalyzed my movement towards adulthood.
I became more focused on others, how they were feeling, and if I could help in any way. I realized how much a single life could mean to someone, and how so many people are unaware of this. And so, I set out to ensure that everyone knows how much they are loved. This desire to help lead me to positions at my school that allowed me to ensure that everyone was rightfully respected as well as helping our local community that faces poverty. This commitment to helping others has also had a strong influence on my career after high school. I’ve also found a new emphasis on the people I care about in my life, as I’m reminded of the fact that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. With this, I have found my calling for my future, a future where I help all.
“We ought to make every moment count, because it may be our last.” With my brother’s passing, I will take Dr. Parker’s quote in my heart and live by it.