This is perhaps one of the hardest legacies to talk about. But, because of Sydney, the idea of legacy was placed on my mind. Without sweet Sydney, I never would have thought about what has been taught to me because of the lives of others.
You see, at the age of 12, Sydney was diganosed with an inoperable brain tumor known as DIPG. 13 months after diagnosis, Sydney left her battle with this 100% terminal disease. She was only 13. She should have had her whole life to live.
Rather than attempting to write again about the legacy Syd left on me, I’m going to pull from a blog post I wrote the day that she died:
She was only twelve when she became an angel.
But the truth is, she was an angel long before that. The first memory that comes to mind is when she was still a baby and she shared a cotton candy ice cream cone with me. It was blue and she was messy. But mostly I remember spending my spring breaks during college with her. And her brother. And of course my aunt and uncle.
Syd was always ready with a quick smile and a helping hand.
She loved to run and laugh and play.
Always on the go.
And kind. Always so kind.
She was strong willed, but it never really amounted to an argument, just fervent belief that she was right and that she knew best.
She had a quiet way about her.
Little kids always flocked to her.
And Syd always had the time and patience to play with them and give them the attention they desired.
One of my favorite memories was a night when we were getting ready to go out for dinner. Sydney asked if she could pick out my outfit, and once she did, she proceeded to pull together an outfit for herself that was almost identical. She wanted us to be twins, you see. And that night we were. Never-you-mind the age gap. She wanted to be twins, and that’s what we were.
She was a bright, shining personality. Able to make you laugh. Always bringing out your smile.
She was genuinely sweet. All the time.
I learned a lot from her. More than I think I know how to put into words.
Each day was a chance to prove that there is always something to smile about. Laugh about. A moment to be enjoyed.
Every day had (and still has) a purpose.
A chance to:
As each new day brings its own set of challenges, it’s a chance to prove how strong you are. And what you truly believe in. It’s a chance to practice what you believe, and truly make it a part of who you are from the inside out. Living with purpose means living with intention.
The memories may fade with time. But what sticks around, what truly shows how precious Sydney was, the greatest gift I can give to her memory, would be to take what I’ve learned from her too short life and live from the things that I saw in her.
The thing about a legacy is that it’s in remembrance of someone who’s lived a good life.
No matter how long that life actually was. So even though I believe that Syd’s life was too short, we remember that she leaves a legacy of a life well lived.
A friend last week told me that she was just too precious for earth. And I know that’s true. She was precious to us down here on earth. And she is precious to God in Heaven. And for some reason He needed her with Him.
It’s not the time to try and understand why. It’s a time to remember the little girl that she was and appreciate the time that I got to spend with her. To remember the jewel that she was and always will be.
The way she lived her life this past year was above and beyond what many would have been able to do. And to finish her life with such grace and dignity is something I could only aspire to do. Syd showed a true inner strength that was well beyond her years. A tribute, truly, to the parents who raised her and those who knew and loved her.
She was my little monkey, and there will truly never be another like her.