A Tribute

If he had a Facebook, I wonder what it’d be like. I wonder who his friends would be, if he’d consider himself in a relationship, what pictures he’d be tagged in, whether his status would be witty or if he’d give the annoyingly accurate minute-to-minute updates on the progression of his day. I wonder if we’d have many friends in common and what his “interests” and “hobbies” would be. How often would he change his profile picture? Would I Facebook stalk my own brother instead of calling to chat? …In the spirit of sisterly honesty…yeah, probably.

These are the thoughts that sting the most. Instead of simply remembering and enjoying the moments we’ve shared together, I can’t stop thinking about what our relationship would be like now and how his future would be shaping up–of where he would be and what kind of innocent trouble he’d be getting into. I’ve never known curiosity to be painful (except, of course, to that cat) but this feeling is a constant reminder of what we’ve lost and can’t have back. The memories feel inadequate and understanding how to live with that is something I don’t know how to do. I’m still plagued by the unfair.

Maybe it’s immaturity speaking and in a few years I’ll actually be able to celebrate his life without always feeling a guilt-ridden wave of anger. Of course, I hoped for the same revelation five years ago. Maybe I’ll be stuck in this fit of childish selfishness forever.

But then there’s the opposite, the positive. There’s the side that negates everything I just said and pushes me to write even after so many months of avoiding it. It’s the fact that he still inspires me–it’s been five years since he died and at the thought or mention of him I want to keep pushing in his direction. I want people to know about him even though he’s not here anymore.

I can’t begin to explain how all this works out in my head but it’s all there. The anger, the guilt, the pain and sadness…but also the inspiration and happiness that, in spite of the bitterness, comforts me enough to share his story with others. He’s a character that the world deserves to know and when I’m at my lowest, I know that I can depend on a picture of his goofy smile to provide me with enough inspiration to last the day.



Filed under General Thoughts

13 responses to “A Tribute

  1. I don’t think it’s at all selfish, in any way, for you to miss him and know that it’s unfair that he’s gone. It’s a completely accurate sentiment. With what you’ve told us about him, he was certainly the type of kid that should have stayed around to influence and shape those around him. But, like you’ve said, at the same time his memory can still do the same. Keep on spreading his story 🙂

    • morgan kelley

      I’m glad I got to gorge myself at Taco Bell with you and Hannah yesterday to commemorate him! I’m also glad I got to tell yall a little bit about him cuz he really was a special kid.

  2. Kacy

    I know that his Facebook would be filled with encouragement to those who needed it and with genuine excitement to be able to communicate with his friends. And he would write about his family who he loved very much. I miss him but thinking about him always brings me joy. What a special gift of God!

    • morgan kelley

      It’s true…I have a feeling he would be as much of a social butterfly on facebook as he was in real life. Always popular, he was…

  3. christa

    YOu bring me to tears every time! GA I’m turnin into a SAP! I Love you, and he did too… he would facebook stalk you as much as you him. HEd be getting into trouble and we’d be bailing him out. He’d get on your nerves and you his, but at the end of the day you’d both know how much you love each other and it would be JUST like it map before… love you, and miss you… can’t wait to see you soon!

  4. Stella

    Morgie! I know exactly how you feel! In nursing they tell us that the hardest part is finding the realization that life isn’t fair and tragic things do happen. It’s only right to remember him because that’s how his legacy lives on. In our search for everlasting youth, he found it. He is forever young and through you, your family, and friends, he will always be remembered. I love you and I’m here.

  5. Julie Moretz

    Morgan, thank you for these beautiful sentiments. Losing Daniel makes us talk out of both sides of our mouths, doesn’t it….ie, how can it seem like forever since he’s been gone, but then, just like yesterday? It is helpful for me to remember how grateful I am that we had him with us at all–what would our lives have been like without him? Think of what we would have missed. While our hearts will always be broken, i feel like I also have a ‘full’ heart because he gave us so much. You and Lee were so good with him and ya’ll sure kept him happy. He so looked up to both of you, and now he is looking down on ya’ll…watching over you. I miss you and am thinking of you…Can’t wait to see you! I love when our family is together and when we ‘just remember’ and smile. I love you–mom

    • morgan kelley

      I’m looking forward to thanksgiving too…should be nice to see everyone again. (Even though I was home a few weeks ago…….hmm)

  6. Michael Hozey


    I cannot claim to have lost someone so precious, but, I have heard that such a loss leaves a hole in your heart. That hole has jagged edges that smooth over time, but the hole still remains. What smooths those edges are the kind words of friends and family and tributes like the one you have given. May God bless you and keep you in this special time.

    Mike Hozey

    • morgan kelley

      Thank you, Mike, for your kind words. You are right that it’s the people we surround ourselves with that help “smooth the edges”.

  7. Marcus Mackenzie Plumlee

    Late reading this! But all these years later, he inspires me too. About what he’d be doing now, I just remember that he always aspired to do what the world would tell him he couldn’t, but he never cared. He used to tell me he would play football at UGA (we were in fifth grade), and he didn’t doubt it for a second. If I had told him it wasn’t likely, he wouldn’t have believed me, so I never did. That’s such a powerful notion to me that he reached for the impossible through so many “limitations”, and subsequently faced and triumphed over things that would break so many adults I know. He lived a more brave and full life than most people ever will. He’d be doing great things, for sure. As for socially, man, I was always in awe of Daniel’s skills with the ladies. Those years were just a list of Daniel and me making fools of ourselves in that department, but Daniel still looking good afterwards. As for the goofy smile, people like to compliment my wacky facial expressions, and I think to myself “Man, you don’t even know…”
    Sorry to reminisce so crazy! I just saw this, and wanted to add my two cents.

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