The song "Oh Danny Boy" will always cause my throat to close tight and eyes to tear. As I sit here today trying to put my morning thoughts in order, I hear this familiar and oh so lovely Irish tune being sang incredibly by the Celtic Woman. I wish I could tell you the whole story of why this song has a special place in my heart, but for now I'll just give you the short version.
Danny was my little brother. He was born when I was about three years old in 1961 and sadly died six years ago in 2006. He had a very troubled childhood that continued into his teenage years. Soon after his eighteenth birthday, he set out to find our father who lived at that time in California. When he arrived in California, unfortunately, he was involved in a very bad car accident that almost took his life; in many ways it actually did take his life but not in the ways we normally think.
He was injured so badly in the accident that he would never again walk, be able to feed himself, dress himself or hold a normal conversation. You might think that his life story found him to be a hero in some way since most stories about those who have had their lives altered by tragedy usually come out later as victorious in some aspect, but not in Danny's case. The hero's in his life story were people who cared for him and took so much time from their own lives to show him love and give quality and dignity to his life.
I don't know why his short life was so different than mine. I don't know what makes a person born in the arms of a loving, caring mother, different from another person born in those same loving arms. I don't know why some people have a different outlook on life than another who comes from the same family with the same upbringing. All I know is many years ago, I had a little brother who I played Tonka trucks and Hide and Seek in the backyard with and now he is in Heaven. I will never forget him and will continue to tear up and become speechless when I hear the song, "Oh Danny Boy".