Devin Harris: You Are My Hero

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I've seen lots of people pass away in my lifetime, whether it be expected or not.

I saw my great grandparents pass away at old ages.
I saw my aunt pass away due to bad decisions.
I saw a friend passed away because she didn't want to pursue this life anymore.
I saw a friend pass away in childbirth, and her brand new baby girl with her as well.
I saw a neighborhood friend pass away due to health problems.
I saw a friend pass away because he gave up.
I saw a friend's father pass away completely unexpectedly.

My point is, life doesn't last forever. And whenever it ends,

it really doesn't seem fair.

Devin Harris has always been that kid that puts the BIGGEST smile on your face, no matter how hard you try to keep it off. In elementary school, he was always playing four square. Laughing. Jumping. Yelling. Running. Shooting hoops. Playing with his friends- oh, he had SO many friends. But there's something different about Dev.

He is blind.

That's a hard spot to be in. If it were me, I'd probably be throwing myself a pity party every day. Whining, complaining, moaning, feeling just plain sorry for myself. Devin has always been exactly the opposite.

I remember him walking around with his cane, he always wore this fleece red sweater. He walked on his tip toes a lot, and he was ALWAYS smiling. I can honestly say I never saw Devin without a smile on his face.

When I was in sixth grade, Devin was in fifth. My two friends and I would eat lunch with him, helping him eat, and then going out to play four square. He knew who I was by the sound of my voice, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. When spring hit, Devin wanted to learn to play basketball. So a group of us taught him how to shoot. He got to the point where he could make shots. Every time we told him he made a basket, his face lit up and he would get jumpy and excited. Honestly, I would give ANYTHING to see that reaction again.

In middle school, Devin was diagnosed with cancer. He was eventually put in a wheel chair, and they got him on chemo therapy (I believe that's what they had him on). Seeing Devin come to school everyday with a smile on his face, despite his circumstances, inspired me.

He inspired me more than he will ever know.

Watching Devin's family inspired me just as much as he did. His brother, Derrick was amazing with him. Absolutely, positively incredible. I've never seen so much love from a brother to another brother. It baffles me, really. As for Devin's parents, WOW. No one can comprehend the strength, faith, patience, and love it took these parents to go through this. It's not even comprehensive to me.

At my middle school's talent show my eighth grade year, my friend Kira (who was also a friend who helped Devin in elementary school) and I sang. We were pretty excited, because we had the chance to sing in both assemblies. We sang in the first, and it went fabulous. Then we were told we couldn't be in the second. We were mad, to say the least. We sat in the audience and watched the show. Then the last number came on, which was supposed to be us. It was Devin Harris in his wheel chair, along with his friend who had a guitar. Devin sang a song he wrote called "Kill the Cancer Man". It was basically about how whoever cancer is should die, and we all need to try and kill the 'cancer man'. Long story short, 

Kira and I bawled in the back of the auditorium like little babies.

This kid is an inspiration. We all knew that he would be leaving this life early, but it never really hit me. I guess I would just wishfully think that he would miraculously heal and be able to live a long, happy life.
 I got a call Monday and was told that he's in really bad condition. If I understand right, the people at the hospital said that his organs are all being forced to one side and his lungs are being smashed. Only one of his lungs is available to breathe through, and it is filling up with fluids. In simpler terms, it's almost like he's drowning. (Again- I'm not sure if this is 100% correct, but it is the basic idea). They don't expect him to last past this week.

Heart: broken.

First thoughts: Devin's family does not deserve this, his friends do not deserve this. Oh but guess what. I thought, and I thought, and I thought some more. In fact, I didn't get much sleep this week at all. Devin deserves this. He has fought and fought his whole entire life, and done nothing but smile. Laugh. Give. Inspire other people. He deserves nothing more than to share that smile somewhere that he doesn't feel pain.

Dev, you define a hero. You will never know the impact you made on me. And as sad at it is to see him go, I'll leave y'all with this.

It's a peaceful thing when you know that heaven gets new angels every day, but it's an even more beautiful realization when you know that heaven is getting an angel like Dev.

Love you Devin. 

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