Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2001

Honor Brooke with fitting memorials

August 9, 2001

Eudora weeps. The death of Brooke O'Grady last Friday unleashed a torrent of emotions in the community. Anger. Depression. Relief. Sorrow. While she wouldn't have us cry before she passed away, as we remember her fight, it's hard not to cry.

Tuesday's funeral service included many poignant moments recalling Brooke's life. Her commitment to the Relay for Life put a human face on the importance of the event and what it seeks to accomplish. We all want a cure for cancer so no family will have to go through what the O'Gradys faced.

When children get awful diseases, it's hard to have faith. What kind of higher power would allow this to happen? The only answer is one with a higher understanding than we have. A greater plan. We may struggle with the ultimate question of why, but what Brooke meant to Eudora gives her life even more meaning. Who didn't learn from Judi O'Grady's strength? Her tireless love of family and many sacrifices taught us all about unconditional love. How could you not learn something about giving from the volunteers who yearly work so hard to put on a successful Relay, knowing what they did may someday mean children wouldn't have to fear cancer?

We have a suggestion for the American Cancer Society: at the very least, re-name the Eudora Relay for Life The Brooke O'Grady Memorial Relay For Life. Every year, we'll have the memory of her strength to help us walk through the night. Brooke's name would be associated with every second of our efforts. The fun we have would be a great way to honor her indomitable spirit.

We'd also like to see the Eudora Parks and Recreation department consider re-naming a Eudora park in Brooke's honor. Years from now, parents playing in the park with their kids would remember one special Eudora child. They'd hold their children a little closer if they knew what she went through.

Regardless of age, we never stop learning. The O'Grady family has publicly shared its struggle. Last Friday, Judi talked about the miracle of death and what she learned about heaven from Brooke. Eudora has learned a lot about life from Brooke. We'll never forget her. We look forward to honoring her at next year's Brooke O'Grady Relay for Life.

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