Thomas O’Brien
and his beautiful Mom
Debbie Koenig
Love and the evelasting memories, struggles, stories and paths travelled never prepare us for a diagnosis of
and the journey that then takes its own toll on the body/mind/spirit
as new paths are forged into unknown territories.
Thomas O’Brien diagnosed with Hodgins Lymphoma 3+ years ago,
now 21 years old,
has been in a battle for his life,
his YOUNG life
with an old soul.
A remarkable young man out there in Texas that is filled with gentle spirit and kindness,
who now has folks praying and thinking of him and leaving him messages from all over the world.
He has managed to get people away from their own self absorbed lives
and their own issues, thoughts, politics and problems
INTO a young man who has openly shared his journey along with his Mom Debbie and his 4 legged out in Texas.
People from around the states have asked how can they donate blood and platelets in his name
to try and be of help at MD Anderson, one of the finest Cancer Centers in the country on his behalf.
YOU can donate at MD Anderson Blood Center in the name of
Thomas O’Brien
to help!
We’ve lit candles to light his path, to honor and to thank him and to remind him that he is not alone
and to thank his Mom for bringing into the world such a kind and caring young man filled with such amazing grace.
DEbbie has taken so many for a trip down memory lane with photographs of Thomas as a wee boy, through his life of photographs,
and as a therapist I know that what she is doing is called a
“life review”
and I can only imagine the boxes of krumpled kleenex that lay around the computer as she posts each picture with a few words of the memory of her boy; his dreams for his life.
From the desire to be a pilot, to scuba diving, to the wonders of the world, and his love of God and country, along with family and friends,
and hot cars and girls
he is quite a young man.
And so many now feel as though they are losing a cherished friend,
and others still cling to a miracle and beg him to continue fighting.
He has fought
He has stood, he has gone where most would not dare, and beat so many odds already that I stand amazed by him.
I hope and pray that so many understand one day
I used to put a lot of posts with photographs on his wall that would say,
“you my friend need to put on your shades, cos’ you Thomas O’Brien outshine the sun”
he did and still does!
His is a light that is so bright that we all need to wear shades, for his light from within burns brightly in his short life, and will in the next place as well.
Some are just born to be that way;
even if painfully here a short time,
their impact on the world is felt long after their painful leaving,
their mark is indelible on the lives that they’ve touched.
Lent to us for a short while to make a strong statement and hopefully to allow us to live life stronger, better and larger while valuing each breath and each moment as we remember those warriors we’ve been honored to learn from.
Particularly the young ones that somehow teach so much while they are with us.
Yes Thomas, my friend you outshine the sun baby! YOU have left a mark with many who will always remember the bright light of YOU …
I doubt I will ever see a
“hot red sports car” again that I don’t imagine him in it, even here in Florida!
I doubt I don’t ever again see a young man and wonder if they will rise to the top of the sun with kindness that I have witnessed in a young man who has fought this kind of fight with such amazing grace under fire.
This is Thomas’ scan
HE FOUGHT and he remained concerned about all those who friended him and he never met.
He posted last night that he know feels his time is “close” and he hopes “everyone is ok”
along with his thanks to all.
He let everyone know he has been afraid of late.
I would love to have a little time to talk with him, but I’m sure there are thousands that feel the same way.
It may be that he is not as afraid as he is going to
miss everything here.
That he is trying to find the energy to say so long to his Mom, his family, his beloved Seamus.
It may be that he is wanting to feel OK to cry and to express in a fast amount of time those things that have to be extremely difficult for a 21 year old to do when energy is waning and his life is drawing to a close here on this earth.
Perhaps he is wondering if we will all remember him?
I cannot imagine.
video by
It might be that he doesn’t want to disappoint anyone by resting and releasing, with so many messages of “please keep fighting”
“I still believe in miracles”
“I’m still believing in YOU”
“Don’t give UP”
I can’t imagine.
I do know this though;
Thomas O’Brien
is a warrior, he has fought a tremendous battle with a horrid disease, he has shared intimate parts of his life with so many people who now stand with him.
Candles, prayers, thoughts and love surround him, his beautiful Mom and loved ones.
He has been and will always be an inspiration of a gentle soul who walked on this earth;
a kid, a man, a warrior
who is loved.
I am certain he will be greeted in spirit land with a celebration of beauty, met by his lord and angels singing; with a restored body of no pain, and joyous noise
as he will dance across the galaxies
as he then watches over his Mom
from the next place.
We will all be all the better for walking this journey from all over the world and knowing him, his path, his walk;
hopefully we will embrace life and hold it more sacred
dance more often
sing a bit louder
go for it a bit stronger
get out there even when it’s raining
with our shades on
I believe in Thomas,I have faith

I know he will have a joyous passage to the next place

and dance in the light of amazing grace

I know he is a warrior of gentle spirit

and that he will be remembered

I know his Mom will ache for him

and will mourn him

as if losing a part of herself,

yet I know also that she will survive

as she is the root of the tree that gave him all that he is

and through him she is strong

enough to bend

yet will not be broken.


You might even find yourself buying a hot red car like the one Thomas was scootin round Texas in with the stereo full blast!
Just remember to park it a few spaces away from all the rest of the cars!
YOU might just want to get yourself a Tatt
just remember the whys and where’s of doing it.
So now
Thomas O’Brien my love,
look at this and remember who you are darlin,
remember the warrior you are,
do not be afraid.
God is with YOU,
remember that tat, the feelings the significance of it?
YOU will be ok now…
Speaking of Cancer…
This Tatt
is on the back of a dear and beautiful woman,
Tonya who is also a facebook friend of Thomas;
she had this done in honor of her best friend after her death.
we remember
gone too soon
Please light your candles and hold
Thomas O’Brien
in thought
along his journey now.
“And after your death, when most of you for the first time realize what life here is all about, you will begin to see that your life here is almost nothing but the sum total of every choice you have made during every moment of your life. Your thoughts, which you are responsible for, are as real as your deeds. You will begin to realize that every word and every deed affects your life and has also touched thousands of lives.”
[Elisabeth Kubler-Ross]
Prayers and thoughts goin up for all who gather here.
We are with Thomas O’Brien, Debbie Koenig
and all who love them.
Walk in Beauty,
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


11 comments on “CANCER SUCKS, yet LOVE is POWERFUL

  1. […] CANCER SUCKS, yet LOVE is POWERFUL (drses.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Cancer does suck

  3. […] CANCER SUCKS, yet LOVE is POWERFUL (drses.wordpress.com) […]

  4. god bless you ,i pray for that miricle.in Jesus holy name.

  5. What a beautiful young man, story, legacy. I am so sorry Thomas, I am so sorry Debbie, and anyone else who has had the honor to stand among a brave soul here on earth such as Thomas. I am sorry that this evil and mean disease can have its way with someone as special as he obviously is. Unthinkable ugly cancer brought you to this, but pure beautiful love will see you through this. I believe when lives are cut short on this earth we find so necessary, that there is a much more beautiful peaceful, pain free paradise to be at… where those you have loved and lost await with open arms.The same place where you will await those you’ve left behind. But in the meantime he’ll be right there, you know the place… where you’ve held your hand over it as you say the Pledge of Allegiance. Godspeed, Unending peace.

  6. hellooooooo.
    I do not have anything to add as you have said it
    quite beautifully.
    I wish for Thomas a joyous
    afterlife, he has fought as hard as he
    can.. And to his Mom, Debbie…
    YOU have a remarkable son, thank you for
    sharing your lives…
    we are here for you ♥
    hugging my angels,
    sign me, A.

  7. Beautiful, touching blog doc. Sending warm thoughts to Thomas and his Mom, and all that have known and love him.

  8. Reblogged this on Work the Dream and commented:
    Asking prayers for this family as Thomas enters his last days here on earth.

  9. Powerful and poignant words Sherry. I have walked this walk with people I loved before and it is a hard walk. I can not imagine having to walk it with one of my sons. My heart goes out to Debbie for no greater love can she give him now than to be there with him.
    Sometimes I think those fighting know when the battle has ended and it is time to peacefully go across that river to be with loved ones already there. I have seen heaven when I almost died during a surgery. I can tell you it is the most beautiful place there is. The colors and purity are breathtaking and I believe that the ones there are right here with us just a hand away. I believe if we hold our palms up to our loved one..theirs is right there touching ours with only the space of a sheet of paper between us. As I watch the clouds and take the pictures of the faces I see…I know that they can see us and are there very close to us. I hope Thomas knows that his mother will be holding his hand as he crosses over and his family on the other side will have their arms open to take him. He will not be alone. Sending prayers for Thomas and Debbie and lighting candles.
    hugs my friend. What a compassionate and wonderful supporter you are of those in need.

  10. Thank you Dr. Sherry for your most touching and thoughtful words of Thomas O'Brien there in Texas, his Mom Debbie and his furry friend Seamus. My heart goes out to them and my prayers for them to be uplifted and at peace and comfort. Bless you Dr. Sherry and thank you for being here.

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