“Every man has two deaths, when he is buried in the ground and the last time someone says his name. In some ways men can be immortal.” – Earnest Hemmingway
There are few memories that I hold as dear as the ones I made because of Hannah. The positive impression she left on the world planted the seeds of inspiration that would one day grow into peaceful actions and honest hearts. My relationship with Hannah was unique, as I feel I was able to understand the type of person she was by seeing the impact she has left on everyone around her. This great kindness, a gift to everyone she met, evolved into a legacy that culminated into something much greater than the sum of its parts.
Through continuing Hannah’s Legacy, I was able to experience some of the greatest joys in my life. The day when Where Angels Play came to Tinton Falls holds an especially dear place in my heart as I had never seen something so generous occur. Our community had been blessed with a testament to Hannah in the most appropriate fashion. It was because of these acts of kindness that I was able to pay it forward and continue this cycle of good deeds. Sometimes during these charitable moments I can see Hannah so clearly in my head that it’s like she is standing right next to me.
While participating in a car wash at Hannah’s playground, Bill Lavin, the founder of Where Angels Play, noticed their flag had become tattered at the edges and needed to be replaced. I jumped at the opportunity to ask for it, and it stays hung up in my room. I can feel Hannah watching over me through it, just as she does to the children enjoying themselves at her playground.
I try to remember and honor Hannah in subtle ways that make me feel closer to her. I often find myself playing with my DuffysATuffy bracelet that you will find on my wrist. During one of the casino nights that was held, I was blessed enough to win a blanket stitched together with all of the tee shirts created by the Hannah Duffy Foundation. More recently, it's hard to not think about her when I ride my skateboard around her playground and enjoy the park.
Hannah’s legacy is something that many people have yet to be touched by. Especially during this past year, the world has a desperate need for positivity and light. This is not a struggle that any one person can defeat, however, it has already begun. Through wonderful causes like The Hannah Duffy Foundation and Where Angels Play we can continue this cycle of good deeds and caring for our neighbor. There are many things that I have yet to experience, but I know that somehow Hannah’s legacy stays with me and keeps me going. Happy Birthday to you Hannah and thank you for the memories I haven’t made yet.