I remember the day he was born. Getting a half day from school to go and meet him. Walking through the hospital I heard a baby crying and asked my dad if that was my little brother. I remember exactly how he looked, he wasn't crying. He was just chilling out, taking it all in.
They couldn't decide on whether to call him Alex or Daniel. Gary and I wanted 'Alex' because 'Alex the Kid' was our favourite sega mega drive game.
I remember him as a toddler, bringing him on walks up and down the back road and everyone commenting on his bright blonde hair and rosey red cheeks.
I remember with all our cousins, he was always the center of attention as we made him do the squeezy red face thing, or as Gary and David used him as a prop for they're wrestling games.
He loved wrestling, but not as much as dinosaurs. He was obsessed. Every Saturday when everyone was out, me and Daniel would go down to the video shop and rent out Jurassic Park. His favourite film. We would close the curtains, turn of the lights and pretend we were at the cinema. I'm pretty sure I still remember every line from that film from watching it so much.
He was such a great child, always happy and laughing, even when he was causing havoc.
He loved to hide things on us, especially the remote control. Every time anything went missing he would deny it, then 10 minutes later go get it and move on to hiding the next thing.
One time a substantial amount of money went missing from the house. My dad searched high and low, thinking maybe we'd been robbed...Only to have Alan's mam knock on the door a few hours later saying Daniel had given Alan the money as a present.
No matter what he did he never got into trouble. My mam calling his name as 'Danny-A-he-who' instead of Daniel was about as serious as it got.
He was so patient to. Gary and I used to get him to get stuff for us. 'Daniel go up and get me my jumper..I'll time you', and off he'd go, racing to beat his last time. Until one day, when he replied 'Awh yeah right Gar, you just say that so then I'll think', a line which we repeated back to him a million times.
I'm sure most of you know that musically, he was a genius. Put any instrument in front of him and within an hour he could play it. Gary and him used to spend hours in their room playing together.
I could never get the hang of the guitar so one Christmas Daniel convinced me to get a drum kit.
By 1pm on Christmas day it was obvious I'd never be able to play it and Daniel inherited my brand new kit. Which I'm sure was his plan from the start.
Muse were his favourite band. He used to spike up his fluffy hair to look more like Matt Bellamy. When Gary brought him to his first Muse gig he got so excited he fainted.
I remember trying to convince him to go to the Rock school in Ballyfermot because we didn't think he would pass his leaving cert. And get into college.
He had managed to disguise his intelligence. He never went to school or studied, preferring to spend his time doing some graffiti art. But one day, about 3 months before his exams I found him sitting in Tallaght library, studying.
As you all know, he did great in his exams and got into Trinity to study science.
My dad was laughing the other day saying if he had of became a scientist he would have found a way to bring back dinosaurs, either that or become a famous botanist.
We all grew up over the past few years, and grew apart as well. I'd usually see him just once or twice a week. Spending them hours laughing as Hasso and Toby, or my mam and dad.
Daniels special nickname for me, 'Retard', was thrown around quite a bit as I hounded him with questions of 'how do I do this?' and that.
I spent last night with Daniels second family. Brenda, Dave, Joan and all the lads. They told me so many stories I hadn't heard before. Turns out Dan is more like me than I ever could have imagined. I just wish we had of known.
Daniel, I was lucky enough to have you as my baby brother for 20 years. I have a million memories of you, but I wish I had a million more.
Watch over mam and dad, you were the centre of their worlds and they'll need you now more than ever.
I love you Dan, Sneactha Ban.
You'll forever be in my heart and on my mind.
You were an amazing person who touched so many lives in such a short amount of time.
I know your up there, somewhere, cringing at all this and telling me to stop being retarded.
So lets remember him, not by how he died by how we knew him. Carefree and constantly making us all laugh and smile.
So I'll finish up by saying, you really were one of a kind, you always did things your way and this is no different.
You'll never be forgotten.
I love you.
These are the words I spoke at my little brother funeral just 5 weeks ago.
If you love someone, tell them.
If you love someone, tell them.