Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Someone You Should Know..........Daniel Durick

For my 3rd installment, I chose to feature Daniel Durick. This one is one that I've been in the process of writing for roughly 2 weeks. I have fumbled over my words and have had a hard time forming all of my thoughts and emotions into something that is legible.

I've known Daniel for 23 years. He is my little brother. His birth is actually my very first memory. I was a few months shy of being 3 years old when he was born, and while I don't remember a whole lot, I do recall knowing that this was a huge addition to my life.

There are stories of how I prayed to God for a little sister when my mom was pregnant with him, but God knows what's best and I sure am glad he gave me a brother. I don't know if I could have handled a sister.

But honestly, there were days where I could've done without him. Daniel had this inept ability to know exactly what my triggers were and he liked to push EVERY button. He absolutely tortured me when we were kids! We can laugh about it now, but I still shudder when I think of all the times he bit me, times he hit me, or times he just pushed me to the point of tears (which was often...I was a very sensitive child). I think he got me to cry several times a week.

As your typical siblings, we just kept our distance for a while. We always had a good time on vacations and such, but it wasn't until my senior year of high school that the sibling rivalry started to die down a bit.

At the end of my senior year, I started dating Mark and then I went off to college to live. I'm sure Daniel loved this. He didn't have me there all the time playing the big sister role and reminding him of what he was SUPPOSED to do all the time.

But I will say this, I have loved watching the relationship between Mark and my brother develop since we've been together. Mark truly considers Daniel to be his brother and I believe Daniel feels the same way. They went hiking on the Appalachian Trial together, play softball together, train like maniacs at the gym, and they of course bond over all of their amazing abilities in water sports when we go to the lake. I love watching them together because they get each other laughing all the time and watching the two of them laugh is one of my favorite things in the world!

While I was away, Daniel developed into an amazing musician. Music has always been a big part of both of our lives. I would say that was probably a result of our parents always singing us to sleep every night. I remember when Daniel decided to start playing the drums. He was terrible...as any new musician who'd never played before may be. However, drums are something Daniel really stuck to and he got good. And I mean, GOOD!

Daniel played in a band all throughout high school and played in several throughout college. I enjoyed going to his shows and I always welled up with pride as I watched how far my little brother had come. I knew he was good and I loved watching others experience it too. Daniel gave up playing in his bands a couple years ago for his own reasons that I completely understand and support, but he still enjoys jamming with some of his best friends from high school. I would love to see a reunion show.

Daniel is also an amazing athlete! He seriously blows me out of the water. He featured a video on his blog recently that was made by an organization and one quote they kept repeating stuck with me about a way to describe Daniel. It went something like, "There are those that say they can't, and there are those that say they can and they do." Daniel CAN!

Daniel is always coming up with these out-of-this-world goals for himself of something he'd just like to "try". It started out with running a marathon. You can see from the picture above that he completed it and he did really well.

After that, Daniel wanted to run a triathalon. We all went to watch him and he did outstanding. Finally, Daniel wanted to do the Half Iron Man Triathalon in Hawaii. This is swimming 1.3 miles, biking 56 miles, and running a half marathon. I can't even imagine it and he did it. Not only did he do it, but he came in 5th in his age division! He's truly an outstanding athlete and I wouldn't be surprised if this is just the beginning. We may see him in the full Iron Man before we know it!

Daniel is also about as genuine as it gets. What you see is what you get. He has a great sense of humor and like I said before, his laugh is one of my favorites. He tells a great story too which I've been able to enjoy a few over a beer or two. He gives the best hugs that someone can give and he has a wonderful ability to make everyone that he knows feel valued. Daniel is a wonderful listener and a joy to just be around. I feel privileged to have been able to go on countless vacations with him over the years and every one of these is so full of memories (good and bad) that we just love to rehash and laugh over together.

You really could not ask for a better brother!

Just last year, Daniel graduated from college at NKU. We were so proud to watch him graduate with honors in the communications department. He worked so hard in college and was incredibly successful. While in school, Daniel interned at a local Cincinnati TV station where he built some amazing friendships and Daniel would continue to work there after college while living in the Cincinnati area. He is superb at filming and editing video. I'm in awe of his artistic eye for making videos and I love every single one of them.

While in school, Daniel had to do an internship for school that did not involve his TV station. Our parents have friends that are missionaries down in Ecuador that own a Christian TV & radio station. Daniel decided to go down to Ecuador for a month and work there to get some experience. Our family was thrilled because we had all been to Ecuador before and while Daniel thought that he'd gain experience and insight into the communications world, God had much bigger plans for Daniel and his life.

During his trip, I think Daniel only got to work at TV station for one day. The rest of the time, he was carted along with all of the other missionaries. He worked with groups in the jungles to build churches, he played with the children, and altogether found a new path in life. I think this is where Daniel found what a true relationship with God looked like. You can read back through his blog during his travels and see the dramatic difference God was making in his life. Tears come to my eyes as I think about what a changed person Daniel was when he came back. Anyone who knows him can attest to it.

Not only was Daniel's relationship with God sparked, but so was his love for travel. We had tried to convince Daniel to try traveling earlier, but he just wasn't really that interested. That was fine, but I think we all knew how much Daniel would like it based on his personality. Since his Ecuador trip, Daniel seems to not be able to get enough travel.

I remember one weekend at my parents' house, Daniel just said, "Oh, did I tell you I'm going on a trip and I'm leaving Monday?" (typical statement) To which I replied, "No. Where are you going?" As nonchalant as he could be (and he truly is this way), he simply said, "Iceland".

When I asked him what made him decide Iceland, he just said, "I don't know, I looked it up and it looked pretty neat."

Oh, to be able to just pick up your stuff and go. Daniel has a very adventurous personality and traveling is just perfect for him. Which leads me to the next journey in Daniel's life.

Daniel applied and interviewed with an organization called The World Race with Adventures in Missions. He was accepted last summer and has been preparing for the last year to embark on a journey around the world. The World Race's purpose is to travel the world to share God's love and to help those in need.

Daniel has raised money for the last year to help fund his trip. Daniel was worried that the money would be an issue, but with the help of family and friends, Daniel got his trip funded with no problems. From there, Daniel went on to sell all of his possessions (this went toward his trip cost as well) and has just taken off to travel the world for the next 11 months. His newstation did a wonderful story on him about a month ago on his journey.

He is currently in Santo Domingo for just a few more days before heading to Haiti for the month. He will be then go on to Dominican Republic, Ireland (for just a few days), I believe the Turkey/Greece area, Africa (for about 4 months), and SE Asia (another 4 months). Things can always change...and they probably will, but they will continue to go where God leads them.

His team (only about 7 people) will live off roughly $25 a day for food. Daniel is responsible for everyone's money and budgeting, which means he will have quite a task at hand. He is also videotaping their adventures during the trip. You can follow him on his blog (link is also on the right) and feel free to support him or adopt his team (Team Green Light) in prayer.

Seeing my little brother off at the airport was incredibly difficult to say the least. There were many tears that were mainly selfish because of how much he will be missed. I love him more than words can express and I am truly the proudest big sister that there ever was or will be. I know that God is going to do amazing things through Daniel and I can't wait to watch and follow him as he experiences it all.

Daniel is genuine, trustworthy, respectful, fun, adventurous, caring, honest, a great friend, a fantastic brother, can strike up a conversation with ANYONE, cool under pressure, has a heart for God, and will undoubtedly do huge things through Christ during the next year!
So if you don't already know him.....

Daniel Durick is someone you should know!

Please continue to cover him in your prayers!


Jennifer said...

I absolutely adore your brother, thats no secret! LOVE this post!

Stephanie said...

I LOVE the baby picture of you two! Aw<3

And this is such a great post. I am definitely proud to know Daniel! You two make the perfect siblings. :)

Maria said...

Thanks Stephanie!

I wish I had more baby pics to post! I'll have to snag more from mom

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. You do have an awesome brother. I met Daniel when he came to Hawaii for the the Half Iron Man. He actually stayed with my husband and me. He has been such an inspiration and blessing to me ever since he was here. I know that it was God who put the right people in his path in order for us to meet. I pray for him and his team daily and I'm looking forward to Team Green Light coming to Hawaii some day. I know that he is doing GREAT things for Christ and certainly is a brother to be proud of!