Bucket list complete, thoughts turn to legacy ahead of teen's funeral

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 12 at 1:56 AM

IRVING - The shirts, the wrist bands, the posters, all to honor Oscar Gomez. A 17 year old who had no fear.

"I almost feel like we're getting to ride a roller coaster," Oscar told News 8 in October, as he crossed another goal off of his bucket list.

Oscar could have lived a life of excuses, but his fatal bone cancer didn't dictate his worth. His dreams did.

"This experience is life changing, and in a way you can't imagine," said Oscar's teacher, Ruth Amy Schoen.

Schoen learned of Oscar's bucket list through an essay assignment.

"I realized we need to live life to the fullest, because we don't know when our time will come," Oscar wrote.

Those words, from a boy mature beyond his years.

His impact brought to life his bucket list, from racing in a car at 109 miles per hour, to taking a ride on a World War II B-17.

And then, there was meeting Tony Romo, his role model, and a man who to this day feels Oscar's impact.

He is helping now with Oscar's final wish: To not burden his family with a funeral they couldn't afford.

Romo is making sure his friend gets the respectful goodbye he deserves on Monday. Oak Grove Cemetery and Brown Funeral Home also pitched in to make Oscar's funeral a reality.

In the meantime, Schoen is leading fundraisers at his Irving school to continue his legacy. Their final moments together were about just that.

"[I told Oscar] just I love you and your story is going to go on," she said. "Because you've impacted a lot of people."

Until the end, Oscar's wishes to be in the clouds brought him comfort.

"When he was in the hot air balloon and there was nothing around him, it was incredible for him," Schoen said. "It was letting go and letting God be in control, because he was up there."

It's with that peace, Oscar knew it would all be okay. He joked with friends, even graduated in his hospital bed in his final weeks.

And now, his sisters will get a step closer to their baby brother, taking a trip into the clouds themselves.

A final bucket list gift from Oscar.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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