A year after her son died in a fall at a Virginia resort, Virginia resident Jennifer O’Brien decided to take a look at the world around her, including flowering plants and trees that could help her son’s legacy live on.
“The world is a wonderful place and it is an amazing place,” O’Briens son, Austin, told ABC News in an interview from her Virginia home in May.
“I’m not trying to destroy nature.
I’m just trying to make sure I do my part in the world.”
Austin O’Brab, a Virginia native, died in March 2017 at the resort he and his family used to visit in Newport News, Virginia.
The resort has since been closed, but O’Connor said she still plans to visit and see what else remains of the resort.
“It is a wonder, really, of nature.
You can just imagine the trees in front of you and the plants in front, and you can just sit there and watch them bloom,” she said.
She hopes to continue visiting the resort until it is completely closed.
O’Connors son, James, was also a Virginia resident, but he died in May 2017 at age 20.
The couple also raised funds for the James O’Donnell Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of nature and the environment, including the importance of natural, sustainable, and culturally appropriate plants and animals.
OBriensen said she has been to several of the local parks in Newport, Virginia, including Newport Meadows Park, which was named after her husband, James O’.
Donnell, who died of cancer in 2012.
“There are a lot of great natural areas and it’s a shame that they are closed.
There are a whole lot of beautiful places that are being destroyed by people,” she told ABC affiliate WRBL.
The O’Dodsons had just moved to Virginia two months before the fall at the Newport Meadows Resort.
“When I heard his death, I was devastated,” OBrien said.
“My whole family was devastated.
I didn’t know what was going to happen.
He was just such a beautiful person.
He’d always been a good dad, a good brother.”
O’Reilly’s family is still grieving the loss of James, who she said loved to travel, play with her son, and help him with homework.
OBrien says she’s also been working on a book to document the lives of plants and other animals she encountered.
“We have a lot more animals now than we ever had,” she says.
“And they all have amazing stories to tell.”