As Told to Najja Parker

When Stuart Scott, one of ESPN’s most renowned and charismatic sports anchors, was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix in 2007, his daughters Taelor and Sydni had their world turned upside down. After a seven-year battle with the rare disease, Scott passed away earlier this year. He was 49. Still mourning the loss of her father, Taelor shares her favorite memories and reflects on continuing his legacy.

I awakened to the sounds of people crying and knew, without anyone uttering a word, my dad had died. It was Jan. 4, 2015. My mother; my sister, Sydni, and I had just celebrated Christmas with him in Connecticut before heading to North Carolina to visit my grandparents. Although my father was too ill to travel with us, we planned to return in a few days to help prepare him for palliative care.

We didn’t make it back in time.

Despite the tremendous loss, our last holiday season together was the best. It reminded me of the earlier years before my parents divorced. Back then we always gathered for special occasions or announcements, including the day my dad told us about his diagnosis. Sydni was 8 and I was 12. We both immediately started sobbing. It was one of the scariest moments I’d ever experienced. In my mind, the “I have cancer”statement translated to “I’m going to die.” But my father never thought of it that way; for him, it meant he needed to live more.

One of the best things my dad did was move forward with life after his diagnosis. It was empowering for him, and our family. We would still watch him exercise at home, play chess and sing along to some of his favorite songs. Seeing him on TV talking about sports, people wouldn’t guess how much he loved Broadway musicals, such as The Wiz and Wicked.

Read more in the June 2015 issue of EBONY Magazine.