There were multiple instances on 1/26/2020 when I had tears streaming down my face, the tragic news of the helicopter crash that took 9 lives including a legendary athlete in Kobe Bryant and his daughter.
I’ve never been much of a basketball fan, an avid sports fan though and Kobe was my era and also a local Pennsylvania boy. It was hard to figure out why this was all hitting me so hard, but in the end I think it’s the common bond we share of just loving our families.
It was realizing that even those we view as immortal, the legendary athletes, the rich, the famous and everyone in between are all vulnerable to unexpected tragedy. Events like these happen every so often and we sit back and see all the comments about how precious life is and to make the most of our time, but most, myself included, agree but do little to change the fact that if our life ended today we would not be satisfied is how we allocated our time to the things that are most meaningful, our families, our friends, pursuing happiness in ourselves and delivering happiness to others via generosity, caring or collaboration on causes greater than ourselves.
It’s wasted negative thinking to ever try to prepare yourself for losing a loved one, there is no preparation, and time is better spent ensuring you maximize your moments and enjoy the time you do have instead of fearing the unknown of when those times will come to an end. Stay in the present.
My grandparents are nearing the age of 90, my Lab is nearly 16 years old..I know I will experience loss in the future. I lost my Dad when I was 6 and 30 years later there is not a single day I do not think of him.
It truly goes to show that making memories is all we can do to keep our loved ones with us through eternity. It seems somewhere along the way a lot of cultures have lost this idea, but if you look back to Viking culture or even the movie Coco, there are a lot of lessons to learn when it comes to dealing with death.
Kobe was a legend that has accomplished so much, but I guarantee he would trade his entire basketball legacy just to have a single day back together with his whole family. We do not get the option to have an extra day, there are no mulligans with death, so the best we can do is being present and taking a real hard look in the mirror every day and ask ourselves “Are we fully appreciating how fortunate we are to be here another day?” Everything we “accomplish” outside of relationships plays second fiddle, love is more powerful than anything tangible.
We can also try to take a look at the amount of mental and emotional capital we spend on such meaningless things. I’m not here to preach, I’m plenty guilty myself of getting into spats about sports, politics and the other things that bring out so much hate and negativity in people. We can all do better!
I could end this with one of a hundred quotes about life, time, or other mantras but my favorite is what I hear from my 90 year old grandfather when I call to ask how he is doing…
“Well, I’m still on the right side of the dirt”
Simple…but oh so elegant
These little moments like tonight playing with the kids before dinner all of a sudden do not seem so little anymore..it’s everything
(I wrote this up because I could not sleep and writing is therapeutic, there won’t be any editing so excuse any typos/grammar)