Where were you? People ask this question all the time? Where were you when the Twin Towers fell? Where were you when Princess Diana died? Where were you when we landed on the moon? Each of those days will live on in history, and will not be soon forgotten. Each of us was impacted on those days, everyone in a different way. Sunday, January 26, 2020 is one of those days for me.
It began as a normal Sunday in our house. Wake up and make breakfast while sipping on my coffee, Carol reading a book in the other room, while the kids run and play (while screaming at each other). As we sit to eat breakfast, we discuss the plan for the day. Church first, then prep chili for the crockpot, then practice lacrosse in the park, then take one daughter to a birthday party, then take two daughters to lacrosse evaluations, then eat the chili, then bedtime... You know a typical Sunday. But it was not a typical Sunday. After playing lacrosse in the park with my daughter, I came inside and ran upstairs to get changed to drive her to the birthday party. While I was changing my phone buzzed, and I saw a message from a friend that simply said: "News just reported that Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash." My friend is a die-hard Lakers fan, and a HUGE Kobe fan, but I don't think he knew how much Kobe meant to me. To be fair, I don't even think that I knew how much he meant to me. The news hit me like a ton of bricks... I couldn't believe it. Immediately, I opened Google on my phone to see if he was just messing with me... He wasn't. It was on every news page. How was this possible?
Why did it hit me so hard? Kobe grew up near me. He was two years younger than me. Even as a sophomore in high school everyone was talking about him. We played against the same teams, but I never had the chance to play against him. I did have the chance to see him play a couple of times, and EVERYONE KNEW that he would be special. Over the years, he grew and matured into one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Our teenage years were similar aside from the obvious discrepancies in height, skill, and natural athleticism... Aside from that though... After high school, our paths clearly diverged, but in his retirement, I would say that our paths came back together. He was a father of 4 beautiful girls and a devoted family man. We were walking a similar path again. Yes, we had different means to provide for our families but our primary job was the same. Our job is to raise strong, confident, life ready daughters. Daughters who are capable of doing anything that they set their minds to. Daughters who are ready to conquer the world.
This is why his loss has hit me so hard. We were walking the same path again, but his path ended prematurely. Kobe accomplished so much in his life. I cannot help but think about all of the things that he still wanted to do with his family and friends, and for the world. This is what hit me so hard, but I am still on the path. I still have the chance to accomplish all of those things. (Well maybe only some of those things...)
Our lives are short, and we don't get to have a say in when our time is up. How can we make something positive come from this tragedy? Let it be an inspiration to you. Let his passing inspire you to spend more quality time with those that you love. Let his passing push you to call an old friend and apologize for old arguments. Let his passing allow you to change your priorities and focus on what is TRULY IMPORTANT in life.
Let his passing push you to reevaluate, make necessary changes, and improve your life and the lives of the people around you.
Let this tragedy inspire you to live every day to the fullest and create a positive change in the world.
I know that I will...
Movement is my medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam