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I’m not a sports fan – like not at all. Over the years my kids have played nearly every competitive sport known to man but I have never been a fan. I wanted my kids to run around, get exercise and work out their competitive streaks. Having said that, I know who Kobe Bryant is and this crash has me shook. The boys I grew up with in high school were heavy into basketball.  I remember when Michael Jordan and Shaq where kings and Kobe was the new kid. He is not that much younger than me.  It’s hard when someone in your age group perishes so suddenly.  But, it’s not just his age that has me shook. No, it’s all the other things.

It was just released today that not only was Kobe and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, killed but also a couple of Gianna’s teammates and some of their parents and coaches as well as the pilot. They were going to a travel basketball event.  Many of my friends and family members do travel sports with their kids. I took care of my boss’s dogs this past weekend because her three kids were all at travel ballgames and she would be away from her house for over 12 hours. The same could have happened to my boss, or my cousin or my brother and sister in law all of whom were gone to ballgames this weekend. That hit hard.

Also, I too, have a 13 year old daughter. The thought of losing her to some freak accident makes my stomach churn.  Gianna’s mother had no idea she was saying goodbye to her baby girl for the last time that day. The thought of that alone just wrecks me. One should never have to bury a child yet it happens every day.

Then, I remembered Kobe was not only married but also had other children at home. And, the other people on board also left family behind. I can’t imagine going about your day and then all of the sudden half of your family is dead. At some point, we all bury a family member but thankful it’s usually due to a tragedy like what happened yesterday.  I can’t imagine what those left behind are feeling right now. The pain, the grief, the holding it together for your surviving family especially when the survivors are children and are having a hard time processing their grief as well. My heart goes to all of those left behind. I pray I and whoever is reading this never have to endure that type of heartache.

We say ‘hug your family a little closer’ when this kind of thing happens.  It sounds trite but it’s true. One never knows when the last goodbye will come. So, hug those closest to you a little tighter the next time you see them.



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