I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the Kobe Bryant tragedy, to somehow make sense of it all. As a person who believes everything happens for a reason, I’ve been struggling to find any reason for the events that occurred on the morning of Sunday, January 26. Along with Kobe and his daughter Gianna, seven other people tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash. Children are now without their parents, and parents are without their children. Their families’ lives are forever changed by one event. The best I could do was to remind myself not to take my time on Earth for granted. Life is far too short. I remind myself once again to love my friends and family with all I have. It’s not much, but it’s how I manage to get by.
We were devastated by the news. Saying my husband is a huge sports fan is an understatement. We have both received numerous messages and texts from friends and family asking how he’s doing. Kobe Bryant was his favorite player, someone he’d grown up watching. He’s got his posters, his clothes, and his shoes. Our dog is named after him, and in somewhat of a coincidence our son was born on August 23, Kobe’s birthday. My husband is pretty reserved and generally a quiet guy. He doesn’t show his emotions often. He’s an observer. He thinks before he speaks, and he’s extremely wise and selfless. On the day of the tragedy, he was quiet and reflective, glued to the TV and his phone. We moved about the day slowly, and time passed as it does. The following morning, before I even had time to ask how he was doing, he talked about his plans to check on a young boy he works with, who is also a huge fan of the basketball star. They spend time each week talking about Kobe, only now, those conversations will have a different tone to them.
Kobe Bryant was a worldwide sports legend. As most professional athletes do, he dedicated his life to his sport and his 20-year career in the NBA. He was a five-time NBA champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, among other awards and achievements. He was an Oscar and Emmy award winner, and a philanthropist. Kobe also made serious mistakes in his past. Like all of us, he was flawed. And similar to his basketball career, he used his drive to not only account for his mistakes but propel him on to become a better father, spouse, friend and team member. He was only 41 years old when he passed away. The next chapter of his life was just beginning. He had a wife and four daughters, one that sadly is gone along with him, and one born less than a year ago. That sweet little girl will only know of her father from photos, videos, and from the things that people tell her. My heart hurts for this family and the families of the other people that lost their lives that day.
As I sit here and write this with tears in my eyes, I wonder if the people who lost their lives knew how much they were loved. Did their families get the chance to put into words how they felt? If there’s anything we can learn from such a tragic loss, it is to appreciate our loved ones and make sure they know it.
Dear Husband, I love you. I love you more than life itself. Don’t you ever doubt that. No argument or disagreement will ever surpass the amount of emotion I feel for you deep down in my soul. I can’t imagine going through this life without you, and I hope I never have to know what that feels like. You are an amazing role model for the kids you work with, and an amazing father to our son. I’m here for you always, as long as we live in this life together, no matter what. I am yours.
Dear Son, I love you. You are my greatest accomplishment and my most prized possession. You are my beautiful boy. I won’t ever stop telling you how much I love you and I am so happy that you’re mine. I do not doubt that you will grow up to be an amazing man, just like your father. I can’t wait to see how you take on this big world as you grow. Don’t ever stop being you.
Dear Mom, I love you. I wouldn’t be here without you. You and dad created me and raised me to be the woman I am today. For that, I thank you. I can’t tell you enough how much you mean to me and I’m so glad you are happy and healthy. I can’t wait to watch you give my son the same love you have given me. You are an amazing woman.
Dear Friends and Family, I love you. Thank you all for being in my life. I am the person I am today because of the times we’ve shared. Each of those moments has shaped me in some important way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything, and I will do what I am able. I am here for you.
Our world was forever changed by one tragic event, and if like me, you need to make sense of it, use it as motivation to live your life by positively impacting the lives of others and doing what you love. And please, love one another.