The death of Kobe Bryant shook the world on January 26th, 2020. No one contemplates the end of a 41-year-old man who was in marvelous health. A young man filled with happiness and love for his family. A man whose second act after retirement was blossoming into one to be admired.
I wasn’t a fan of the basketball player Kobe, but I admired the man he had become. If we strip away the fame and wealth, he was like the rest of us trying to live life the best he could and be an example to his children.
The sudden and tragic death of Kobe reminded me of the fragility of life. Anything can steal it from us. Death has no time table. He arrives all of a sudden and punches your ticket to the afterlife. It’s for this reason we should live the best life we can.
Every time we walk out of the door of our homes, we may not return. We don’t necessarily think about death as we go about our lives. In our minds, we are going to return home safely, and our loved ones will be waiting. Furthermore, we take for granted our families will be intact and waiting for us.
When we open our eyes in the morning, we are privileged. There was someone that didn’t see a new day. A person is weeping for the loss of a loved one.
I lost my mom a decade ago. I still miss her. If you have lost a parent, sibling, friend, or grandparents, it never goes away. It sticks with you until you hopefully reunite with them in the afterlife. I would give anything for one more conversation. I would give anything for one more piece of advice. When a person dies, it leaves a void that can never be filled by anyone. We all have our space in a person’s life.
I am 48 years old, and I think about mortality often. I have three kids, and I want to be around for them. I try to take care of my health by exercising as regularly as I can. As a black man, I am concerned about diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, which are all prevalent in my family.
I must be around to tell my kids and wife I love them. I must hug and layer affection on them while I am alive, and so are as they. No day is promised to any member of the human race. My late mother’s favorite phrase was, “give me my flowers while I can smell them, not when I am dead.” I made sure to give her flowers while she was alive.
As I said before, outside the celebrity, Kobe was doing what all family-oriented people do-taking care of his family. He was coaching and hanging with other parents whose kids play sports. We have all done that. I traveled with my daughter to track meets all over the state of Illinois. I sat on bleachers until I thought my rear end would bleed. I’ve taken kids home from competitions and treated them like my own.
I went to my oldest son’s home games when he played football. I was there even if he didn’t play, I offered my support. I took him to the YMCA for swim lessons and rooted for him even when he wasn’t doing well in his basketball games.
We all do these things as parents. No matter our station in life, we live, love, and pass away.
The small things we do with our families may seem insignificant in the totality of the universe, but they matter. We must live each day like it’s our last because it could be. Make each moment matter and kiss your loved ones while you can. Don’t go to sleep mad at your spouse because one of you may not wake up. Say your apologies and fall asleep unburdened.
Furthermore, if you are filled with anger at a family member or friend, I ask you to pick up the phone and find forgiveness. Remove the poison of bitterness and avarice from your soul and offer a clean slate. Death is promised to us all. We don’t know the time or the manner of the end, but when it does come, do you want to leave anger in the atmosphere or the loving gift of forgiveness.
We can’t forget about the 7 other human beings who lost their lives on that foggy Sunday. They had families and friends. Each one of them will be missed in their own unique way. People who knew them will weep and remember their family member or friend. They will tell stories and show pictures that exemplify the love shared amongst them.
Life isn’t fair. It takes loved ones away and leaves sadness behind. In a sense they are not dead every time we laugh or remember something joyous about them they live again through us.
Every time I play a Blues record I remember my mother and she comes alive again in the music.
Please make memories with your family while they’re here because they could be gone in a flash of tragedy. Take care y’all and peace.
Estacious(Charles White) is a 23-year educator. He began writing over 25 years ago. His work experience encompasses managing schools and teaching a variety of subjects. His passions are poetry, short fiction, playwrighting, and non-fiction. He won one of six prizes in the Rockford play festival for his play “Incarcerated Christmas”. He is married with three children and a native of New Orleans.