Sunday morning I’m tooling around the house after chit chatting with the neighbors across the street. My hubby had returned to doing his yard work. My phone bings and alerts me to a new message. It’s from my youngest son to all five of us in our family chat. He asked had we heard any rumor that Kobe Bryant had died. My first thought was that this definitely had to be a mistake. He is, after all, Kobe Bean Bryant. He has everything. How could he die?
So. I’m embarrassed to say that my first resource was Facebook. Surely ‘facebook’ would put this nonsense to rest right? Instead I found post after post about Kobe going down in a helicopter crash. It was originally reported by TMZ. And I hate to say it, but TMZ is usually right. Also, other outlets were quoting TMZ so they too recognized their superior means for obtaining fresh news. (I didn’t know how fresh that news was until later when it was reported that the family hadn’t even been notified!!!! Disgusting).
Things got worse when it was reported that his daughter Gianna was also on the ‘copter with 7 other passengers. Precious Lord. That morning, when they woke up, not one person knew their life would not make it through the day. Apparently Kobe had gone to worship early and would then join his wife at Gianna’s game. My heart aches. His wife (Vanessa), his daughters, his daughters team, her teammates, spouses… so many people affected by the tragic events.
I was stunned when I first heard of it and for hours later. But my breaking point was when a friend posted (something like) “Gigi died looking into her fathers eyes”. I thought of a frightened 13 year old looking to her dad, her most favorite person in the world. I imagined a dad, who wanted nothing more than to protect his baby girl. And their lives ending in a moment. I lost it and sobbed. (Mind you, there are absolutely no details on what transpired and brought the helicopter down.)
It’s been a couple of days. And people are grieving hard. All over the world people are feeling tremendous sorrow at the loss of this beloved Laker. Basketball teams are retiring #24. I believe even teams outside of the NBA are. The Lakers cancelled their game against the Clippers (both LA teams are reportedly struggling at the loss). People are sharing their personal Kobe stories. I saw the blimp with ‘RIP Kobe’; I’ve seen city busses with same. I’ve seen purple and gold lighting on buildings both locally and in other cities across the US via posts on social media and the news. Everyone is feeling it.
As with any death, I am reminded how precious life it. I think I often take it for granted that I, or my loved ones will be here for more than this moment. It is at times like this I believe God is reminding me that this is not the case. Tomorrow is not promised. Shoot – the rest of the day isn’t promised! All we have is this very moment.
I created this ’24Ever’ image because Kobe created quite a legacy. Not just because of his stellar athletic skills. But his work ethic is unlike anyone else’s. His bar is so high. He has done so much in his 41 years. More than many of us will ever know. I applaud the life he lived and the legacy he leaves. And I’m inspired to do better. To be better. Many are. And that is a life well-lived.