The death of Kobe Bryant is really taking a toll on me. No, it’s not just about Kobe … it’s about the people aboard that helicopter who, unknowingly, hugged their loved ones one final time. They woke up that morning with goals to accomplish, dreams to pursue … life to LIVE. Nobody knows when their time is coming, and if we did, we would spend our lives trying to soak up every bit of happiness we could possibly find before there was nothing left. Nobody would live in the moment, because every moment spent trying to create joy out of nothing is, quite possibly, the hardest thing you could do. Instead, we need to live our lives ready to achieve every dream we set forth in our lives.
I can’t begin to imagine what was going through everyone’s minds as, in those seconds, they knew things were not going to end well. I can only picture fathers hugging their daughters, wives kissing their husbands, sharing one final “I love you” in a sheer moment of terror. Nobody boarded that helicopter thinking, “it’s the final ride … it’s time.”
We never know when God is going to call us home, and yet we spend so much time holding so much anger and animosity to the people we love over nothing. How many of you got into some type of argument with a friend, a family member, etc and stopped talking to them over nothing?
We are living in a world where people are dying every single day … these deaths, so tragic, so untimely.
And yet, somebody, somewhere, is wishing that they would’ve had one final chance to tell them, “I love you,” or “I’m sorry.” I guess that feeling of guilt has been weighing on me so heavily, because it reminds me of the night my brother passed. Not even twelve hours before I was so angry at him, and instead of ending our phone call with, “I love you,” I said “OK,” and hung up. I was so busy trying to be a big sister, lecturing him … that I couldn’t even find the time to tell him something so simple, something to remind him that although I was upset with him … nothing would ever change that.
I think about these families who woke up this morning still reeling from this nightmare, this public tragedy. I think about Matt Mauser, a husband and father of three beautiful children wondering how to pick up the pieces of his life after learning his wife, Christina, would not be returning home. And then I think about John Altobelli, a man who was forced to comfort his wife, Keri, and their baby girl, Alyssa, in their final moments. Sarah Chester who, in her last moments, held on to her daughter, Payton and shared one final hug. Ara Zobayan, the pilot who left home that morning not knowing it would be the last helicopter he flew, and in the seconds he spent trying to control the helicopter probably never got to pick up the phone one last time to share a moment with somebody he loved. And then there’s Kobe … who, in his final moments, held onto his daughter, Gianna. My heart is utterly broken. All I can say is that this should serve as a wake up call to those around us …. Those who, for some reason, stopped speaking to one another over petty arguments, fights that meant nothing. Love and pray over your family because at any moment, they could be gone and you’ll be left with so much remorse. Yes, it’s something we never want to think about, but my friends, it could happen to any of us. Hug somebody today …. Tell them you love them. Embrace the people around you. We must stop living our lives with so much animosity and hate.
Never wait for the final goodbye.