Where Were You When?

We go through life experiencing many events and feelings, from highlights to tragedies. In my lifetime, I haven’t seen a lot of life altering and world changing events. I was very young when 911 took place. I was in elementary school when Michael Jackson died. There’s events that take place in the world that mark a time of your life. You look back and resinate it with a specific age, a place, a smell and your personal life as if it happened directly to you.

Yesterday was one of those days. I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post of a basketball player with a caption that read “RIP.” I thought I knew who it was, but I was confused and immediately began to seek confirmation. “Who is this? I asked. “Who is this?” Tanner told me, “That’s Kobe Bryant but he isn’t dead.” We were both very confused. The media will pronounce a celebrity dead and a lot of times it is a hoax. I know millions hoped the same to be true for this occasion.

After that post, the media blew up and breaking news covered our television screens. Just like that, an icon and hero to many was gone. I won’t pretend that I know the first thing about the NBA, much about basketball or even Kobe. I know enough to understand that this figure, this life, was a huge part of my childhood without even realizing it. A lot of what I will write you have probably already seen, but it’s true and it’s the way the world will join together, lift each other up and mourn this loss.

As news broke out yesterday, I even found myself emotional. Not because I was a basketball fan, but because a life had ended, a wife left without her husband, a mother left without a child, siblings left without a sister and children left without a father. These are the moments we don’t look forward to in life. For someone the world considers a “legend” lose their life in the manner that Kobe did it shakes you.

I read many posts that described that atmosphere in California yesterday as numb. That the world paused. Kobe’s life and the way he died reminded the world that we aren’t invincible. It showed us that even being in great shape, financially blessed and having talent beyond measure doesn’t promise us tomorrow.

Nine people lossed their life yesterday . No loss less than the other. Families are mourning, lives have been wrecked and its all in the public eye. Our hearts break for the families left behind. I feel like it should be said that we acknowledge every individual who lost their life yesterday, and the emphasis on Kobe and his daughter isn’t meant to dismiss the other individuals involved.

Many fans, teammates and children lost a hero. Someone we thought was untouchable and that slashing realization that isn’t the case rocked the world and will continue to do so. Kobe’s death will be just as important as his life. His life inspired us to work hard for our dreams and his death will inspire us to focus on what truly matters in life. Kobe Bryant was an incredible basketball player and icon, but beyond that he was father, a husband and a family man. He expressed that transition and his focus throughout his life after retirement.

Though our hearts are breaking and wounds have resurfaced, let us remember his legacy, every part of his legacy and let it live on.

January 26, 2020 is now a part of history. When our children ask this will be one of the moments where we lower our heads and try to explain why things like this happen. Maybe not trying to make sense of it is the best thing we can do.

His life, his death and what will continue to be goes without saying, this is the kind of mark you wish to leave on the world. Change. Impact. Legacy. Greatness. Influence. Passion. Love.

Where were you on January 26, 2020?

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