While I was enjoying the beautiful weather of Ojai this morning, I got a text from my friends that made my heart drop, “Kobe Bryant was found dead with his daughter after the helicopter crash.” When I got this text, I thought it was some kind of joke or rumor that some people were spreading, and after checking all types of social media, I realized that it was true. I just couldn’t admit that my all-time favorite basketball player would leave us like this. There have been a few tragic events like this, but Kobe’s death just hit different to me. Kobe Bryant was the first player that I knew from basketball, and while me and my friends were playing basketball, I remember shouting “Kobe!” when I took the shot. He was a great mentor for a lot of people including me in and out of the court. Kobe Bryant might be gone in real life, but he will always have a special place in our hearts.
I have been a culprit of it one too many times. And it is a hard thing to come to terms with.
I wish people would realize that there is no harm in telling someone you care each and every day, but there is more harm than imaginable in doing the exact opposite. There isn’t a time you will regret letting someone know that you appreciate them – no matter who they are to you – but there will always be a time you will regret holding your tongue when all you wanted was to let them know you cared.
It was your 21st birthday on Monday. And, even though I was not as close with you as some people were, I wish I could have wished you happy birthday, seen your smile, and spent a little time with you. I cared about you. You were important to me. And I will regret not telling you that for the rest of my life because I will never have the chance to tell you that again.
Happy birthday, Mikey. I know that if you were here, you would take absolutely no person and nothing else for granted; you weren’t the kind to do that. And if I am to take just one thing from knowing you, I will take that.
I hope everything is going well in paradise. I think of you more than you know.