WHAT ‘MATT’ERS: Thinking of Kobe

If you’re a basketball fan or even just a casual sports fan, you were rocked by the news of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death this past Sunday.
He was just 41, living the dream, and had the world in front of him.
You can Google his NBA accolades all you want, and they are truly impressive, but the saddest part of this is that he died with his daughter – and seven others, including the pilot – aboard that helicopter in the Los Angeles area that crashed into the side of a mountain.
As parents, we realize that from the moment we have kids, we no longer live for ourselves. Everything we do is for our kids. We live for our kids. We breathe for our kids. We would go through walls for our kids. We would do anything to protect our kids from physical pain, sickness, and mental anguish.
It’s so tough to know what Kobe was going through in those last moments, knowing a daughter he helped bring into this world could not be saved from the inevitable.
Just heart wrenching. I cannot even imagine. I just, I can’t.
That was what struck me on Sunday – not that we lost an NBA legend, which he most certainly was – but that all the families that are now splintered and broken because of this accident. Families that will never be the same ever again. Where do you start to pick up the pieces?
My biggest fear in life is not being there to see our kids grow up and to celebrate milestone anniversaries with my wife. When we get busy with life, we always bring up the old “quality over quantity” adage. Selfishly, I wish we didn’t have to work or have responsibilities. I wish every day could be non-stop spent with family.
Then again, we work to provide for our kids. Not just a roof over our heads and keeping the lights on, but to create memories and experiences they will always remember. That’s what this is about.
Family means everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything.
Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t hold grudges. Let go of those beefs and arguments. Nothing is promised to you except today.

— Matt Mackinder

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