“Life is so short. We spend so much time sweating the small stuff; worrying, complaining, wishing, wanting and waiting for something bigger and better instead of focusing on all the simple blessings that surround us everyday. Life is so fragile and all it takes is a single moment to change everything you take for granted. Focus on what’s important and be grateful! You are blessed! Believe it! Live your life and leave no regrets.” – Melanie Koulouris
Every time I see a picture of Kobe and his daughter Gianna, I just want to burst into tears. My heart aches for those directly affected by this tragedy especially for his wife and his daughters. I cannot even fathom what they must be going through. My deepest sympathies goes out to the Bryant family and to the families who lost someone in the helicopter crash.
With all that is going on in the world, it takes the death of someone like Kobe for everyone to find a common ground. You never really realize what kind of impact a person has on you until they’re gone.
Being a Chicagoan, I definitely grew up being a MJ fan. Accepting that Kobe was better than MJ is something I could never agree with or get on board with. Nevertheless, I was a fan, although I would never admit it to my husband. My husband was born and raised in Los Angeles. He bleeds purple and gold. And just like many others, Kobe will always remain a legend to him. As a sports fan, I’m sad. As a mother and wife, I’m devastated.
This morning, we all went through our usual morning routines. My husband is on shift today, and just like all the mornings before he leaves for work, he gave me a kiss. I wake up, send him a text message to say good morning and to tell him I love him. He leaves for work about 30 minutes before I wake up to get my day started with the kids.
My husband is a fire paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department. He has been a first responder since 2003. He hasn’t always worked for the fire department, but since the first day he started work in this profession, seeing him walk out the door never gets any easier.
He sent me a text message a few minutes ago. It just hit him that Kobe is just a year older than him. He said something about feeling like he hasn’t done much with his life and he is just realizing now that anything can happen at any time. Reading this message from him really made my heart sink.
You see, a few months ago, my daughter was admitted in the hospital due to complications with asthma that resulted in part of her lung collapsing. I made the decision to quit my full-time job because I could not handle the pressure from work knowing that 100% of me needed to be with my daughter. At the time, it was the best decision. I felt so free. I was allowing myself to focus on my mental, physical, and emotional health. Fast forward to today, my daughter is doing so much better, but I am living with regrets.
What I didn’t think about when I quit my job, was the pressure I had put on my husband. The weight I put on his shoulders is something I had not thought about. I expected him to just take care of us without ever thinking about him. I had this idea that I was going to be this stay-at-home mom, and he’ll be the husband who provides for us financially without ever thinking about the impact it would have on him. We’ve depended so much on both of us being gainfully employed that I never thought about how we were going to supplement my loss in wages when I stopped working. I just expected him to pick up the pieces and magically make it rain money. And now, I fully admit, I was being selfish.
You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this. Like many others this morning, I’m here reflecting and realizing more-so today how precious life truly is, how I’m guilty of taking little things for granted and for letting simple things stress me out.
So from this point forward I’m going to – Let the house be messier a little while longer. Let the sound of the bouncing ball be music to my ears. Let the shouts from video games echo through the hall. Let my husband sit on the toilet with his phone playing his mobile games and not question how much longer he is going be. Because on days I find myself sitting alone in my home in silence like today, I pray that it’s only for a few short seconds, minutes, or hours and not a lifetime.
And I know you’ve been hearing it a lot today, but really do hold those you love really close to you today because tomorrow is never promised to us.
To my husband – I want you to know that all the things you do for me and the kids never goes unnoticed. The mornings you come home from shift tired, you have never complained about how exhausted you are. Instead, you drive the kids to school, stop by Starbucks on your way back home because I’ve asked you to pick up my mobile order, or run some crazy errand for me before you get back home. You are the most selfless man I have ever known. You always put our needs above your own and I just want you to know that you are everything and more to us. You may not be a billionaire, or building business empires, but you are our hero. Every time you walk out the door to go to work, I pray that you return to us alive and well. I know that the things you see and deal with while you’re working isn’t the easiest. Just like all first responders, you are making an impact in so many other ways. So don’t ever think you haven’t done anything because you are everything, not just for me and the kids, but for the mothers, the fathers, the parents, and the kids that you have ever treated in the back of your ambulance.