Shaquille O’Neal broke down in tears when talking about the death of Kobe Bryant, his sister and his dad.
He said something very important through his tribute. If you love somebody reach out to them. Joke with them. Have serious conversations with them. You never know when the end is coming.
I just heard from a friend a few minutes ago. He is in the hospital with colon cancer. He is scared and talked about the end being near. I have time to reach out. I will do that by talking to him and visiting him one last time.
When I was diagnosed with a stroke there were people who I thought were close to me who never reached out. I understand it because I used to be the same. If somebody was sick they only needed close family and doctors.
That was what I thought. I was wrong. When I was down and out I needed people. I needed that friendly face and a smile peaking into my hospital room. I needed that “stay strong” phone conversation.
It did a world of good.
We’ve learned that life is fleeting once again after the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and eight other people. It was stunning to many. And we’ve learned to reach out to those that love us and to those we love.
I regret not doing. I lived in Grand Rapids as a young sports writer with the Grand Rapids Press. I was scheduled to visit my friends Gretchen and Drew who were living outside of Saginaw.
I hopped in the car for the drive across the state. There is a turn off in Lansing where you veer north for Saginaw or continue west to Detroit. I began to feel queasy. A strong presence overcame me. Something was telling me to skip the trip to Saginaw and head to Detroit to visit my family.
This lasted for 15 minutes. But I was returning home the following weekend. I turned north toward Saginaw.
Three days later my grandmother died of a stroke after grocery shopping for my return home. I did not get to hug her one last time.
It still haunts me today.
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