Monday, January 27, 2020

numb

that's how i'm feeling.  just numb.

the old lady and i were at disneyland yesterday, just the two of us since the bean had opted to stay home with a visiting MIL.  we were walking around one of the shops, just doing our thing when i felt my phone buzz with a text.  it was the hub, sharing a link that made me want to immediately throw my phone across the room.

"kobe bryant dead, dies in helicopter crash," it said.  the source?  TMZ.

no.  my first reaction was just...NO.  it had to be wrong, right?  that wasn't possible.  it couldn't be.

and yet it was.

and so we left.  granted, we were already making our way towards the exit anyway for a few different reasons, but this news pretty much sealed the deal.  i blinked back tears all the way home, while the old lady sat next to me keeping an eye on her phone for further updates.  she waited until i pulled into the garage and shut the ignition off before looking at me with her own tear-filled eyes and sharing the news that kobe's 13-year-old daughter gianna had been onboard the helicopter with her dad.  along with what turned out to be 7 other people, they had been on their way to kobe's mamba academy.  kobe was coaching gianna's team in a game that afternoon, and we're learning that she had two teammates also on board.  they had parents with them, as well as a basketball coach from gianna's school, and the pilot.

so many lives lost.  so many families changed forever.  and a world of fans who are grieving hard after the loss of this man we'd watched grow from a teenaged laker recruit into a husband, father, mentor, humanitarian, inspiration, and so many other things.

and yes.  i am fully aware that kobe was guilty of a lot of terrible things.  we all know of his transgressions, the things he did that affected others in negative ways.  everything was widely reported and he was most definitely not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination.  but by all accounts, he was doing the best he could to be the best person he could be.  he was known as a wonderful father who adored his children, and he and his wife vanessa welcomed their fourth daughter just this past summer.

along with the loss of kobe and gianna, i grieve for the family he left behind.  i can't even imagine what vanessa is going through right now, with the loss of her husband and one of her beautiful babies.   the girls will have to move on with their lives without their sister and their dad.  it's just so overwhelmingly heartbreaking.

i'm probably not really using the right words to express what i'm feeling.  i guess it sounds silly to be this emotional about a celebrity, someone i never actually got the chance to meet, who people either loved or hated with not many in between.  but kobe was an l.a. icon for 20 years, someone so many of us practically thought of as a family member.  hell, one of my cousins started a new group text yesterday so that we could all share our grief over the tragedy we were all still trying to grasp.

los angeles will never be the same.  it changed when he arrived, and again when he retired from the lakers, and now again with his death.  i pray for all of the families who lost a loved one on that flight, and hope that they feel the love from so many of us who are thinking of them right now.

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