Good morning! Hope you, yes you, that is reading this find joy, and peace today. There were so many things that happened yesterday. Hubby and I went out on our usual Sunday slow-ride through the Coachella Valley just before the news hit. We were heading out to Whitewater Nature Preserve but had to stop back at home to get hubby’s phone. When we got back home, we decided to wait an hour before going back out. So, I grabbed my camera bag and phone and headed inside. My cell phone was dying and I was hooking it up to a charger when I noticed the text message, it was from my sister in Washington. The text read, “Did you hear about Kobe?” and then she also messaged about our upcoming trip to Vegas. It took a minute to go to Google and find out that Kobe Bryant had perished along with his daughter and several other passengers in that crash. I am a huge basketball fan as my Dad was a huge fan of the Lakers. Me, the contrarian in the family, loved the Boston Celtics, They will always be my first basketball love. Don’t get me started about Larry Bird and the epic court battles in the early eighties between the Celtic and the Lakers. This was way before I fell head over heals for the Clippers back in the early 90’s when they moved from San Diego to the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Anyhow, I was never a fan of Kobe. After all, I had been at many games that he played against the Clippers and there was no denying that he was truly talented and special. There was one special game that Hubby and I had attended together in 2001. That Christmas I had bought tickets to game that was on January 7, 2001 at the Staples Center. Why do I remember this game. Well, the Clippers beat the Lakers that night but the thing that I remember was that I thought I had gotten my money’s worth as Kobe and Shaq played almost the entire game. Kobe with 42 minutes and Shaq with 38 minutes in their effort. It was exciting. We had tickets in PR10 and I remember the usher excitedly clapping when ever the Clippers made baskets or blocked shots. The Clippers had Lamar Odom with 29 points that night, Kobe had 27 respectively. As a Clipper fan, any victory was a good one, but beating the Lakers during the Kobe-Shaq era was super sweet. To basketball fans, you really either hated him or loved him. I was not on the good side of the fence as their were tabloid stories about issues in his personal life that I couldn’t overlook, not at that time. Yes he was a monster, and not a bad one – He was basketball monster. Like I said, I got to witness him many times in Staples Center playing against the Clippers. He was always, swift, deft and lethal, like the Black Mamba that he was so efficiently nicknamed. There will always be stories about his work ethic and ability to push through pain. There will be good stories and there will be bad. However, I just spent the last day reading and watching about him and all the wonderful things that he had been promoting and doing. He effected so many. My heart goes out to his wife and children as I could never imagine that pain she is going through. To any one reading, I know I am not a fan of those motivational quotes you see posted on line from time to time but seriously if you are going to choose one as your mantra may it be the one that reminds you to live every moment and have no regrets. The truth is we all are going to die. Some of us sooner than others. Some will have time to prepare for their upcoming demise but most won’t, it will be a complete surprise to everyone in your life. So, do wake-up knowing that this could be the last sunrise, the last drink of coffee, the last time you wake-up next to your beloved. Have the doughnut! Fart, the smell goes away! Laugh loud till your belly hurts. Dream big. Love bigger! Be angry! Fight for what you believe in. Do those things that you can and not worry about the things you can’t. You see, recently, I was sad because there were not memories that hubby and I had during that year that we had dated. There was no social media and camera phones were a few years away so we have no photos from that time. When I realized that that ticket stub was the best photograph of our beginning and hubby had held on to it for all these years. He does keep all his ticket stubs but he knew exactly which stub was the one that he had received at that game. Sometimes, you really do need to see the bigger picture because it is there.
A few months after that game, hubby and I had parted ways. Somehow, I always equated Kobe and the whole Laker organization to him when watching Clipper-Laker games after that and until hubby and I started getting re-acquainted. It really wasn’t Kobe’s fault that I despised him, it was my own fucked up thinking and the fucked up feelings that I had attached to them. I wanted to blame everything about why things were going wrong in my life. Really, it was me that was too scared to introduce hubby to my kids and I was too scared to ask to meet his children, so back then, we treaded lightly around each other, till we didn’t. That was probably the last time I stayed quiet in any relationship. The paths that we walked during that time were different and somehow we met again, at a cross-roads in both of our lives. Back then, I would quietly hide my true feelings and now I don’t and have been so much better for it. I tell him how I feel as soon as I feel it and today if something is not right we do something about it. We talk, yell, scream, but mostly, we laugh. We are both assholes and no matter how I want to make him the bad guy, he isn’t. Even though, I wish he would get on the Clipper wagon, I know, just dreams cause I hear once you are a Laker fan, it’s for-E-V-E-R. So, yesterday I was sad. Sad for hubby and for all the Laker fans and families that were effected by this tragedy, I wish I could hug you all.
Well, to you dear reader, hope you smile today and where ever you are going, get there safely on this last Monday in January 2020.