February 1, 2020

Hey y’all,

            I hope everyone has had another productive positive week.  I can’t believe January is already over.  It felt like just yesterday, we were all celebrating the New Year.  As many of you know, the world suffered a major loss last Sunday.  Professional basketball player and worldwide icon Kobe Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash, along with his daughter Gigi and 7 other lives were tragically lost that day.  There are moments throughout history that cause the Earth to stand still, this was in fact one of those moments.  As an athlete, I had the pleasure of growing up watching Kobe Bryant play, and people like him do not come around often.  It is sad that it takes tragedies like this for us to realize that life is so beyond precious and at any moment it can be taken away in the blink of an eye.  Today, I want to talk to you about cherishing every single moment we have with the people in our lives because one day those moments will just become a memory.

            Let me ask you, how many times can you think of when you are with your family or friends or out to dinner and you are on your phone or just simply not paying attention?  At times throughout life we get so wrapped up in our own business that we tend to forget the other people in our lives.  We miss out on opportunities to see our family or spend time with our friends because we are “busy”.   However, I can promise you all that we are never too busy for family and friends.  I will be the first to admit that in the past I have made the choice to not see friends or family because of personal or selfish reasons.  We have all done it.  The first time I came to this realization was when my brother left for college when he was 18.  I spent so long just taking his presence for granted that when he ultimately left, I was a mess.  Anyone who has siblings know that they are your permanent best friend for life, no matter what.  It was at that point that I realized nothing lasts forever.  I made it a point to talk to Matt, visit when I could and just be there.  I also started traditions with each of my parents.  Every Saturday my dad and I would play golf and every Sunday my mom and I would go to the gym then off to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  No phones, just us.  While those moments are very small in the grand scheme of things, they are everything to me.

            As I got older, I began to realize why my parents came to every school play, sporting event, tournament and piano recital Matt and I participated in, because they didn’t want to miss even the smallest moments of our lives. They saw every moment as something exciting and a time to cherish.  My parents were the people who helped me realize every, moment no matter how big or small, they all meant the same.  As I get older and move through my life to pursue my dreams and goals, I hold on to those moments, the big ones, the small ones and everything in between.

            I challenge all of you, next time you are having a family dinner or out with friends, put the phone away, be present and just appreciate the time you are spending with them.  Lastly, I will leave you with this, hug your parents, tell your family you love them, take time out of your day to reach out to an old friend, let the people in your life know you are there.  Cherish every single moment you have because when these moments turn into memories, we will wish they hadn’t.

“Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Deeply”