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The Kobe Irony

The Kobe Irony
February 01
18:33 2020

The Kobe Irony

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

I get what people in Belize are feeling about Kobe. I really do. I get all the Facebook posts and the tears and even the real grief. What must be particularly grief-evoking is the way it went down. You know, it’s not like instant death – here one second and gone the next. There was a frame of time in that helicopter when they knew they were in real trouble and would likely die. I wondered what all those people were thinking. As a father, I hoped that Kobe and his daughter managed to find and hold on to each other in those last moments. As bizarre as this may seem, I hoped that they found some comfort in being together. I feel the same measure of sadness when thinking about the other victims. It’s a tragedy – no two ways about it. We see it every day in international news. We see it every day on local news. The world has become this strange, deadly place. And Belize…well Belize is a place I don’t even recognize sometimes.

I wasn’t surprised to see Facebook blows thrown over Kobe. A bunch of people were inconsolable after the news broke. A bunch couldn’t care less because Kobe don’t put food on the table. A bunch, like me, feels the sadness we’d feel at the death of anybody in such circumstances – whether it’s Kobe from LA or Kobe from Gungulung. I mean, it’s just a sad thing. Yes, death is a part of the cycle of life. Yes, death will come to us all. But that doesn’t mean we have to be frigging happy about it. Anyway, as usual, we’re fighting over something this week in our little jewel. Those who didn’t weep and moan at the Kobe news are being attacked by the weepers and moaners, and the cold and callous and heartless are hitting back. Me…I took a seat. I made one stupid comment on a post Sunday evening, to the effect that there are bigger things closer to home we should be so passionate about. But when I saw the war starting, I took a damned seat in a hurry. Hope nobody noticed my comment.

To me, the whole post-Kobe/Gigi thing (cause there’s been little mention of the other seven persons that died) has been ironic. Since I’m a pretty decent writer, I was going to try and put it into words, but that damned Lebron James had to beat me at that too. In a post, he said something like this.

“The truth is, basketball doesn’t really matter. This is just a game we love, that we grew up with, that we developed a passion for, but in the grand scheme of LIFE, this game does not matter. Vanessa Bryant will never be able to hug her husband again. She will never be able to kiss her daughter Gigi on the forehead again. Basketball is just a game. Hug your loved ones tonight, and never forget what really matters in life.” Wow. That’s it right there.

If Lebron had called me, like he does sometimes to get advice before big games, I would have told him the exact same thing. The irony is – a lot of us (and I’m sticking local here) just don’t get it.

For me, this isn’t about Kobe, or even about his daughter, the duo pictured many times in what seemed to be an exceptional relationship. This is about me. This is about my relationship with my daughters, with all my children and by extension, with my loved ones. Am I spending quality time with them? Am I taking advantage of every available minute to let them know they are loved? Am I being a good father? Am I being a good example to my children? Am I living a good life?

The truth is that we love to use those quaint little phrases like ‘time is promised to no man.’ But we never really expect to die. It’s a concept we can’t really grasp. Me, I want to die like Bruce Willis in Armageddon, saving the world. I don’t want to die like Jack in Titanic, betrayed by a woman who wanted all the space for herself. But I may die in the next minute, as I write this, victim of a stroke or heart attack brought on by a lifetime of neglect. Maybe I’m getting too maudlin.

You see all that time you’re wasting on Facebook fighting over who loves or doesn’t love Kobe, over who is stupid for grieving over people they never met and who is cold and callous and inhumane and unfeeling…go hug your child. Go take your children to the park. Go find your significant other and bury your face in her neck and tell her you love her (sorry got carried away in my own moment there). But you understand right?

Life is short. Spend it living. In everything, good or bad, there is a lesson. So learn something from Kobe’s life and death. Just saying.

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