Empathy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few days you know that Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter passed away, along with 7 other people in a horrific helicopter crash.

I am not going to sit here and tell you I was a huge fan of his, I was not, not because I didn’t like him, but because I don’t watch sports. But like I said, you would have to be living under a rock to not know who he was.

When I heard the news I was shocked, and then saddened, because I imagined his wife and three other daughters hearing the news. I imagined the other families learning their loved ones would not be coming home.

I read the news articles and then the comments, comments never fail to shock me. Someone wondered how can people be sad at the passing of someone they have never met.

I’m going to tell you, there have been a couple of times I was deeply saddened by the passing of someone famous that I had never met.

The first was President Ronald Reagan, when he passed away I very literally sat on my floor and sobbed like a baby. He was my first President and I loved him, I also felt keenly for his widow, watching Nancy walk up to his casket and lovingly touch it and not wanting to leave him. Well it was like watching my mother at my fathers funeral.

He also had Alzheimers, my dear mother had that horrible disease, I felt for Nancy Reagan, I know what she had gone through the last few years of her beloved Ronnie’s life.

The second was Kidd Kraddick, he was a local radio host here in North Texas. I had been inviting him and the morning crew of 106.1 Kiss FM into my home and car since the early 90’s. He was a fixture in the mornings, I loved his 8:30 rule. The 8:30 rule, for those not familiar, is simply put, they would not say or do anything on the air until after the kids were in school. This way parents would not have to explain anything they weren’t ready to their children.

His passing was so unexpected, I sobbed hard, ugly sobbing, upon hearing the news. A friend I worked with at the time, Pam, also listened to him. She asked if I wanted to go the memorial. It was in downtown Dallas. We took the train after work and celebrated, mourned and took comfort in being around so many people who had loved him the way we did.

I felt empathy for his daughter, she would never have her dad walk her down the aisle or be there for any grandchildren she might one day have. It saddened me that she had lost her father, way too soon.

So that is why we are sad when someone famous passes away, we feel empathy for the ones left behind. We feel sad that we won’t hear their voices on the radio, see them on television or on the big screen anymore.

It is an odd thing when someone dies that you don’t personally know but you feel the loss.

It is not crazy, stupid or inane, it is human nature to feel the loss that others feel. Even complete strangers.

My heart breaks for Vanessa and their three daughters left behind, my heart breaks for the family that lost a mother, father and sister. My heart breaks for the pilots family, for the coach’s family, for the team missing their teammates today.

Loss is real, even when one doesn’t know the other humans involved. We can feel all of those things and that is what makes us human.

To those of you who didn’t know any of the people on that helicopter but still mourn, I understand.

Saying Goodbye

Nancy Reagan will be laid to rest today next to her beloved husband President Ronald Reagan. Hearing of her passing hit me hard, I loved Ronald Reagan, that is no secret, I think he was a great American, an excellent president (although who wouldn’t have shined after the disaster that was Jimmy Carter) and together they were an amazing example of romantic love.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan reminded me of my parents in so many ways, they were happiest when they were together. They made each other laugh, they protected each other and they were perfectly happy alone.

When President Reagan died I watched his funeral and sat on the floor and bawled (no, not cried, yes, bawled) like a big fat baby. I was a blubbering mess, what pushed me over the edge was watching Nancy Reagan at his casket not wanting to leave him. She was genuinely bereft and the pain in her eyes was palpable.

I saw the same look in my mothers’ eyes 11 years before, when my dad passed away. The same pain, the same intense longing to go where he was.

My heart broke into a thousand pieces for her, not only for that moment but for the years leading to his death.

Alzheimer’s is not an easy disease to live with and I believe it is even harder on the caregivers. You have to watch your loved one sink slowly into an abyss where you cannot follow. She lost him a lot sooner than his physical body gave out, she never lost his soul.

When my mother was lucid she would tell me she wanted to go home and be with her daddio (her nickname for my dad). I knew what she meant, she wanted to go to heaven, home is our word for heaven. We don’t speak of death we speak of going home.

Nancy Reagan is finally home, with her beloved Ronald, what a great day it is for her. What a sad day for us, we have lost an icon of a generation that loved with their whole heart, that believed in the greatness of America and believed we truly are the greatest place in the entire world.

We lost someone that showed us what true love really looks like, although I had that example in my home, others were not so lucky. The Reagans showed us by example what loyalty looks like.

I am sad today with the laying of rest to a great woman, a great American and an excellent example of class, loyalty and perseverance.

 

Goals and Reality

I meant to wake up much earlier, however, last night I took two Tylenol pm’s and slept for 12 hours. I have to stop doing that, I don’t like sleeping more than 8 hours, I feel like I am sleeping my life away when that happens.
I have a lot of errands to run, then it is off to Oklahoma, if I decide to go today, I still am undecided, I guess I will know when I get in the car and start driving north. Being in Oklahoma has a way of renewing my soul. Right now I am sitting here, enjoying my coffee, the television is on with an old episode of the Dick Van Dyke show playing. It is a great start to what I know is going to be a great day.
Had a terrific conversation yesterday with a friend regarding goals, listening to God and what to do to achieve the goals that He has in mind for you. I know what I want to do with my life, I think I have always known. I have taken paths that will only enrich what I want to do, what I know I am meant to do with my life. It is my passion, it is my soul, I have been doing it forever on a private basis. In the recent years you all have been the recipient of my passion.
Yes, it is writing, not only writing but writing about my opinions, whether people want to hear them or not, or I guess I should say read them. If you don’t agree with what I have to say, then you have the option to not read.
I have very controversial opinions rattling around in my head, I wold love to write about them, however feel that some people would become incredibly upset. The older I get the more I seriously don’t care if people get upset with my opinions.
Ronald Reagan, I loved him, he stood for things, that today, people are apathetic toward, he stood for pride in America. He stood for defending our country and he loved his wife Nancy above anyone and anything on earth.
I am passionate about history, the history of this country to be exact, I am passionate about knowing what was in the heads and hearts of our ancestors as they fought for freedom. I wonder what they would have thought about the way the country has turned out so far. I am fascinated by Thomas Paine, it was his words that galvanized a rebellion. I would love nothing more than to spend time researching him, going to the LIbrary of Congress to find all of his works, perhaps even a diary or two, to really get into his thought process.
I have so much I want to say and feel I have so little time to say it, well, must stop saying it for now as I do have to start my day, run my errands, pack my bag and run away from home!