As the world grieves a legend, an incredible father, a husband, a daughter with so much life to live, I can’t help but think about the legacy Kobe Bryant left.  A legacy that changed the game of basketball, created a beautiful life for his family and influenced thousands of people on and off the court.  We’re a country divided on so many things on so many levels, but in this horrific event, we’re united on the fact that we all felt this.

 As difficult as this tragedy is, it’s been amazing to read different people’s stories of his inspiration and love of the game.  How his pure talent on the court made people passionate about basketball.  I love reading as different NBA players reminisce about receiving a pair of shoes from Kobe himself which ultimately changed the trajectory of their lives, inspiring them to pursue the NBA with the confidence that this dream was attainable.  Kobe did these small acts with a love that changed a person’s whole world.  We all know that Kobe was not without fault, as all of us are, but his impact… that was extraordinary. 

Thinking about the Bryant family and the other victims of the helicopter crash brought conviction to my own life.  If I died today, what would those around me say? What would they think of me?  Would the people I love know how deeply I loved them?  Would my life have had meaning?  Did I live out my calling and my passions?  The term legacy has a few different meanings, most of them having to do with handing things down from one person to the next.  It matters what those “things” are.  It matters if you took the time to make your imprint on this earth.  What “things” are you passing down?

We’re all called to do something, be someone of importance and leave a legacy.  Although most of us will never have the opportunity to influence the amount of people that Kobe did, we can take the small opportunities we do have to make a difference.  We can do small acts with love.  We can pursue our passions with a little more urgency.  We can truly value our time and eliminate what doesn’t matter.  We can leave a legacy that we’re proud of. 

 A good friend once told me, “sometimes we allow the assumption in our lives to speak for us.  “Well, this person should already know I love them.  I don’t always have to say it.”  B.S. Flowers seem to be the frequent choice of appreciation for the deceased during a funeral, when those same flowers would much better serve their purpose while that person could still smell them.” Give those flowers. 

To the Bryant family, the Altobelli family, the Mauser family, the Zobayan family and the Chester family, may your loved onesrest in peace and may you find comfort and love in your heartbreak and pain. We are all here for you.

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