Where were you when you heard about the sudden death of famed, retired basketball star Kobe Bryant? I was driving with my daughter on the way to Disneyland. It was a foggy morning and we were just talking about how weird the sky looked. I was recounting how I had to use navigation the night before to help guide me through the streets because I couldn’t see. As we sat talking, an alert came up on my phone and I read it. My heart fell. It was just too horrific and the pain that overwhelmed me was unfortunately all too familiar—a sickening feeling and a pain so deep it hurts. It’s the end of an era I thought. I remembered those days in the late 1990’s when I was a young mom and my little boy would talk non-stop, like a little chatterbox, about Kobe Bryant and basket ball. It was all about Kobe, and Shaquille O’Neal, and Scottie Pippen. He had his little basketball sports figurines we would buy. I think one summer I bought him one every day at the mall. Kobe was one of his favorites.
My little boy played basketball with his buddies and sometimes his dad would scalp Lakers tickets and they would sit near the greats. Kobe Bryant was one of those even as young as he was. He epitomized youth and swag, all the things a young boy looked up to.
Kobe’s death brought back all the sadness of our last year. The last year has been the end of many things for my family and I. It’s the end of an era when basketball was bigger than life in our house.The end of an era with my beautiful mother passing January 1, 2019. The end of security and knowing that someone will love you in that way only mothers can. The end of another era when the family dog, who was 17, died just 3 days after Christmas. There were years of memories with that little dog; she was an icon. Now it’s Kobe. He was in everybody’s childhood; he was a boy’s dream; he was the American dream, bigger than life, a legend, a father to his daughters and a husband to his wife. Father and daughter, now angels in heaven along with Lulu, my dog, and my beautiful mother. Rest in peace Kobe, Gianna, and the others who lost their lives that day.