||06-10-2012 07:20 AM
It's late and this got to me a bit so…
This is a horrible, horrible tragedy. Ed Christian was 20. Ladarious Phillips was 20. Eric Mack was 20. Twenty.
I don't even care that these guys were football players, heck, it probably makes me look bad because it took football players dying for me to notice but hell… They were kids. They were only one year older than me.
I don't know these guys or have any connection to them at all. Although I'm sure they were upstanding citizens, for all I know they could've been big, football player douche bags who burn out after their football careers end. Hell, they're all pretty big dudes and supposedly this all stemmed from a fight so maybe they had a hand in this as well because they scared some thug with a gun.
But they were twenty. In college. Who knows what they could've went on to do, nobody will ever know. They're just… gone. Their lives could've went in any number of directions but now nobody will ever know. They can't shape their own lives anymore, now their lives are going to be shaped and crafted by people's memories and impressions of them. Think of all the things they never got to do or experience. Just imagine the pain their families feel. They put in years of work, hard-ass work, into shaping their kids as human beings, into preparing them for the world and loving them and it was all for not because now they're just gone. Now those families never get to see their kids fully grow up and in time they'll forget what they looked like, sounded like and acted like save for some pictures, recordings etc.
And that's the worst part to me, you'll never get to hear their voices again. One minute they're a living, breathing, conscious being who is living and potentially on their way to better things and now they'll never speak another word. Would they have ever said anything of value? Who knows but now they'll never get the chance. And could you imagine dying today and never being able to say another word? Just pause for a second and think of the things you never said, the things you never did, the things you're on your way to doing, the things you haven't had the chance to do yet and the things you need to do. All of it, lost for all of eternity because someone decided to pop off their gun. You'll never hear their voice again. I never thought about it before but it wrenched my heart when I did, what if I never heard my Mom's voice again? What if I never heard my sisters' voices again?
It just blows my mind that one moment they're alive, capable of doing just about whatever they please and then in an instant, they're gone. And unfortunately, the best way I can describe it is with a sports connection. I remember an ESPN piece a few years back and it was all about the appeal of watching something live. And I think we all agree that watching a sports game or watching something happen live is much more preferable than watching something that is already pre-determined or recorded. And the reason was that the beauty in watching something live, as it was happening, was that you never knew what was going to happen next, it could go in any direction. And that's the thing I keep connecting this story with, that in one instant they're "live", capable of going in any direction, nobody knows which, and then suddenly they're not and their lives are over, no more decisions, experiences, emotions or sights. No more anything, they're just gone, never to be seen or heard from again. Tragic.
Kids, on the upswing, full of potential, with their whole lives ahead of them and they could've gone in any direction but now they can't, it's just over.