I think a lot of people are deep in thought today. And the link between story and connection couldn’t be any clearer to me. This post is my call not to despair, but to rejoice in this moment. It does have a happy ending.
The tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna yesterday causes us all to pause. To look around us and value who we have in our lives just a little more. Many of us did not know him personally, but were impacted through his skill and talent. I particularly consider his grieving widow, who faces the loss of both her husband and child all in one stroke of time.
But I woke up to another story much closer to home.
A text from one of my best friends saying that someone had been murdered at a Walmart in Texas. The same Walmart she and another friend were in. The store was in lockdown.
For one awful moment, panic rushed through me. Seeing the time signature, I realized that it had happened last night; coupled with a text telling me she is safe.
Considering who I could have lost, I feel sick. And while the homicide is believed to be a matter of domestic violence (having shot his sole, female victim 7 times), I am grateful he did not continue to find targets.
You see, stories impact us because of our connection to them.
My friend’s story is a happy-ending. She is safe, unharmed. And I know she must be sick of me telling her how happy I am that she’s okay. But I am grateful all the same.
The closer our ties, the greater the impact. And while Bryant’s death was tragic, the thought of losing one of my closest friends is infinitely more important to me.
“We are the/ delicate dances/ of story and connection.”
That is a line from a poem in my book, Frankenstein & the Phoenix. And I can’t help but think of it in light of all of this. What we have between each other in relationships is fragile yet lifegiving. And for better or worse, our empathy is heavily influenced by the ability to connect ourselves to that other person.
So take time this week to be grateful for what love you have. Celebrate the story of your life and how it connects to others. Because the things we do together create the overall tapestry of our world. Your existence matters, and I hope you feel cherished by those around you. I’m so glad we get to share a story together.
In Courage & Care,