Yesterday afternoon (10/11/06) I turned on CNN and was shocked to learn about the plane crash in NY City that killed Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle. I was about to head out the door to the Oakland Coliseum to watch Game 2 of the American League Championship Series between the Oakland A’s and the Detroit Tigers with my wife and daughter. I was stunned and really impacted by this tragic news. While I did not know Cory and we never played together, I felt as if I had lost someone I knew. We are about the same age, he played with many former teammates of mine, and I watched him pitch in Oakland dozens of times. I couldn’t stop thinking about his family – he left behind a wife who he’d been with since high school and a six year old son.
In light of hearing about his death, my concerns about whether or not the A’s were going to win Game 2 of the ALCS didn’t seem like that big of a deal. My self-consciousness about attending my college reunion this coming weekend didn’t seem to bother me too much. And, the many, many things on my to-do list that I’d been pretty stressed out about earlier in the day seemed meaningless.
I’m always amazed at how easily I forget to keep things in perspective. A tragic loss like this is an important reminder for all of us about the unpredictability of life and how precious each moment truly is. Cory Lidle had so many things going for him – a 9 year Major League career, a lot of money, a family he loved, and a handful of productive years in the Big Leagues still ahead of him. And, just like that, he’s gone.
Today, take the opportunity to reach out to someone you love and let them know. Take a moment to stop, reflect, and remember who you really are and what is really important to you. If we lived our lives each day a little more aware of our own inevitable death, we would all do and say things in a much different, more authentic, and more conscious way. My prayers and blessings go out to Cory Lidle’s family…and to each of us on the planet in this incredible moment. My prayer is that we all remember how important each moment is and continue to practice appreciation and gratitude all the time.