A life cut short

Yesterday morning I woke to the horrific story of the father who fell to his death trying to grab a foul ball for his son at a Texas Rangers baseball game. I tuned into ESPN radio later in the day and heard more details. He was a fireman. He drove three hours to take his son to the game. His son’s favorite player was Josh Hamilton. They sat in the section behind where Josh played to get a better view of him. And he was the player who tossed the foul ball into the stands.

The commentators on the radio were crushed, not just because of the tragedy, but also because it reminded them of the days when their fathers took them to baseball games. A perfect day that went horribly wrong.

And there’s no one to blame. Not the player tossing the ball into the stands; balls end up in the stands every day, whether they’re tossed or hit. Not the stadium for not providing a safe environment for the fans. Not the father, trying to snag the ball for his son; he didn’t perform a stupid stunt to get the ball, merely reached for it – and slipped. In the end, it was an accident. A very sad, tragic, horrific, accident.

Anyway, it was an awful start to the day. There’s no one to arrest, no one to prosecute, no justice to be served, no wrong to be righted. No one to get angry at. A wife lost her husband. A son lost his father. I heard a player say something about “it’s just a game.” And he’s right – it’s entertainment. The worst thing that should happen is your team losing. Not someone dying.

So make sure the people you love know it. Hug them extra hard today. You never know which breath will be your last. And spare a thought, or prayer, for that family. Your worries today probably don’t match theirs, and I’m sure they can use all the loving thoughts they can get.

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