He will never know it, and I hate to say his passing triggered the actions I took to write this, but it is the truth.
I spent the better part of Sunday, January 4 with my wife in complete admiration of a man I never met and only knew through watching him host “The Big Show” on television. To say I was a SportsCenter junkie growing up would be like saying Michael Jordan was a little competitive. I bet I didn’t miss a night or morning of SportsCenter for 10 years growing up. Because of this feeling of attachment, I was emotional. Emotional for his daughters, for his battle, and for his spirit to live on.
If you watched 10 minutes of ESPN’s wonderful coverage surrounding Stuart’s life and fight with cancer, you learned a couple key things. First off, people loved him. They really, really, loved him because he did him so damn well. He owned who he was and wasn’t afraid to wear it every day. That isn’t the immediate focus of this post, but it is certainly one we can all learn from.
You be you.
I watched a segment this morning (January 5) on the Dan Patrick Show where SVP (Scott Van Pelt) and Dan were reflecting on the life and career of their dear friend. Each spoke in immense admiration of Stuart and maybe even shared a laugh at Stu’s expense. The point was, they were saying things they’d known for a very long time, but they felt obligated (my words not theirs) to say them now because that’s what you do when people pass on. You remember and you reflect. It didn’t change their feelings of Stuart for the last 10 years, but now because he’s gone, it all comes pouring out.
What happened next was one of the most fulfilling things I’d done in a long time.
I grabbed my laptop and decided I was going to let my nearest and dearest friends know how I really felt about them. These people are extraordinary and they needed to know it today. I won’t disclose the words said or the people who it was addressed to. Those things are for me and my comrades. But I can promise you one thing…
I hope it made them feel as great as it made me feel to write it.
I’m not sure how often I’m going to do this at this scale, but I’m going to make a very concerted effort to ensure people understand how much I care about them and what they mean to me and our family (my wife and son). We’ve all seen how life can change in an instant. Although we all hope and pray it never happens, it inevitably does. Life changes, and we’re left in the wake of something forever missing. Words left unsaid feel like a burden because they never meet the flesh of the person they were meant for.
ACTION ITEM: Please don’t wait. Write something today. It doesn’t have to be a lot, you just have to mean it.
“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live”
~ Rest in peace Stu. Booyah!