Carpe Diem

This week I had intended to write a post about the upcoming HS football game in our area. You see, my alma mater, Peach County High, will be playing against my kid’s school, Houston County High, in one of the local match ups. I intended it to be a somewhat humorous look at the conflict parents face when their kids attend different schools and force a change of school allegiance.

But I cannot write that post. For today, my heart is heavy. Over the weekend, four young men from Peach County were in a terrible traffic accident. As I understand it, they were on the football team. One was killed. One is in very bad shape. The other two should make a full recovery. I don’t know these young men. I wouldn’t have recognized them if I passed them on the street. We never met.

In our area, high school football is not just an entertaining pass time. It’s very much a religion. Even people who aren’t ‘sports people’ keep up with the latest news from the high school grid iron. At most games in the area, you won’t find an empty seat in the house. I’ve been to more than one game where I had to stand the entire time because there simply were no seats to be had. And I loved every minute of it.

Friday’s game between HoCo and PCHS will be that kind of a game. The stands will be packed. The crowd will be enormous.

In a very real sense, those boys on the field are all our kids. We cheer for them. We encourage them. We celebrate their victories and we suffer with their defeats. We all hold our breath when someone is hurt on the field. And we breathe a sigh of relief when the injuries are minor. Friday night I suspect more than one tear will be shed for a young man’s life that was lost too soon. And the tears will come from both sides of the stands.

I mourn for the loss of this young man’s life. I mourn for the hopes and dreams that will never be realized. I pray that the family will find some comfort in the weeks and months to come.

Life is precious. It’s a gift. Each day we have on earth is an opportunity to spread hope and happiness. If we can learn anything from this tragedy, it’s this, we never know what the future will hold or whether we’ll live to see another day. Live each day to the fullest.

Hug your kids. Hug your parents. Love those around you. Today may be your last chance.

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