30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Monday, November 3, 2014

We All Fall Down Sometimes

Two issues in the news the last couple of weeks shows how people handle similar situations, differently. I am not placing right or wrong on either situation, but trying to contrast the actions in similar situations.

Lauren Hill is a young woman who is playing basketball at Mt. St. Joseph's University. In high school, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, one of those really bad ones, the kind that has "fingers" that grasps onto the brain and there is next to nothing that you can do for it. She had a desire to play college basketball, and yesterday with the help of Xavier University and the NCAA, she was allowed to play and scored a couple of points. The season started early for her team because they just don't know when she will die. It could be today, it could be in a few weeks, but she has fought and fought and fought to get to this point. At the end of the game yesterday, she fell down, and what do you think she did? She got back up again, with a smile and as the horn went off she hugged her teammates and called it the best day of her life. If you watched, I am sure you shed tears as I did.

Then you have Brittany Maynard. She was a 29 year old woman with terminal brain cancer. "Was" because she chose to move to Oregon where it is legal for assisted suicide. She had a bucket list that she did with her husband such as going to the Grand Canyon and then chose to end her life before the complications of her disease became unbearable for those around her to see. She was having more prolonged seizures and pain from the violence of them. Brittany didn't have a basketball game televised nor has much of her bucket list been "celebrated", but I am sure she also had some best days of her life before choosing to end her life.

Two very similar ways to live their lives, but two very different ways in which their lives will come to an end. I do not think what Brittany Maynard did was right, but (before you start to destroy me) I do understand why she did what she did. Who wants to put your loved ones through the horrendous decline to death? I have seen family members deal with this and as horrible as it is that someone dies, to watch them lose that spark that made them, well, them; I believe it may be more horrible to watch that spark shine a little less bright on those who are still around losing their loved one.

Watching Lauren's first college game and the emotions and the celebration of her life and the fight she has shown to get to this point, I don't think I would want her to leave, I don't think I could watch her end her life. At the end of the game, she walked over and hugged her family, and as a father, I just don't think I could let go. I just don't know if I could let go of my little girl knowing that each ticking second she's alive very well could be the last. I get emotional just relating it to my own daughter, and yet, I just do not know how I would handle it. Ultimately, it would be my daughter's decision, it is her life, but how could I let her go?

So what am I trying to say here? I don't know. Life is full of these types of situations where we have to make a call and that call is something that we have to live or die with. It isn't a game where the calls we make may win or lose a game, but decides how we will live the rest of our lives and how that decision will effect others.