Sometimes politics gives me a headache, and I just have to take a break.
Sound’s weird for a newspaper person, doesn’t it? But, that’s how its been for me this past week.
Oh, believe me, I have a lot of opinions about the hot-button issues of the day. But, my typical passion and enthusiasm has been tempered by a tragedy that occurred in my former town of Pittsburg last week.
Tragedies happen all the time. And, we all lose loved ones or friends. It’s the cycle of life. Still, when it happens to someone so young and so quickly and unexplainably, it makes you stop and take an audit of the things that are really important in life.
Sure, the politics of the day will affect all of us. Decisions that are made at the local, state and federal level impact us all. But, its the people who touch us personally, on a deeper level, that affect us the most and impact us the greatest.
Last week, a young man from Pittsburg, Dylan Meier, died suddenly while on a hiking trip with his family. He slipped off a rock. It wasn’t a dangerous place. It was a place of scenic beauty. And, no one was worried about any danger. But, in an instant, a 26-year-old former Kansas State quarterback was gone.
Not only was that a tragedy, but his younger brother, Kerry, had just completed his eligibility as an outstanding Kansas football player and was awaiting the NFL draft. The family was vacationing together before Dylan was to go to Korea to teach English and before Kerry was to go to “wherever” to begin his professional football career.
The Meier family is well-known in Pittsburg, and they are a strong family. Even after such a devastating tragedy, Kerry still had to endure the NFL draft, and he went in the fifth round to the Atlanta Falcons.
In his interviews with the press last week, Kerry told about how his brother would have been proud of him, and his selection in the draft was every bit as much a victory for Dylan as it was for Kerry.
What do you say or do after a family has endured such a week of immense tragedy and bittersweet victory?
The Meiers held services for Dylan on Monday with a crowd of 1,000 in attendance, including K-State football coach Bill Snyder.
The Meiers have been on my mind this entire week, as I’m sure they’ve been on the minds of countless others who are friends or even knew about this tragedy. As many distractions as there are, I just can’t stop thinking about what they are going through.
Its interesting that in our own little personal worlds, death often teaches us to live, to appreciate and to serve. It brings into reality the boundary of physical being-ness and the reality that we have limited time to make a positive difference in our world.
Right now, that's a lesson I wish to ponder.
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