Like most people – baseball fan or not – the Jose Fernandez tragedy is a punch to the gut. But he was too young…But he was too full of life…But he had too much to give… But he was going to be a father…and on and on go the “but” he was, you can fill in the blank.
There are simply no words, only feelings, when we see a young person, especially one that survived his circumstances, succeed and then have his life end in such a tragedy.
Yet, in everything that you read about Jose’s short life, gratitude seemed to be a common denominator.
Even though very young, this seemed to be someone who fully grasped the concept gratefulness.
I am an immigrant, and although more than twice the age of this wonderful young man, I too am very grateful. I do not think a day goes by when I don’t look around, see God’s grace in my life, and am so appreciative for the opportunities afforded me in the U.S. – maybe all the more after reading about this horrible tragedy.
There will be many ideas proffered about how to best honor his life. I am sure that all will be more than worthy. Yet I would suggest that, in environment of terrible political rancor, that the most fitting tribute to Jose Fernandez, one that might outlast him had he lived to a ripe old age, is a sense of gratitude and how no matter what the political climate, we live in a country where opportunities exist and hope abounds.
So, as one of the tens of millions of first-generation immigrants who are proud to call America home, especially in a melting-pot like Miami, maybe the most appropriate tribute would be to, for a few minutes, leave politics aside and simply reflect on how fortunate we are to be here. He certainly felt that way. This would seem to be an extremely appropriate tribute, because I’ve no doubts that “I’m so lucky to be here.” Maybe you are also.