Last weekend our area lost a local hero as Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez passed away in a tragic boating accident. I don’t normally get caught up in the death of a ‘celebrity’ but Jose’s passing really hit me hard. I think it’s because of his story and the battle that he fought to leave Cuba and defect to America. Jose attempted to leave four times before he was successful and went on to become an unbelievably bright star both for the Marlins and for baseball overall. From all accounts even before his death, Jose lived his life in a joyous manner, with his manager, Don Mattingly, saying this “Thinking of Jose it’s gonna be thinking of that little kid. I see such a little boy in him … with the way he played. That’s the joy that Jose played with. The passion he felt about playing, that’s what I think about.”Often after a tragedy we are left to wonder about how this could happen to someone so young (24 years old) and what the rest of us could possibly learn from it. You see, Jose was more than a baseball player. To so many in the Hispanic community, specifically the Cuban community, he was a hero, an idol, someone who dreamed a dream, chased it and grabbed it full force.
So this week I ask #whatifwecould live each day filled with joy and passion?
I hope that we all can live life as joyously as Jose did. Feel the passion about what we do here at schools and in our own lives just as he did about baseball. Recall the energy and exuberance that we had as kids. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.