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  • Eichel Davis

BP #19: When The Young Die Young [Dedicated To Oscar Taveras]


OT18

When someone dies, anyone, it hurts. It leaves us in shambles, and it leaves our hearts aching. But when someone young, someone who had their whole life in front of them, dies, it leaves us speechless.

As a Cardinal Fan, a Saint Louisian, and a baseball lover, a few nights ago, I watched awful news develope. Oscar Taveras, a young Cardinal and future phenom, died in a car crash along with his girlfriend. Oscar was 22. His girlfriend, 18.

These deaths have shook a city, a team, two countries, an entire league and countless baseball fans. It has them asking why. It has us asking why. Why him. Why didn’t he get to show us his true talents. But more importantly, more important than baseball, why didn’t he get to have kids. Why didn’t he get to be a husband, a father, and a mentor to some future baseball star.

But this is not just about one young person dying before their time. Over the past month, two University of Missouri students have died suddenly. They went to bed, and never woke up. They went to bed with dreams, and hopes of a new day, and instead woke up somewhere unknown.

My God. My heart aches. Its heavy. It’s cracked. I really don't know how to accept the death of the young. And to be honest, I don’t think anyone really can. When your grandmother dies, its terrible. But you know she had her years. She had her time. But when a 20 year old dies, its a tragedy. Because its all about the what if, and the what could have been, especially for those who were close to them. Who watched them grow, and succeed.

Losing a friend is one of the hardest things a person can go through. I think about it alot actually. What I would do if one of my friends died. Its a not a question of if I would cry, or if I would be heart broken. Those are givens. Its a question of whether I could ever recover. Just writing this, thinking about the ones I could lose, tears are forming in my eyes, and my chest feels heavy. I haven’t had the tragedy of losing a friend, and for those of you who have, I am so sorry. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.

But as I think about Oscar, and the very short, but very powerful life he lived, I can’t help but think about what I would leave behind. If I suddenly went to bed, and woke up in the clouds, what would I leave behind. We as humans do this when people suddenly leave us. So for the past days, this question has dominated my thoughts. What would I leave behind. My first thought is my family and friends. I know my passing would affect them greatly. I know it would cause them pain, and that would kill me.

Secondly, I think about my legacy, the things the world would remember my for. And to be honest, it probably wouldn’t remember me at all. To the world, I’m just another person. But maybe, just maybe, it would remember me as a writer. Maybe it will remember me through the peoples’ lives I hope I touched. Maybe, like Oscar, the world will just remember the what could have been.

Its no secret, that I am attracted to young players of the game. I become attached to them. They have something about them, that makes them so relatable. So Oscar, since I know you’re up there with the big guy, I want you to know that you will be missed. You will be cherished for years to come. And as time passes, no one will care about what you could have been. We will all look back on your first at bat, on your last, on that unforgetable smile, and think, “Wow. What a player he was. What a man he was.”


Mourning Our Loss,

Eichel


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