The Fragility of Life
By Jason Maholy
Well, after the longest winter I can recall in my lifetime, spring finally showed up last week and appears here to stay.
I realize “spring” – from the meteorological perspective – began back in March, but let's be honest, it was still winter. Cold and wet that was in and of itself miserable, but its ugliness was compounded by the sheer length of time it dragged on. You knew better weather would eventually get here, but there were moments it seemed like the gray chill would never cease.
Not that the weather is anything about which to get worked up. We sometimes lose sight of what is truly important, and get frustrated over trivial matters. If you needed a reality check there were two instances within sports last weekend that put life into perspective. One was Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant taking a fastball to the head during a game against the Rockies. Seeing that pitch catch his helmet just above his eye was scary. Pitches like that have ended and altered careers, and have the potential to maim or kill someone.
A situation with even greater gravity occurred on the South Side, where White Sox relief pitcher Danny Farquhar suffered an aneurysm and subsequent brain hemorrhage in the dugout during a game against the Astros. Matters of life and death can't be compared to one another, and when good things go bad it always reminds us that life really is a moment-to-moment endeavor that we too often take for granted. Farquhar falling ill lent even greater weight to that fact, if for no other reason than the unexpectedness and improbability of it all.
While we never expect to be involved in a car accident, we are aware every time we ride in an automobile that something could go wrong and life can change in a heartbeat. In athletics there are inherent risks – violent collisions and hard, fast-moving projectiles, to name two things that are potentially dangerous – but Farquhar was not in a situation or engaging in an activity that put him in harm's way. Here is an athlete at the highest level of competition, probably in far better physical condition than most of us, and who had just pitched during the top of the sixth inning before collapsing in the dugout.
We are all hopeful Farquhar can come through this ordeal and live a normal life, much less ever play baseball again; but we should also hope that his ordeal is not in vain. We can all use sobering moments like this to help us grow into wiser people, and learn to better appreciate life and love.