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When Life Changes In An Instant

Kendrick Norton is the latest former Canes player to deal with a serious injury.

Ken Norton Jr speaks at Paradise Camp.

Nothing in life is promised but death. Thankfully Kendrick Norton Jr survived an overnight accident, but the outcome will change his life forever.

The same will apply to those around him. As a cane fan, I consider myself one of them. Thankfully, they will have each other to lean on during the process.

We have seen young men lose their careers while competing on the field, and while this is a little different as it happened off field, the result will be similar. Looking at athletes close to the program like Ahmmon Richards, Malek Young, and De’Andre Wilder and others that have had to move on from a part of their lives they have loved as far back as their memories go is tough. As a fan, as a parent, and as a human I empathize with these young men. With a (hopefully) long life ahead of them, the ability to make a living off of their athletic ability has been lost. The focus for them must shift to making a full recovery (or as close to it as possible), and then on to living a productive and satisfying life.

Situations like this make the small things in life seem more significant, and they should because they are the things that happen everyday… things that we often overlook. This is bigger than a rivalry, a final score, or a record. It’s about their legacy.

In a tweet I sent out for Ken, I mentioned this being just 1 chapter in his life. One I hope he is able to overcome and come back from ever resilient. He has a lot of worth left in him. He and others like him can still live in a world that they are used to, albeit in a different capacity.

We will each lose something dear in our lives, and if we rally around each other it makes that hurt a little more bearable. Looking after each other and celebrating the life we have while also grieving the loss we experience has been my way of coping. Hopefully it will help others as well. There is help out there if you don't have a support system.

I challenge all of you that read this to question your situation. If you were to find yourself in a life-altering situation do you have the support around you to overcome it? Have you prepared your family in the event that the unthinkable happens? Sadly, many of us haven’t. We move through our everyday nothings promising to do more tomorrow, but finding we haven’t been honest with ourselves. I was guilty of this earlier in my life. Having dealt with personal tragedies I learned a lot about what NOT to do. Seeing the tragedies of others around me taught me how to prepare my own circle. I hope you are able to recover from any obstacles you face, but the truth is not all of us will. This is difficult to accept, but we don’t always have a say in how things play out.

Don’t ever feel like you’re too cool for counseling.

Don’t be too hard to cry.

Don’t be to soft to fight.

Love hard.

Be kind.

Serve others less fortunate than yourself.

Live your life to the fullest because today isn’t guaranteed, let alone tomorrow.

I hope you are able to enjoy this Independence day with family and friends, and actually gain some independence in the process.

#GoCanes #TNM #UFamily