If you’ve lived in San Diego and only marginally paid attention to sports and local celebrities then you know the name Junior Seau. Not only a star football player from high school through an amazing career in the NFL, the man was a local boy who stayed local. Even after hanging up his cleats he stayed in Oceanside. His community work – hands on, not just giving money – cannot be matched. He was always open & giving of himself and his time. And yet….today he gave up and gave in to some apparently unbeatable demons inside and took his own life. His son – in my sons grade at the same school – finds out in 1st period today. My son found out right after since his friend is best buds with young Seau. Tells his teacher that he needs to keep his phone on because his best friend’s dad just committed suicide. Hellavu thing for 15 year olds to process. He also left behind a 19 year old daughter and 12 year old son. Reports are he hadn’t seen the kids in three weeks, but he did text message all three of them last night one by one, telling them he loved them. Then this morning he is gone.
My heart aches for his family. So much. I’m sad for what the city & people he gave so much to has lost.
And I wonder – did the sports he loved do this to him? He had plenty to do after retirement. A successful restaurant, all the charities, the kids, some tv work. Yet in the last year he had largely drifted out of the limelight. A man who was a natural leader with a bigger than life personality just closed himself in. Like previous players before him – two more died at their own hands in the last year alone – he was done. Was it the blows to the head? You have to wonder. Post traumatic brain injury has shortened the lives of many NFL players. Time will tell. Or, we may never know.
I suppose with that news dominating the day I would have colored this day black. But…..
I’ll upgrade it a bit to gray. Because the end was brightened by spending time with my boy and our friends. First Wednesday of every month we help Tanja run a time trial bike race on Fiesta Island and then follow it up with a bonfire after. There was plenty of goofy fun that shook off the malaise. Here’s a shot I took of the sun disappearing behind some gray clouds at the bonfire. Let’s all wake up tomorrow and great the sunrise with a smile shall we?
All I can say is…why? So many people loved him…I know it sounds weird, but in some ways, I hope it had something to do with head trauma and that they can keep looking at the effects of repeated hard, hard hitting…so sad. We were lucky to have him here with the Patriots those last years of his career.