Today was bittersweet. When we lose someone in the community, in our family, anyone we feel a connection to, we reflect in so many ways and find so many emotions buried under our outward armor. This morning, about 8am, after a fitful night of sleep that saw my eyes open far too often, I awoke to the news online that Stuart Scott had died at the young age of 49.
I remember the first few times I saw Stuart on TV. I am sure I was not endeared to him. I am sure that I was a bit put off by his delivery. After all, I was a middle class seemingly white youth with only hip hop CD's to connect me to the African American community. My connection to his world was ancillary at the most remote of descriptive language. I was surely, no doubt, bewildered that a national cable channel could populate it's airwaves with his brash, and unorthodox, style of presentation of sport.
I was envious. Envious that man had found his calling at a young age and followed through with his dream, carried his passion, and delivered in an honest and dare I say authentic manner that rang true to so many, but perhaps a bit foreign to me. I turned him off at times because it wasn't what I was used to, or comfortable with.
I grew up one day, not entirely, but enough, to realize that I actually appreciated Stuart Scott. I not only appreciated him, but what he represented - Authenticity - Something I wish I could truly say I deliver today. It is so difficult to understand maturity if you are seeking it, rather, it makes itself apparent when the time presents itself. At some point you stop looking at our differences first, and start looking for our similarities instead. So much easier to find why we can descend on common ground than to battle at the differences that in most cases were not by our design. I believe I may have begun to understand our similarities over time, and allowed how dissimilar we were to become unimportant overall.
I cried today thinking of his loss. While I never knew him personally, I felt connected to him for the most unknown reasons. I respect the fact that he did not quit. I respected his professionalism. But mostly, I respect how he represented himself to the world. Well done, Mr. Scott. You leave a legacy behind that endears for the future. Rest in Peace Stuart Scott. I will miss you.