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There Will Be No Hate This Week - Only Love

It’s been a terrible week, let’s talk about love.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Furman at Clemson Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Folks, I’ve tried, but I can’t conjure any hate this week. For me “hate” comes from a place of joyful exuberance, and in light of the tragic passing of Ella Bresee, I’m neither joyful or exuberant. If you’ve come for my normal hate article, I’ll be back in full force next week for Wake Forest.

I’m rarely at a loss for words, but this is one of those occasions. I write a sentence or two, read it over, delete it, and then try again. I’ve tried to write this article over for the last two days. I’m a believer in empathy. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s place and experience life from their point of view is a skill in short supply these days. I can’t empathize with the Bresee family. I have an 8-year-old daughter, and the thought of losing her before her 16th birthday (or ever) is too much for me to emotionally bear. I can’t tap into the required raw emotion. I hope I never walk a mile in the Bresee family shoes, and I hope none of you will (or have) either.

Instead of the normal hate, I’m going to talk about time and love. I’m sure if you ask the Bresee family what they want most in the world right now, it’s more time for love. Time is our most important commodity. We all have a finite supply and no idea when that supply may be extinguished, and yet, I find myself wasting it on a daily basis. We live in distracting times, and I often lose focus on the people I love. Even when I’m with them physically, I find myself glancing at my phone, or letting my mind wander to my next task, when everything that I truly value is directly in front of me. It’s something I need to work on.

My grandfather George passed away when I was 11. Looking back on our short time together on this earth, his ability to use time impresses me the most. My grandparents didn’t have much money, but my grandpa always had time. We would spend afternoons fishing, squirrel hunting, riding around on the tractor or taking the trash to the dump. I was his shadow, and he led me around rural Southern Indiana, not doing anything in particular, other than being together. All I wanted was his time and attention, and he gave me both without hesitation. There were no phones or screens to distract us, and the only deadline we had to meet was dinner time. Those were truly some of the best days of my young life. I have a lifetime of memories with my grandpa, even though he missed out on pretty much every major milestone of my life, all because he understood that time is our most precious commodity.

There is no positive take away from the tragic death of Ella Bresee. There is no silver lining. We can, however, learn from Ella. We can value our time with the people we love above everything else. We can put down our phones and be physically and mentally present with each other. On Sunday, instead of lounging around on the couch, watching football and monitoring my fantasy team, I’m taking my daughter fishing in Ella’s honor. I’m going to honor her memory by making memories with my own daughter. It’s probably going to end in the emergency room for a hook extraction, but that will make the story even better (in retrospect of course).

I know the Clemson family will come together to support Bryan and the Bresee family. That’s who we are and that’s what we do. While you’re doing that, I humbly ask that you consider how you spend your time, and maybe cut a slice off for the folks you love in Ella’s honor. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Rest in Peace Ella Bresee. Your time on earth was short but well spent. May you be an inspiration to us all moving forward.

See y’all next week, and Go Tigers.