I watched a good portion of the memorial for Kobe & Gianna Bryant yesterday and I would be lying if I told you I did not go through a couple of tissues.

To hear Vanessa Bryant talk about her late husband and daughter was at time gut-wrenching and the same for the many basketball celebrities who would follow her to the podium.

What really hit me was this.  20,000 people packed the Staples Center in L.A. for the memorial and they probably could have filled a 100,000 seat stadium if they wanted to.

While that is very unique what is not is that memorials take place every day in towns and cities around this country on a much smaller basis, sometimes in front of just a couple of dozen mourners.  However, the theme is often the same: a life or lives taken way too soon with such promise for the future.

We are at times so caught up in the future, whether it’s a day, month or year that we forget the future comes with no guarantee.  The only thing we are really assured of is the present but we often take that for granted.  Unless you have a terminal illness nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks this will be their last day on earth so often they do nothing with it because there’s tomorrow and next week and next year.

Then along comes a tragedy like the helicopter crash that claimed the Bryants and 7 others and we are reminded that the only thing we are assured of is this very moment.

What hit me as I watched and listened to the memorial Monday was how many people never get to say something or do something for someone before they suddenly pass away.  It may be a loved one who you had an argument with the last time you spoke or a friend who you turned your back on.  Now they are gone and you feel empty and wishing so strongly you had picked up the phone to make things right.

My dear friend and mentor the late Bob Levy would argue with me that there is no present, just the past and the future.  I don’t want to get into his reasoning even if it is fairly logical.  What I do know is today is Tuesday, February 25th and we should try not to waste it because for about 7,500 people in the U.S. this will be their final day.

If you love someone then make sure they know it.