Another tribute to Josh Hancock

Because I felt this is one of the best things I’ve read about that tragedy, I let the author (Mollie, formerly of Daddy Raised A Cardinals Fan) know how I felt about what she wrote, and she’s graciously allowed me to post it here on my humble blog. So without further delay by me, here’s Mollie’s thoughts on the weekend’s events:
I realize it has been awhile since I last wrote, but too much has happened in too little an amount of time to possibly narrow things down to a series of emails.

I suppose the matter at the forefront of Cardinal hearts and minds is the passing of Josh Hancock. Is there such thing as an appropriate response? Do the right words or actions actually exist? And what does one do when the greatest emotions felt are not sadness or remorse, but instead a sudden wash of an inexpicable void. A ******* hole where a right-handed warrior once so valiantly and selflessly stood.

Of course, much could be written about the power of signs and omens, beginning with LaRussa’s vehicular run-in with negligence behind the wheel, and ending with Josh over-sleeping several days ago and whose pre-game absence stirred the dark memories of the last time one of our pitchers failed to arrive at the clubhouse. An eerie parallel that sadly played itself out on Sunday morning.

There are plenty of ways to pay tribute to a life snuffed out far too soon. A body and soul full of life and talent with a bright future lit by hope and promise that will never get to realize that future.

We must also consider those left behind in the wake of tragedy. Josh was a building block in the structures of lives. He was a son, a brother, a friend, a neighbor and a teammate. The vacancy left by his death will undoubtedly be hard to fill, and the role he played as an individual will be impossible to replace, for we are all unique and the imprint we leave upon the world is singularly our own. There may be other men, other siblings, other sons, other relievers, other tenents… but there was only one Josh Hancock.

Those who need answers in order to make sense of the senseless will try to find ways to explain the workings of the cosmos, karma and God. Those who live lives with their vessels half full will certainly find a way to see the prism made from the cracks in the glass. And those with glasses half empty will die of thirst as they search for someone or something to blame.

But whatever road grief takes us upon, may we follow it diligently and stay its course. For every off ramp, may there be an on ramp to get us back on track. For every slow lane may there be a fast lane to get us on our way– and vice versa to help us enjoy the scenery. For every red light we must sit through, may there be a couple of green lights to keep our lives flowing. And though we all must occasionally hit the road going eighty with the top down and the wind in our hair in order embrace the freedom and excitement of the world, let there also occasionally be a cop car hiding in the brush to remind us of our limits. (To prove that I am fighting the urge to buy that last ticket to ****, I tell you now that this “on the road” theme has sprung a leak of a million crass jokes in light of our recent tragedy and that I am battling to keep them in the back of my throat as opposed to the tip of my tongue… Or worse, away from the tips of my fingers that are currently tapping away at this computer keyboard. Repeat after me: Clever and funny do not equal appropriate… Clever and funny do not equal appropriate… Oh, give me strength.)

Sadly, despite our heartache and loss, despite our need for answers and closure, despite the hole left in our family and our lineup, time will not wait, the world will keep on spinning and our season will march on with or without us. So let’s engage. Let’s honor Josh in whatever ways we know how. Let’s turn this season around and put some value into our loss.

The season is young, and so was Josh, for that matter. I, for one, will remember him as golden… as golden as those late fall afternoons that bask in the glow of World Series dreams in October. Kind of like the ones he dreamt with us last year.

–Mollie (colmocal@hotmail.com)

Mollie currently authors a Cardinals-centric email chain of banter that she’d be happy for you to join in on, if you so choose.

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