Heavy hearts. Uncontrollable tears. Remembering joyous times and lasting impressions. Today, people from every walk of life pray unto God for healing of an athlete turned celebrity, Lamar Odom.
Most of us do not know him personally. We know only what is shared by those who spent time with him and reporters blessed to cover sports as an occupation. We do not know him. We do not know the dynamics of his personal relationships or the pain he experiences each day from the loss of his baby boy, grandmother, mother or a father plagued with addictions himself.
Lamar Odom is “the” trending topic on every known communication outlet near and abroad right now. His jovial demeanor and popularity while a member of The Los Angeles Lakers is all we know about him, but he is a human being with addictions many in society struggle with. He is, along with others long before and after him, a prime example of how life, regardless of wealth, success or status, fades away like a setting sun.
We hear celebrities are not role models, yet their reach into the homes of young and undeveloped minds is great. Their actions are televised and consumed by a population struggling with confidence and purpose. But as Lamar Odom lays motionless in a hospital bed from irrational decisions, he will inspire someone listening or reading his story to end their personal battle with addiction.
This list of addictive behaviors is endless. All possess the propensity to turn a simple act into an addiction that if under the scrutinous eye of the public, how can one not become a victim of circumstance?
Today, the goodness of Lamar Odom is shared. His successes as a lanky kid at Rhode Island, to the various teams on the brightest stage in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His name and face grace newspapers, magazines and the blogosphere as they should, he brought joy and happiness and contentment to crazed sports fans, fans who now come together in prayer and well wishes.
As a LA Laker and basketball loyalist, it is a tragedy writing this article. I recall Lamar Odom running down the basketball court hugging Kobe Bryant when they won the NBA championship in 2011. He was graceful on the court, dribbling past defenders with his left hand, laying the ball on the backboard for a bucket.
Now, he fights for his life. He fights as he did his entire life, for survival in this unrelenting world.