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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

RIP: Nick Adenhart: #34 Gone, But Never Forgotten


As many of you know, I'm always game for a laugh, but tonight, I sat at the edge of my three sons' beds and realized being a parent is no joke.

Five years ago today, the parents of Nick Adenhart, Henry Pearson and Courtney Stewart lost their child to a drunk driver.


I'd just read this heartbreaking feature from Yahoo! Sports Writer, Tim Brown, and wondered how will I ever protect my boys from the world?

Nick (22) Henry (25) and Courtney (20) were in the prime of their lives, and Nick, well he was a young, promising pitcher with my beloved Los Angeles Angels.

Nick had just pitched a great game and then... only hours later... he, Henry and Courtney were dead.

(The surviving passenger, Jon Wilhite, is now twenty-nine, and still suffering from the effects of that night.)

To honor the memory of the three young people who died April 9, 2009, I always wear Nick's #34 jersey whenever I watch the Angels play in Anaheim, their home stadium.

Many fans understand, and give me a nod or a high five and some offer up a, "Great jersey" or "Good on you" but it's obviously not about me.

I wish I never had a personal need to wear the jersey.

I wish, for example, I was gnashing my teeth because Nick was a free agent and was with another team.

My kids are sleeping. They are safe and sound.

My heart breaks for, and my prayers are extended to, the Adenhart, Pearson and Stewart families.

May the memories of their children never be forgotten.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No parent wants to live to see his child die. Such a tragic accident and loss of life.

Melissa said...

Wait until they're teenagers and you're not with them all the time. It gets worse.

Touching post.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Lovely tribute and a great reminder to be careful with other people's loved ones.

Al Diaz said...

You and I had similar thoughts last night. I got news of a most tragic death and wondered how can we protect those we love from this world's evil. The only answer I got was trust in God. And then I prayed hard. Dragon hugs.

David P. King said...

I've personally seen the effects of having a loss in the family. Not favorable at all. And I remember when this from when it happened. Appreciate your tribute today.

Robin said...

Losing a child upsets the Natural Order of Things. I am not convinced that people ever fully recover from it. I, too, feel for the parents of these young people. And any parent who has lost a child far too soon...

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Prayer is all we have Mark. I sent mine off to college with a knot in my stomach. God has never heard from me so often as he does now. Heck with winning the lottery, I never want to know what it feels like to be Nick's parents.

So tragic. So senseless. And simply heart breaking. Good man to wear the jersey. Let no one ever forget.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Our family suffered a similar tragedy and we'll all never be the same. You never get over it, you just keep going and try to hold your children a little closer.

LD Masterson said...

Wanting to protect your children from tragedy never stops. It only grows to include precious grandchildren.

Elephant's Child said...

Great post. Perhaps if more of us thought about this pain, there would be less of it inflicted.

Lynda Dietz said...

Been there. It doesn't matter if it's sudden or expected; it's still not the natural order of things, which makes it a lot more difficult to recover from.

My not-editing blog has a few posts about our family's experience if you'd like to read about our journey.


I think your way of honoring him is a wonderful reminder of who he was.

dolorah said...

It is hard to both protect and encourage your children in the world. Just be brave Mark, and trust all will be right in your world as they grow.


Tyrean Martinson said...

Beautiful tribute!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Mark, all we can do is pray that our loved ones are safe.

debi o'neille said...

What a beautiful tribute. Great post.
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

I think that's the absolute worse nightmare a parent can face. Lovely post.

Kristin Smith said...

What a tragic, tragic thing.

I can't imagine losing one of my children. The very thought makes my heart stop beating and brings tears to my eyes. Feel so bad those parents had to experience the pain of losing a child.

Morgan said...

Oh Mark. This is awful. And this is something I struggle with--I have so much anxiety praying that my kids will be okay. I'm just grateful I'm a spiritual person, because it's the only way I find relief. Because we can't be in control all the time.

I think if we can keep stories like this in mind, then we can try to live better where we can appreciate each moment. They're so precious.

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