14562 days ago
Always appreciate what you have and pour your heart and soul into the people you love. Value your relationships like nothing else.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to remind us all of how important it is to live each day to the fullest and just how thankful we should all be for what we do have. I want to share a story with you, one that saddened me greatly, where I could feel the pain in my chest, and the anger racing through my thoughts.
After reading this story it may take you some time to calm down. When you do, I want to encourage you to reflect on your own life and ask yourself this very important question, if today were the last day of your life, would you be happy in doing what you are about to do today?
On March 31, 2011, Bryan Stow, a paramedic and father of two, went to a baseball game. It was opening day at Dodger stadium and they were playing the Giants. Bryan wore a Giants’ jersey and was there to cheer for his team, but what happened to him and his family was an absolute tragedy.
As he left the stadium, in the parking lot Bryan was attacked by two men, they hit him so suddenly that Bryan’s head hit the ground without any brace for the impact, fracturing his skull. Witnesses thought he was dead as blood came out of his ears. After he fell to the ground, the two attackers continued to repeatedly kick and punch him.
When a person dies who has lived a full life, there is almost closure, even though it still hurts to see them go. A young person dying is always hard to see, since we know that they had so much more left to do and a lot more life to live. In Bryan’s case, he didn’t die, but for his family and children, it is probably equally painful if not more, this tragedy may be even worse than death.
At the sentencing hearing of the two men who attacked him, this letter was read aloud by the mother of Bryan Stow’s kids.
“Our son Tyler’s first word was “ball”…his next word was “Daddy”…and when they started playing catch Bryan promised to play catch with him every day, and he did…until you both took that away from him! Our daughter, Tabitha, loved to ride bikes with her Daddy and he did that every day he could, again until you both took that away from him!
Based on your actions it is completely obvious that you have no respect for human life. I’m sure it never occurred to you that this person you felt the need to damn near kill may be a father to 2 beautiful loving children. In my mind you did “kill” Bryan…he is not the “Daddy” the kids remember and he will never again play catch with his son or ride bikes with his daughter. Because of that I feel you should be put behind bars for as long as it takes for our Bryan to return….if that never happens then you will never see freedom.
It has been extremely hard for me in particular to try and explain to my children “why” this happened to their Dad…What would you say to a child that doesn’t understand the hatred you portrayed?! We live in a completely different world than you…but my children had to learn early on that there are horrible mean people that exist and that commit unthinkable crimes.
You both are the example of the horrible, mean, disgusting and vile garbage that I warn my children about! I will never refer to you as human beings because you have never and will never act like one. I won’t compare you to an animal because they attack and kill for food or the need to survive…your actions were senseless, there was no need to attack Bryan just because he was wearing a Giant’s jersey!
Bryan was a paramedic and a damn good one. He worked very hard to get to where he was and had you been the one attacked bleeding out on the ground he was the type that would stop and try his best to save you…but now that will never happen! He will never be able to save a life, treat even the most minor of injuries or be able to deliver his 8th baby… working as a paramedic has been taken from him because of you!! Damn you both to HELL!
As I write this letter I am getting more and more angry..having to re-live that horrendous day. Having to tell our children their father was beaten almost to death and that he might die. Even though you both are “fathers” I don’t think of either of you as “Dads.” Anyone can father a child, it takes a special man to be a Dad…They don’t threaten their son to keep quiet about anything, least of all their own father beating the crap out of an innocent man!
So here I am again having to explain why to my children…this time it’s why aren’t those jerks going to jail for life? You took my kid’s Daddy away from them! Do you have any remorse? What if Tyler and Tabitha were here? What would you say to them? It wouldn’t make a difference what you would say anyways.
The facts are in our face every single second of every single day…Every time we are with Bryan we are reminded of the fact that Daddy is no longer there. It’s a different Dad. It’s a man in a shell that can’t and never will be able to take care of himself. His parents and sisters have to care for him in every way you can think!!! And every morning you get to wake up and get out of bed and live!!! I don’t care if it is behind bars…You are able to live… Bryan CAN’T GET UP OUT OF BED!!! He can’t do anything without assistance because of YOU!!!!
I asked my children if they wanted to say or write anything to either of you and they simply put their head down and said “NO.” They still cry about how their Dad is now, as do I. We all miss the Bryan that you both took from us. Again for no reason whatsoever…
I teach my children that life is all about choices. Whatever choices you make you need to be able to live with either the repercussions or consequences that follow or be able to reap the benefits of the good choices that you make. You have made a choice to purposely and permanently disable a man, in my mind with the intent to KILL. Now you must live with that on your mind behind bars for as long as we can possibly make you stay there.
However, at some point because of the life YOU have chosen to live, I have no doubt in my mind that you will die at the hands of someone else. Whether that is when and if you get out of jail and go back to your “thug life,” or if you are ever sentenced to death and sit on death row. And when that time comes and you take your last breath, I want you to think of Bryan and the life you took from him.”
One of those men, Marvin Norwood was sentenced to four years in prison, due to California’s ‘good time’ sentencing, he has already served his sentence in full. The other man, Louie Sanchez was sentenced eight years. The cost of Bryan’s care is estimated to be $34 million, both men are expected to pay virtually nothing.
Support For Bryan Stow
If you would like to help his family please visit support4bryanstow.com
Bryan was a good man, a real dad, and someone whose job was to save lives. Many of the things that we take for granted every day are things Bryan will never get to do again. His children will never get to throw a ball to him, ride their bikes, or go to baseball games.
When it comes to our lives, there is no certainty. Everyone reading this has so much to be thankful for, please reflect on all that you have, give your loved ones an extra hug today and take your time in life.
I think Bryan had it right, when our children ask us to play catch or ride their bikes, or in my case dance, the answer is yes.