I can't say I know Kristen Clack personally. It’s that way with most high school athletes I cover.
While I know them for what they do on the field or on the court, the age difference prevents me from really knowing them.
Yet, I have grown to respect Kristen Clack and what she means to her family, her school, her teams, her community.
Too often we become so engrossed in athletics — myself included — we lose track of what’s really important in life. It’s human nature I suppose. We know what’s really important. When asked we give the right answer and say we have our priorities in order. Yet, it often takes an event or circumstance to shake us and wake us from our slumber. The things we take for granted in life are countless.
That’s why the news about young Kristen Clack, a senior at Apalachee High School, has been tough. Yet at the same time it has brought a community closer together and that is something we need more of quite frankly. Too bad it takes something like this to do it.
Clack was seriously injured in an automobile accident recently. She remains hospitalized and while word is positive for her recovery, I can only imagine what her parents and family are going through. You can follow Kristen’s progress on a blog the family has set up at www.kristenclack. wordpress.com.
Not being a parent myself, I can’t say I know what the Clacks are dealing with. The hour by hour waiting which has now stretched into days and weeks has to be grueling.
In recent months, I’ve been fortunate to become a trusted mentor to one of our community’s young people. The worry I have for this special young lady has been unlike anything I would have ever imagined although the rewards have been indescribable as well. Still, I don’t pretend to know what the Clacks are going through right now.
So we all trust and pray for a speedy recovery for Kristen, a young person who represents our future. She no doubt has a great future ahead of her and I look forward to hearing about how well she does in all endeavors.
It’s been great seeing our community, at times divided by an imaginary line which separates our two high schools, pull so close together at this time. There are things more important than rivalries and games and who goes to school where. Kristen is helping everyone understand that as she continues with her battle to improve.
I hope each days continues to be a little better for her on her road to recovery and I send a special blessing to her family as they wait through what has to be an agonizing ordeal.
I also wish it didn’t take events like this for us to appreciate what is truly important in life. Treasure those close to you every day and let people know what they mean to you. Nothing you can do is more worth while and please keep this young lady in your thoughts.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.