Crash shows us that each day is a gift

by Brendan Gaughan

This week, I have chosen not to be long-winded. That doesnít mean the subject isnít important to me, because it is, but in this case, less is more.

I have said before that racing is who we are. I was wrong. My perspective has been altered this past week in light of the tragedy that took the lives of 10 people in our racing community.

Racing is what we do. It is what brings us together, but it is not who we are. Together, the racing family is a community. We may not personally know everyone in the garage area, but we know of them. We pass them weekly and say hello or nod.

One thing is for sure, if we donít know someone in the garage area, we know someone who does know that person. That is enough for us to share in the loss felt by Tony Stewart and DuPont, along with the Hendrick family and organization.

I didnít have any close friendships with anyone who was lost on Oct. 24, but I am friends with some folks who were very close to the tragedy. I hurt knowing that they are in a time of turmoil and there is nothing I can do.

In the motorsports community, we have Motor Racing Outreach, better known as MRO. Founded in the late 1980s, MRO provides spiritual counsel to our motorsports family. If it is not spiritual counsel you are looking for but a friend to just listen, the ministry is available. At the darkest hour, we know we can count on the chaplains to sit with us, say a kind word, or console us. I am not sure I have ever thanked them.

I personally have not taken the time to sit with Dale Beaver or Kenny Crosswhite or any member of MRO to thank them for the counsel they provide. So I am saying it now. Thank you for seeing members of the NASCAR community through their daily activities.

It is easy to sit with someone in time of triumph, to revel in their achievements. It takes someone special to know that consolation is sometimes offered in presence alone. It seems at times, when things are rough, we try to reach way down deep, looking for the right things to say, the right word to make everything better. It takes someone special to know there are no words; silence is just right.

Life is special. It is also sometimes shortened. It is how we live our lives that we are remembered. Each day, we wake and plan our day and often forget to thank the men and women who cross our paths and make each day a new experience.

Country music artist Tim McGraw has a wonderful song currently on the charts that expresses the sentiments I believe in, "Live Like You Were Dying." It delivers a message. Each day is a new day and it is a gift. Do the things you want to do, but are afraid of, whether that is climbing a mountain, riding a bull, etc. The song encourages us to love deeper.

Life goes on. We will continue to race weekly with the lost ones held close to our hearts. We will do what they loved Ė race.

We are family. We are friends. Racing is something we do. At Atlanta, several teams wore a blue armband, which signifies the Hendrick Marrow Foundation. We wore the band in remembrance of the 10 who lost their lives. On the band, there is a message: "Life is a team sport."

That says it all. Life is a team sport. Remember that. Choose your team and live life to its fullest.

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