By Leslie N. Dees
The Star Herald
“Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.”
– James Dean
By now, everyone knows the story of Mississippi State University football player Nick Bell. The starting defensive end died Nov. 2 of synovial sarcoma (a skin cancer). He was 20 years old.
There have been helmet stickers remembering Bell and MSU and there have been moments of silence before kickoff over the last several weeks prior to Southeastern Conference games.
Much has been written and even more has been said.
During his memorial service held at MSU, which streamed live on the Internet, my heart was heavy and my thoughts went to another young man taken from us to quickly.
Alex Mayo, like Bell, could light up a room and he was loved by everyone he came into contact with.
Life taken to quickly
A junior at South Pontotoc High School, he was competitive in the classroom, on the baseball diamond and on the gridiron.
Heck, he was even competitive at chess.
And in the wee hours of the morning Feb. 12, 2005, my husband’s cell phone rang and we got the news that Alex was dead.
And one of the first things Paul, who was Alex’s football coach since the seventh grade, said to me was – “Why, Alex?”
He was shooting pool at a friend’s house and left early to head home. He had to get up early to take the ACT.
He lost control of his truck and struck a tree.
In one second his life was over and everyone that knew him was changed forever.
Life is a gift that we sometimes take for granted.
Taking things for granted
In the rat race that we call our daily routine, we sometimes don’t stop to take time to say, “Thank you” or “I appreciate you.”
After all, we truly don’t know how much time we have on this earth and there are some things that we take for granted each day.
The Star-Herald will have one heck of a “thankful story” in our near future.
By the time, we have put this paper to bed and it hits the streets, advertising representative Alysha Thompson’s husband, Chad, will be undergoing a kidney transplant by a living donor.
This story is one that is near and dear to our hearts and we hope to share it with you in the near future.
Leslie N. Dees is managing editor of The Star-Herald. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lndees.