When you admire someone…

Just a heads up, it’s about to get mushy.  But it’s July, so I’ll try to keep this short.

Yesterday, I read an article about a  restaurant owner in Akron, Ohio who passed away only hours after experiencing something that pretty much anyone would consider a highlight in their life.  70-year-old Josephine Ann Harris was just working her daily routine on Friday morning, serving customers at her family diner, Ann’s Place, when President Barack Obama showed up unannounced to have breakfast.  As a cook, imagine serving Obama YOUR recipes in YOUR restaurant. That’s a big deal!  She was ecstatic, as one can only imagine.  She loved Obama, which makes this story even more unfortunate and tragic.

Soon after meeting and serving President Obama, Harris was fatigued and said she felt “a tingling feeling”.  An ambulance was called and she was headed to Akron General Medical Center where she was pronounced dead of a heart attack.  It could’ve been a coincidence that she passed right after meeting someone she admired but I strongly believe it wasn’t.

I remember when I met my idol Jay-Z after a NJ Nets game a few years ago.  I was so eager to meet him, I forced myself past security, on to the basketball court just to shake his hand. And then I realized “Oh my God…I need something that he can sign”.  The first thing I got my hands on was a $20 bill.  I was so elated, I didn’t care about the value of the bill.  Nothing else mattered.  He gave me his autograph, I shook his hand, I looked him in his face and somehow I was able to say to the public figure that I admire like no other, “Thank you, you’re the greatest.”  I remember my friends were happy for me and how they almost seemed more excited than I was.  I was in shock.  My breathing was different.  It was weird.   “Yo, you just met Jigga! You let him know how you felt about him!”.  That’s what I kept saying in my head on the ride back home.  It was the greatest feeling in the world.

When you admire someone, especially someone who is deemed damn near unreachable, the high that comes with being able to share a moment with them is incomparable.  I believe Ann Harris felt that high.  At her age, the astonishment mixed with the opportunity to proudly serve such a strong veneration of hers was emotionally too much and her high was sadly cut short.

When I read about this, I felt awful and I wanted to dedicate a post to Josephine.

My heart goes out to the Harris Family.

(Josephine Ann Harris, third from left)

Rest In Peace, Mrs. Harris