Holiday reflections

Holidays can be an absolute pain.

Whether driving hours and hours packed in a car with your siblings to Grandma’s house or scrupulously cooking and cleaning under Mom’s tyrannical direction in preparation for the arrival of relatives, holidays can be anything but relaxing.

Amidst the commuting, cooking, cleaning and general chaos, it’s easy to lose sight this time of year of what’s really important. Sometimes we need a little reminder to put things into perspective for us.

On the front page of this issue, I had the privilege of sharing Taylor Pike’s story with you. In late October, Pike’s heart stopped while he was working out at TNT Gym.

Before I even knew Pike’s name, I was contacted on the evening of the incident by the Pioneer and asked if I had heard anything about a student dying. Pioneer reporters had received a tip that a young man had passed out while exercising. Witnesses said he didn’t have a heartbeat.

After a little social media digging, I learned Pike was still alive and recovering in the hospital. My first feelings were those of relief—something uncommon for me since empathy isn’t one of my most prevalent qualities.

Having just learned Pike’s name, I had no association with him other than the fact we were students at the same university and approximately the same age. Yet, in searching for whether he was still alive or not, I couldn’t help but put myself in his shoes.

One minute he was lifting with his buddies. The next minute he was medically dead. In just sixty seconds, his whole world nearly came to an unexpected end.

Fortunately by nothing short of a miracle, Pike survived. He gets to live to see what will hopefully be many more hectic holiday celebrations. In his interview, he told me the incident made him realize he was taking things for granted.

So this holiday, in honor of Pike’s miraculous survival story, step back and appreciate your surroundings, even if it’s utter craziness. That moment may be frenzied, but you might as well enjoy it because who knows if it will be your last.