July 18, 2017

"You Can't Give In"

Monty Williams is an American retired professional basketball player and coach and vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs. He was the head coach for the New Orleans Hornets / Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 2010 until 2015. 

I rarely follow professional basketball, so what I know of him I learned only after the funeral of his wife Ingrid.

 Monty-Williams-Wife-Dies

After reading, this article in Sports Illustrated, I've become mightily impressed.  Monty Williams Stares Down Tragedy 'You Can't Give In':

The death of Monty Williams's wife has taught the former NBA coach two lessons:
the beauty of forgiveness and the need to move on, no matter how painful that might be.
The morning of Feb. 9, 2016, began like so many others. Monty awoke at 7:00, still groggy from the previous night’s flight back from Phoenix, where the Thunder had beaten the Suns. Ingrid was already downstairs, conquering the morning. They’d been together 26 years, through five kids and eight cities, and he remained in awe of her. While many NBA wives contracted out the more mundane duties of parenting, Ingrid would not consider hiring a cook, a cleaner or a nanny. On game nights she bundled up the kids and brought them to the arena, but only after their homework was done. Then, at the end of the first quarter—sharp—they’d file out, because Dad may be an NBA coach, but nothing overrules bedtime.

On this morning Ingrid was out the door by 7:15, trailing five clean, neatly attired Williams children between the ages of five and 18, all of whom unfailingly addressed adults as Sir and Ma’am. She spent the rest of the day driving from this day care to that high school to this basketball practice to that doctor’s appointment, in addition to making her regular stops at the church and the center for inner-city kids, where she volunteered.

Later that night, Williams received the phone call. A little after 8 p.m., Ingrid was driving north on a four-lane road in downtown Oklahoma City in the family’s SUV with Faith, then 15; Janna, 13; and Micah. A sedan driven by a 52-year-old woman named Susannah Donaldson approached from the opposite direction. During the preceding hours, toxicology reports would show, Donaldson had taken a substantial amount of methamphetamine. Police also believe she may have been cradling a dog on her lap
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Monty clung to the fact that the children all survived, and without life-threatening injuries. For a while it seemed Ingrid might too, but the following afternoon she slipped away, at the age of 44.

The Funeral

 Montywilliams Funeral Of His Wife-1

Monty focused on just making it through the memorial service, on Feb. 18. Then maybe he’d take the kids and bolt to some state where no one knew him. Wyoming. South Dakota. Just hunker down and disappear.
First, though, he had to survive the week. He wished Ingrid were there. She’d know what to do. She always had.
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“Everybody’s praying for me and my family, which is right,” Monty said, left hand jammed in his pocket like an anchor. “But let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well.” He paused. “That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife.

“Life is hard. It is very hard. And that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family, and we”—he made a circling motion with his right hand, indicating the whole room—“as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family because they grieve as well. So let’s not lose sight of what’s important.”

Not long after, he wrapped up with a simple message: “And when we walk away from this place today, let’s celebrate because my wife is where we all need to be. And I’m envious of that. But I’ve got five crumb-snatchers that I need to deal with.”

Monty paused as some in the crowd chuckled. “I love you guys for taking time out of your day to celebrate my wife. We didn’t lose her. When you lose something, you can’t find it. I know exactly where my wife is.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at July 18, 2017 2:08 PM | Permalink