I’m not a big baseball fan, but a story I heard yesterday made me stop and think.

I heard about a young 24-year-old pitcher for the Miami Marlins, Jose Fernandez, dying in a boating accident.  He leaves behind a loving family and an unborn child.

One of the news columns about his life said that he tried multiple times to defect to the United States from Cuba.  The first three attempts did not work out and he found himself in jail.  On the fourth attempt, someone fell out of the boat and not knowing who it was, Jose jumped in to save them.  The person he saved was his own mother.  He ended up in Mexico with his mother and sister and they made their way to the United States. They fought hard to get to a country where they felt they could make their dreams come true. Jose was 15 years old.

He joined the major leagues at age 20 and was the 2013 MLB Rookie of the Year.  A star on and off the field, he helped his team win games and he used his public profile to fight childhood cancer.

And now he is gone.

Jose did a lot in his short life and everyone who knew him seemed to love him.  He chased his dreams and he made them come true.

As Anais Nin once said, “Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

May we all have the strength to follow our dreams, no matter how hard the journey.  And may the family of Jose Fernandez find peace.  RIP Jose.