for real life.
I want to take a moment before the rush of the race weekend takes hold, to send my heartfelt condolences to Mario Moraes tonight as there are whispers swirling that his father has lost his hard fought battle with cancer.
Though nothing has been officially confirmed, I’ve babelfished enough articles and tweets to piece together that if it hasn’t as yet happened, it is very close to happening. There are also unconfirmed rumors that Paul will be called in to drive for the weekend.
That is neither here nor there.
This post isn’t about racing.
Strip away the Jonas Brothers hair, big sunglasses and piss and vinegar fiery Latino attitude, and you will find a young boy, who when not at the track doing what he loves most in this world, has been spending every spare moment this year holding vigil at his father’s bedside, saying goodbye to what he loves even more in this world.
I had a quiet moment with Mario in Toronto to talk with him about it, and give him a hug and empathize with his journey.
See when I was a little younger than he, I spent half a year at the beside of my mother while she fought the good fight against the evil “big C”
Like Mario & his dad, I spent every minute I could in the hospital with her, and joked and took pictures and talked and cherished every moment, knowing the endgame was just around the corner, but making every minute count.
Unlike Mario my “day job” was high school. I wasn’t participating in the high stakes, higher pressure, grown up world of professional auto racing.
I commend Mario for having the… the… cajones to take all of this on, so maturely and with so much courage.
I plead with those closest to him, in particular his fellow countrymen drivers, to be there for him in whatever capacity he needs when he gets back in the game.
Most importantly I ask them, and everyone, to be there for him in the capacity he doesn’t think or know he needs.
He is young, he is cocky, and he will be hurting, and lost, and terrified of a world without the guidance and companionship of his father. But he will put on a brave face, and say he is ok.
Let him, for that is what we who experience loss at such a young age do.
If he want’s to talk, let him talk. If he just wants to leave it be, respect his wishes.
But be there for him when he stumbles and make sure he has a safe place to grieve when the time comes.
I’m not a religious person, but I know Mario is, so in his and his father’s honour, I will say a little prayer for them before I go to sleep tonight.
Perhaps you all could do the same for our young friend.
Edit: official confirmation just landed in my inbox. My heart just broke a little more…