High School Team Hugs Mom of Deceased Teammate

Ely Dehart died in 2020 after losing control of his vehicle on a gravel road. He was only 14 years old. He played basketball, football and baseball. When he was alive, he was a hugger, always spreading his joy with others. After his death, his parents donated many of his organs to other needy people who were waiting for such organs.

Nathan and Jennifer Dehart, the parents of Ely, desperately miss their son. His former teammates also desperately miss their friend. So, after the players are introduced at the basketball games, each player makes a bee-line to Mrs. Dehart to embrace her with a hug. They do this before every game. “That truly means a lot to me,” Jennifer said with tears in her eyes. “It’s like my child is hugging me through them every time they hug me.”

Joe’s Perspective: As a father of 4 daughters, I don’t ever want to know how it feels to lose a child. It is my biggest fear in this world. The sorrow and the loss must be completely overwhelming.  However, in the middle of all this pain and sadness, these boys delivered love and support in the darkest hour for these parents. It would have been so easy for these parents to keep to themselves and never go to another game. It would have been so easy for these high school boys to go about their business. However, both are so much better off due to these moments of bonding. These moments of kindness are leading to something called healing.

Your Turn: What lessons do we learn from this story that we can apply to our lives?

Comments 7

  1. I found this very moving. I learned from this lesson to always give back. The little things matter and even doing the smallest acts of kindness goes a long way. You never know what someone is going through and you might impact their life through little things like what the players did. They can’t replace the boy who died, but something like that makes the situation just a little bit better.

  2. This lesson is too spread kindness no matter what because one little thing can go farther then some big things, like the big their teammate mom because with was bring her joy because that is what their son loved too was spread the kindness so I would say that it would tell you to speed kindness because you never know what it someone last day.

  3. this post really got to me. i feel i learned a lot about what simple kindness really does for a person. i’ve always lived by “treat others how you wish to be treated” and sometimes that doesn’t work. this restored my faith in a lot of things.

  4. Everything that we do on the court effects everyone on that court no matter what is going on and to show kindness no what is out there

  5. Always be there for someone and be kind because this is inspiring since he has been through a lot he still gives kindness to others

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