NFL defensive tackle Tommie Harris lost his wife and child in separate but similarly devastating circumstances. Instead of allowing himself to be swallowed by his grief, Harris allowed his faith to be tested and he came out with an even stronger relationship with God.
Harris lost his wife Ashley to a sudden brain aneurysm in 2012. She was just 29-years-old when the tragedy struck even more devastating was the fact that they had only been married for 41 days.
Harris spoke about the experience in an interview with Fox News. “I was on a plane… never knowing that when we land, I would get a phone call that said my wife stopped breathing on the table and I needed to hurry up and get to Oklahoma,” he said. “I end up flying Oklahoma. My wife was dead when I got there,’ he added.
Four years later, just when Harris thought that he had moved on with a new relationship and a 4-month-old baby, tragedy struck again. The infant passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, an unexplained affliction that affects millions of children worldwide.
His faith was tested to the breaking point but he found a way to stay strong.
“I look at a miracle every day when I look in the mirror and see that I’m not in a straitjacket or [have] lost my mind for what I’ve been through,” he said. “I’m a walking testimony. God moves every day through me, encourages me, inspires me to help someone else beyond myself.”
By sharing his experiences, Harris believes that God is using him to teach other people about the value of life.
“I’m looking for the guy that may not look approachable, but I know he needs a hug. So I’ve learned from that situation to take it and help serve someone else,” he said.