James White returned to the field with the New England Patriots this week. Two weeks after losing his father in a terrible car accident that left his mother in critical condition, he fought hard not to show people how broken he was.
When asked by reporters to talk about the tragic accident, he finally decided to open up and share his feelings. He spoke about how he and his father used to text before each of his games, which is something that he missed right away:
“Just simple texts he would send to get me prepared for the games and stuff. I looked back at the last text I got the Saturday before the Seahawks game just to kind of reminisce on that. He meant everything for me. He pushed me. He wouldn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear, but he always wanted me to do the right things and push myself to be the best I could be. … He made me who I am today.”
White also spoke about his mother, saying that her health has steadily improved:
“Honestly, all that stuff still seems kind of surreal to me. My mom’s continuing to improve and progress and get better, so that eases my mind a little bit, and being out on the football field eases my mind a little bit, too. So I’m just trying to push through, because that’s what my dad would want me to do. So I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and find a way to look at all the positives in my life.”
White has gotten a lot of support and love from his teammates:
“My teammates were there for me every step of the way. We’ve got a family like atmosphere in this locker room. From texts to phone calls to tweets to old teammates, fans — everybody reaching out meant a lot. It was extremely tough for me. I mean, my mind still can’t really wrap itself around everything that went on. It’s just still trying to process everything. But just hearing from them and them being there for me definitely helped.”