Dear Uncle Stuart,
Today is my birthday, and I never thought I would be writing this letter to you, but I wanted to express my unconditional love for you in my blog (which I am still figuring out). I miss you dearly and hope you can read this from heaven.
So, here it is. The time I have been dreading for a while now. Uncle Stuart, you’re gone, and while my words will be short, I hope my words can bring another side to you that most never got the chance to know.
While many knew you as Stuart Scott, Stu, Mr. Booyah, my sister and I grew up and loved you as Uncle Stuart. I was born in 1993, the same year you started your career at ESPN 2. You held me at 9 hours old after my birth, and I have felt your love ever since then. You, Aunt Kim, my dad, and my mom were the best couple duo and the best of friends back in the day (I have pictures to prove, and boy, they were great). You became my sister’s godfather shortly after she was born, and my family was so blessed to welcome you in our family. You officially became our Uncle Stuart.
I had so much fun as a kid with Sydni and Taelor. My favorite memory of you was being able to get the VIP experience at Disney World. We would eat at restaurants, and so many people would come up to you and ask for a picture. Honestly, I had no idea why… I knew you were a big deal to me, but not to the rest of world. As a child, I had no idea the impact you made in the sports broadcasting industry and how your famous catchphrases forever changed the journalism landscape. I just knew you as my cool Uncle Stuart, and we always looked forward to hanging out with Sydni and Taelor in Connecticut. During the holidays, I remember we came to visit. The snow was so thick outside, and we got to sled in your backyard. I cannot say that would have ever happened in Florida, but it was a fond memory, and one I will hold deep in my heart. The world got to see you on television, but we got to experience you and your coolness on a personal level. I will forever be grateful for that time.
When the devastating news came, you announced you had cancer and were undergoing treatments. At the time, my parents did not tell me much because I did not understand what that meant to you and your life. But, we all knew your tenacious attitude and knew you would beat it. Uncle Stuart, you’re right, you beat cancer by how you lived, why you lived, and the manner in which you lived. It did not beat you. I would text you from time to time and tell you to continue fighting and stay strong. You would tell me you loved me each time. I knew you meant it, and I prayed really hard for your full recovery, but God had other plans. Throughout your painful journey to fighting cancer, you have helped me tremendously during my college years. You’ve helped me with internships, career advice, and your overall journalism knowledge. You have done nothing but supported me along the way. You would shout me out on Twitter and you always told me you loved me and to keep pushing forward. I hope to make you very proud, and when I’m struggling or feeling down, I will think of you. You’ve faced more challenges then most, but you never stopped fighting not once.
With that Uncle Stuart I say thank you, and I love you. I wanted to share this with others; so hopefully, they understand the amount of love we have for you. Your legacy will continue, and I hope to be a part of it. I think many of us can agree that your success on ESPN came from you always staying true to yourself. I never realized how important that advice is until now. As I enter into my last semester of college, I will remain true to who I am, so I can only hope to inspire others as you inspired the world.
Taelor and Sydni, I know you are hurting right now, and I pray God brings you healing and peace. Stay strong girls, and I hope to see you and Aunt Kim very soon.
I am sad Uncle Stuart. Cancer takes the best people out of this world, and I will never understand why, but what I do know is that your ESPY’s speech truly taught me to live my life to the fullest. Uncle Stuart, you are my warrior angel now, and I know you will watch over us from heaven. Many people loved you on SportsCenter, but we loved you as our Uncle. #LOVEANDBOOYAH
Shelby Lena (SLC), your niece
While I still feel a strong sense of sadness from the loss, I am able to smile by these throwbacks of you. My mom found some old pictures, so I know you will love seeing these. Rest Easy Uncle Stu. LIVESTRONG in heaven as you did on this earth.
Your tweets meant more to me more than you know:
Much love Uncle Stu. Much love…