Patriots running back James White was back on the field Monday night, but something was clearly missing.
Returning to the team after the death of his father in a car accident, White became emotional when he talked about his memories, including the way Tyrone White would send texts of encouragement and guidance the day before games.
“I miss getting the text he’d usually send me on Saturday nights, before games,” White said, via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “Just simple texts he would send. They would help get me prepared for the games, and stuff. I kind of look back at the last text I got, the Saturday before the Seahawks game. And reminisce on that.
“He meant everything for me. He pushed me . . . he just always wanted me to do the right thing and push me to be the best I could be”
James White had missed the last two games, after learning the news just prior to the Seahawks game. He flew home to Florida to be with his mother, who was injured in the crash, before returning to New England last week.
“My mom’s continuing to improve and progress and get better,” he said. “Being out on the football field eased my mind a little bit. I’m just trying to push through. That’s what my dad would want me to do. Just trying to take it one day at a time, find a way to look at all the positives in my life. . . .
“What’s gotten me through, has been my family. I’ve been around my wife, my son, my teammates, they’ve uplifted me. These guys have a family-like atmosphere in this locker room. They gave plenty of calls, plenty of texts every night I was down there in Florida . . . they were trying to keep my mind at ease, trying to keep as much positive thoughts in my mind as possible.
“I don’t know how long it will take me to push through it all, but being in the locker room keeps me at ease.”
Having one of their trusted leaders back around certainly helps the team, and White coming back has been an inspiration to teammates, with his example lifting them up at a time when their lives have been anything but normal.