Last night at the Lakers Banquet we were treated to an excellent meal and all enjoyed the stories shared by Canadian Sledge Hockey Olympian and Lakers Alumni Tyler McGregor.
I was very honoured to receive the "John O'Keefe Award" in recognition for my volunteer service. I am so thankful to be able to be a part of the Lakers Family! Our Hockey family: wonderful players, great coaches, an amazing executive and the extended family that comes with that. At the time of the presentation i was speechless but found the words today in something I read. It rings so true this week..
“I am a hockey Mom. And today my heart is breaking for our hockey family touched by tragedy. I am a hockey Mom to my own kids, yes, but not just to them. I am a hockey Mom to all of their teammates, to the kids they play, to hockey players everywhere. When I watch an NHL game, or a Junior team play, I still see someone’s kid out there, and think of how proud their parents must be. They are our boys. Our girls. You see, we are a hockey family. This game of hockey that requires so much time, travel, sacrifice and dedication ties us together.
Sure, we are fierce competitors on the ice, staring each other down before a game, but if one of our family falls, we are all on the same team. We feel each others pain, we embrace each others’ losses and wins. We are bound by this crazy hockey lifestyle, driving our players around on pitch-black mornings. Freezing our butts off for hours in cold arenas. Cashing in our life savings to pay for it all. We take others in, open our homes, feed billets, jam teammates into hotel rooms to save money. Hockey family is always welcome. We happily feed each others boys, tie their skates. Everyone gets hugs and high-fives. There’s a respect, an understanding. We get it. We have each others’ backs.
Hockey Moms are tough, sometimes too tough, but today our hearts break, and our enthusiastic, loud cheers have turned to silence. We quietly wonder, why? how?
This morning, we sit, thinking of the times that we have complained about smelly gear, or another expensive weekend away, or that Mom who yells too loud at the rink. And we realize now, that right now, none of that matters and ALL of it is worth it.
So. worth. it.
Right now, there are members of our hockey family who desperately wish they could drive their son to the rink one more time. They will go into the garage and instead of being angry when they trip over a hockey stick, they will bend down, and cling to that stick as if it were the most important thing in the world, because their son, now gone, once held that stick. Their son celebrated life holding that stick, learned about hard work holding that stick, made best friends holding that stick, grew into a man holding that stick, and never wasted a moment of his life while holding that stick.
So hockey Mamas everywhere, for your sisters and brothers, for the families of our boys on the Humboldt Broncos, and for our hockey family everywhere, pull your toques back on, keep cheering loud and be grateful that you still have smelly gear to wash. Embrace your hockey family. Don’t leave anyone behind. Support those kids. Feed dreams and play hard for Humboldt. It’s worth every penny, and every moment.”
Rest in Peace Gentlemen......
Vice President/Alliance Hockey Representative
Huron Perth Lakers