Most of you know that I write this blog to share hockey information and touch on a lot of different topics related to hockey.
I also use this platform as my own little therapy session and it helps me get things off my chest or out of my head at times.
This is one of those times.
It is an incredible time of year to focus on friends, family, and yes, your hockey family as well.
Two years ago I wrote a post titled, Yesterday, Hockey Won. https://thehockeysummitblog.com/2013/11/04/yesterday-hockey-won/
The topic involved a tragic situation but illustrated the magic healing qualities that I feel hockey possesses.
I tell you today, the game is still winning.
This year has been a particularly tough one for our family. We have watched one of our members suffer immensely with Alzheimer’s disease. As anyone who has been touched by this brutal affliction, the toll it takes on that person and everyone close to them is intense. I’ve watched my close family members suffer greatly and try to make sense of it all. (Please visit http://www.alz.org/ to learn more or donate to the fight of this horrible sickness.)
Once again through it all, as a lot of us do, I was lucky to find comfort by going to the rink. This is where the true value of sports and particularly Hockey is found.
Over many years I’ve seen the game be a healing platform for death, sickness, divorce, worry, despair, depression, addiction and all kinds of other heartaches people have encountered along the way. It continues on today.
Life comes at you very hard sometimes, but guess what? So does Hockey.
I have found myself traveling to the rink this year many times feeling down and a bit beaten up, only to share a laugh or smile with a young player who accomplishes something good or simply works hard and has fun. Inevitably one of our players shows some development that makes me remember that life is about hope and growth. Again, in a very short time the game revitalizes me.
One of my roles with our team is to sit with our players and help provide them guidance on deciding where to go to college and play hockey. It is an awesome experience and helps remind me what it is all about. It makes me feel good that this person has so much life ahead of them and their optimism glows through. It shows me hope is strong. It diminishes the struggles.
That is what hockey can do.
I just pray that no matter if these young players become college players, professional players, men’s league players, coaches, or future parents of a player….that they keep the game with them. I hope they have the game help them through the tough times like so many of us have.
It can be a sword and a shield for them in good times and bad.
I am proud to say our family has reacted like good hockey teams do. They have rallied and worked together and shown true toughness and resiliency. They have picked each other up when needed.
It is heartwarming to know that my wife and father-in-law, usually not able to leave and get to our games to watch live, make it a point to log in and watch most games online. I know that for a short period of time the game gives them some comfort and a break from the pain. That is what hockey can do.
When life comes at you hard…..drop the puck.
Never forget the game, and the game will never forget you.
Happy and safe holidays everyone!