One Last Time

“And though you’re gone

And my heart’s been emptied it seems,

I’ll see you in my dreams”

I’ll see you in my dreams. 

Bruce Springsteen

At times I have dabbled as a want -to- be writer and published a few blogs over the years. I am not that talented and am envious of gifted writers. My good friend Gary Lawless who works with the Vegas Golden Knights is one of those guys I wish I could be as creative as. (please nobody tell Lawly…)

Writing was a fun hobby and I felt like it was a way to get thoughts and ideas out of my head in order to share them with others.

I had stopped writing as I became focused on other endeavors…most importantly a new job and challenge that I am really enjoying. 

Until I had the urge to write this blog-one-last-time.

One of my biggest fans of my little creations was….no shocker here……my Mom. Yes, I am aware that Moms often think their children’s work is better than anyone else’s. I get that. She was always asking me to write more and put more ideas and thoughts out into the world.   Several of my blogs I had done for her as she was having health challenges over the last few years. See When Skies Are Blue, which she loved.

Unfortunately, for her, the skies never did get back to full blue.

This virus that has cost us all so dearly was responsible for accelerating her illnesses. We lost her over the summer. 

I have struggled over the last few months thinking of how much pain she went through. Seeing her via a ZOOM call in her final hours, struggling to breathe and communicate to us one last time.

That is why I have decided to write one more blog to honor her and her memory.

What has been amazing is as time goes on you begin to remember to the good days, the bright memories and the laughter.  Days when she was vibrant and healthy and full of fun and those memories are so comforting.

One memory that stands out to me goes back to when I was very young.

If you knew my Mom you knew how much she liked to cook. One of her favorite things to do was to volunteer work for minor hockey. She always jumped in to run the kitchen at the arena for a big youth hockey tournament in my hometown. She would feed Scouts who were there trying to evaluate young potential Major Jr. Players.

I used to watch her for days and weeks before,  preparing and cooking for the event. She would prepare trays upon trays of lasagna. The dishes would be meticulously created and then delivered in time to the arena’s kitchen to be warmed.

I would attend the tournament…sitting there all day watching hockey and dreaming about playing at a higher level someday….

I can remember sneaking down to the room where the scouts were eating as they took a break from their studies. The smell of warmed up lasagna and passionate hockey conversations filled the room.

I remember it feeling like home.

The pride she took in doing volunteer work impacted me profoundly. She would be there all day, everyday over a long weekend.
She loved it.  

To this day I run into some old-timers from the hockey world who remind me of those meals and how great they were…..

It is a recollection that I find myself enjoying so much more after this long year.

Memory has a unique way to be your best friend when you allow it to be.

I knew she would want me to write one more blog and include something that would make her smile. I am confident that this memory will.

Time moves forward and life goes on. Families pick up the pieces and push forward remembering the good times and laughter..that’s all you can do. 

I think this memory comes flooding back to me as I find myself having meals and passionate hockey conversations in my travels as a pro hockey scout. 
It seems to have come full circle.

I am fortunate I get to watch so many games all  up and down the east coast.  
Different cities, different buildings, but recently I’ve noticed the same curious phenomenon happening in all of them. 

During breaks in the game action I sometimes think of her. When I do…..I am almost certain….that I smell the aroma of Lasagna warming up somewhere in the arena. 

It still feels like a home.

“We’ll meet and live and love again and

I’ll see you in my dreams “

Bruce Springsteen