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2020 - 10 years later Be The Best.

This is how it feels.

As the Vancouver Canucks are on an epic playoff run unseen since 2011, bear with me as the topic of hockey continues to weave into this 2020 blog experience!

I remember so distinctly sitting with Max and Chris watching the Canucks getting eliminated by the BlackHawks in May of 2009. That happened again in 2010 a few months after Chris’ passing. It felt even worse. Back in 2009 as this despondent fan sat with two teenagers ready for glory and excitement but being exposed to the opposite, it was a key moment. In that snapshot of sadness I stated, ‘Boys, you now know how it feels to be a Canucks fan’.

Chris at Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto repping our home province of BC at a national lacrosse tournie.

Of course things stated at low moments don’t reflect the entire body of work or the overarching thinking because as soon as the puck dropped for the next season we were cheering as loud as ever only to have Chicago bounce the Nux again. That ended in 2011 with the historic run to the Stanley Cup Finals that I wrote about last week with Max and I present for Game 7 to watch the Canucks slay the dragon and move forward.

The point today, aside from being able to write about hockey, is that at the moment of loss in 2009 the boys understood what loss felt like, even though it is ultimately just sport. However, for those who have lost a child, you know that deep feeling of loss on an entirely different level. Something we would never wish on anyone. 10 years later, that feeling is still very present and can be brought back in an instant. I personally don’t believe in ‘recovery’ from grief or loss. It is part of our history, part of the present and helps shape the future although it doesn’t need to define the future. We don’t ‘move on’, but you move FORWARD, one decision at a time, building for the future but never forgetting the past.

Have a good week and GO CANUCKS GO!!!! As a public service, I’ve included all game times below. ūüėČ

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Be The Best.

Thanksgiving – an epilogue of sorts

It’s been about 6 months since I last logged into the blog.

I wasn’t even sure I had remembered my password, but how hard is 1111111111. ¬†(No, that’s not my password…!)

In fact I just checked and the last blog post was on the Easter weekend, exactly 6 months ago today.

Many things have changed in the past 6 months. ¬†We’ve downsized, we’ve moved (yah, not really the same thing…), and I’ve changed jobs after 21 years.

They say you shouldn’t do all those things at the same time but I guess we missed that part in the instruction manual.

Anyhoo…why a post today?

I miss Chris everyday, every hour and every minute.

You can’t grow back a limb.

You learn to live with a broken heart and that’s the way it is.

And is that so bad? ¬†I mean that actually….is that so bad?

As I watched the Olympics this summer and saw Oscar Pistorius win and lose his races I could not help but think about this same fact. ¬†He’ll never have ‘normal’ legs but the path he has chosen is a ‘Be the Best’ story if I’ve ever heard one.

And so, with this major part of our lives missing and not coming back, how do we tackle our life olympics?

One of the things I saw in Mr. Pistorius was zero self pity and only resolve.  I loved it.

Instead of bitterness, he was thankful and hopeful and energized.

We aim to follow his lead.

In that vein, here at Thanksgiving there’s a story that I must share.

Chris’ ashes are held in a cemetery in Langley. ¬†It’s a beautiful place surrounded by huge trees.

You can go there anytime.  (208th and 44th Ave in Langley, BC)

It’s a great place to remember Chris but also to think about how to push forward and run the race ahead of us and even enjoy that run until we meet again.¬†His marker is on the Dogwood Wall and is number 41. ¬†This symbolizes the number he wore representing BC when he played nationally and of course the Dogwood is BC’s provincial flower.

In honour of that symbolism,  a Dogwood tree had been given to us.  We aimed to keep it in a big container to manage the growth but with the move the tree was pretty much done.

I talked to Dave who works for the Township at the cemetery. ¬†Dave’s one of those guys you meet and then you don’t mind paying your taxes anymore. ¬†He’s a great guy with a warm heart. ¬†When I asked if he would consider planting the tree he said he would. ¬†He took our beleaguered tree and planted it last month. ¬†This weekend on Thanksgiving, we saw it for the first time.

We were not even sure if it would survive, but it’s doing more than that. ¬†It’s thriving and looks like it is giving itself a fighting chance for the winter ahead.

We’ll call it the Be the Best tree.

It was down, it was almost out, but it came back.

Chris’ legacy is one that he now gets to be with us all of the time.

He’s with you as you read this in college thousands of miles from home.

He’s with you as you lace up those lacrosse boots for another battle.

He’s with all of us as we make decisions about our lives.

He provides that spirit and inspiration to push hard and Be the Best.

For that I am extremely thankful.