Tragic Day For Hockey

It was a tragic day for hockey.  Today our our hockey community mourned the loss of fifteen lives in a horrific crash involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus and a semi.  For many of us hockey parents, we’ve been on the proverbial bus trip with our youth hockey player or sent our kids/billet kids off on the junior bus.  In fact, this morning I sent my youngest on a bus up to Epcot.   I was a nervous wreck the whole time he was on the road.

download (25)

For the uninitiated, junior hockey is available to players 16-20 years old and a great stepping stone into NCAA hockey or professional hockey.  My boys have played in a program that went from mites (U8) to juniors for several seasons.  Unequivocally, the youth players revered their junior counterparts and were devoted fans of our junior teams.  Similarly, the junior players gave back a lot to our youth players.  They spent time at practices, watching their games and cheering them on.   It is an amazing relationship that exists between these players.

During Jake’s first U16 year (Goalielocks Squirt AA, The Mayor Mites), we had a billet.  Biebs had been with the Hawks the previous season and really bonded with our boys.  If he was going to come back to Palm Beach, he wanted to stay with us.  Fortunately, Biebs is an awesome kid and we enjoyed having him here.  It really allowed us to see the level of commitment and effort it takes to play junior hockey.

Throughout his season with us, Biebs would jump on the Hawks bus almost every weekend for games.  Every time he was on that bus, I would worry.   I worried that something would happen on those Florida back roads that span our state east to west.  Or I worried that they’d get hit if the bus broke down.   When you billet a player, they become a part of your family.  This morning my heart sank for the Broncos community particularly for the families and billet families. I can’t imagine their despair as their worsts fears came to fruition.

30415470_1989916331035733_2036811040917904197_n

The thing about tragedy is that it tells you a lot about the character and gumption of a community.  Our hockey community is tight knit, strong, generous and supportive.   Regardless of where we are from or what level of hockey we played or our kids play, we stand with Humboldt.  They say there is no crying in hockey and for the most part it’s true.  A hockey player could lose teeth, take a clapper to the face or have their bone broken by a shot.  Not only would they not cry, they’d try to keep playing.  Today, as we mourn the loss in our community, there’s crying in hockey.

I love our hockey community.  The Gofundme campaign is already over $2 million.  Moreover, tonight as I scan Facebook, the pictures of the Jets (Winnipeg) and Blackhawks (Chicago) game popped into my feed.  In a show of solidarity with Humboldt, both NHL teams wore jerseys with Broncos on the back instead of their own names.  Before the puck dropped, they met at center ice in an incredible show up support to Humboldt.   Many of the players that have made the show, cut their teeth in junior hockey.  For these players, they’ve been on hundreds of bus trips.

Lastly, hockey is an incredibly expensive sport.   This is especially true at the junior level where many players are playing away from home.  After the tragedy of yesterday’s crash, many of these families are faced with unexpected bills and loss of income.  A  Gofundme has been setup to help these families offset these unexpected costs, please consider donating.   Tonight I’ll hold my boys a little closer tonight as life is precious and not promised.  #prayersforhumboldt

Here’s the link to the fundraiser: Funds For Humboldt Broncos

Advertisements

Quick Update

Quick update!  We’re in the ER here in New Hampshire after Goalielocks started experiencing nosebleeds last evening and this morning. While it is more likely related to the dry weather, it isn’t worth taking the risk. It certainly isn’t how we had hoped to spend the afternoon.

Unimaginable Horror

This afternoon an unimaginable horror began to unfold.  As I walked past the break room, I saw the devastating news that there was an active shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland.  This high school is less than 30 minutes from our house and closer to my work.  Moreover, many of the kids we know through hockey attend this school.

Immediately, my stomach sank as I thought of the parents whose children attend this school.  While I was at work watching the events unfold, their worst nightmare was unfolding.  It seems that the accused shooter made many suspicious statements and his Instagram was clearly unhinged.  In fact, the PBSO bomb squad is at a home in Lantana as a consequence of today’s events.  He deserves to meet a slow and torturous fate.

IMG_2199

By 4:30 videos had started to emerge via social media of the day’s events.  When I tell you that they are beyond horrific, I would be lying because they’re much worse than that.  Unfortunately, these are videos we can’t un-see.  Experiences for these students they can’t ever forget.

I don’t have the answers that’s for damn sure, but tonight isn’t about answers.  Tonight’s blog is about the families whose world was shattered today.  The parents who spent their afternoon painfully awaiting the word their child was safe.  Their anguish, their anxiety had to be unimaginable.  Tonight we pray for these families.  We pray for our  extended hockey family as many of hockey players attend school there.  We hold close in prayer the hockey player that was shot during today’s events.  Moreover, we pray for those presently in the hospital and for their doctors.  Finally, our prayers go out to the families who are still looking for their loved one and to those that lost a child today.

Today’s events hit far too close for many of us in South Florida.  Undoubtedly, I’ll be holding my kids doubling tight tonight.  If you live in South Florida and have O negative blood, please consider donating blood as it is in short supply.  If you’re older than 16 and more than 110 lbs, you can set up a donation appointment here.

Tonight’s song performed by Disturbed is “Sound of Silence.”  It’s is a haunting and beautiful song.  This song is the perfect to listen to as you stop and reflect on life.

Thank you!

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone that reached out to check on us today.  We truly appreciated your well wishes, concern and support.  The past several weeks, this procedure has been top of mind.  It has been completely dominant in our thinking.  Well at least my thinking.

While we were hoping that the procedure would be completed today, we have complete confidence in the advice of our doctors.  Since he was healing from a cold, he was at a heightened risk for bronchial spa  sms or pneumonia, which are both very serious complications.In fact, we’re quite happy with how they approached Goalielocks’ case this morning.  Truly, his well being was top of of mind.    Consequently, we will now wait for another three to four weeks before the procedure can be done.

Tonight gratitude is the dominant thought.  I’m grateful for the doctor’s wisdom and professionalism.  Additionally, I’m grateful that my son is finally on the mend from his cold.  Lastly,  I’m grateful for the amazing support we have received from friends and families across the globe.  Please know that your well wishes, support and concern were beyond appreciated.

Tonight’s song performed by John Lennon is “Beautiful Boy.”

Irma's aftermath

Irma’s Aftermath

We were incredibly lucky that in Irma’s aftermath, we only had minor property damage and loss of landscaping. Moreover, the power stayed on the whole time.  We were shocked that our power stayed on during the storm, since it  tends to go out daily.

We did lose internet and cell service, which stinks. Netflix was a godsend during the storm. Currently, our cell service is intermittent at best, so if you can’t reach us that is why.  I am hopeful that our cell service will improve in the coming hours and days.

We did lose our lime tree, which has been very good to us. Every year it has provided bountiful, tasty fruit and required little to no maintenance. We try to keep our fruit chemical free, so there’s no pesticides on the tree.  Sadly, my mojito tree is no more.

We also lost some banana trees, but those grow back quickly. Our neighbors tree also fell into our backyard, but that’s about it.  Our maple tree survived the storm! I cannot tell you how excited we were to see the tree still standing Monday morning.  This is likely courtesy of Irma’s Winds that had shifted throughout the course of the storm.

We got lucky! The fact the storm weakened before hitting mainland Florida was truly a blessing. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the people of the Florida Keys and the West Coast of Florida who got walloped yesterday. Lastly, a sincere thank you to everyone for the checking in on us, the prayers and the well wishes