(MAJOR NOTE: This story was WRITTEN specifically for the Richardson tragedy but the point is hug your kids and I’ve been doing that all day and don’t have it in me to write another story right now. But I care as much and thought this might be a good read??)
Tragedy has struck the hockey fraternity and I’m so emotional about the story. Ever since I was a child, I honestly couldn’t handle hearing bad things happen to children. I remember thinking I could find and save a local girl who was kidnapped. She was later found dead and they never solved the case.
For those of you who don’t know, a former NHL player lost their 14 year old daughter to suicide. Attached is a video that I feel is appropriate for several reasons and make sure you watch to the end (VERY END after poster) as the last line, is the best line and if you take anything away from this article, I hope it is that line.
How does the film relate to a hockey blog you ask? Good question my dear readers. First off, on the surface, there’s actually a hockey reference. Secondly, the movie is about my 4 young children (YES 4!!!!) getting to know their dead grandfather “Dead Lenny” through a series of interviews they conduct with people who knew him.
The sub plot is that I get to know him again from the point of view of being a father. One major point I’d like to make here is that when your watching it, when you’re dealing with your children, it’s amazing to see their takes on things. I absolutely mean zero disrespect to anyone who’s had suicide affect their family, but I realized one thing thus far when making this movie, is that I don’t understand kids. Even my own. They live in a different world.
Many times it’s an amazing world, full of hope, imagination, dreams “Dad, I’m gonna play for the Islanders so they don’t stink anymore when I grow up.” my son Max once said to me. But they also live in a world of uncertainty, fear, feeling alone etc. Honestly, I don’t have the answers. At all. Other than, pay attention to them. My father never paid attention to me. He was too busy drinking, drugging and gambling his life away.
Why, I’m not certain I’ll ever know. I never really found my way in life until I started playing hockey. The hockey family started becoming my family. It’s a wonderful group of people. In all my years, if I had to stereotype a group, the hockey fraternity was one of true friendship. Sure there was pettiness and competition, and fights, like all families. But hockey people stood by you. Through good times and bad. They were first in line to help out. In fact, growing up poor, had I not had donors, I would have never played the game. And who knows, my life may have ended up horrible. I could have been a soccer player.
Do what you can for the Richardson family. Think about them, pray for them if that’s your thing. I’ll see if there’s a fund set up and get back in case that’s how you want to help. But also, do what you can for your family. Do it now today. You never know when there may not be a tomorrow.