‘Put Your Sticks Out’

One of the proudest titles I have owned in my soon to be 20 years as a mom is that of “Hockey Mom” or more specifically to me, “Goalie Mom”.  For more than half of my 20 years as a mom, hockey became a huge part of who I am. I still remember putting my little boy on the ice his first year in house league all dressed in his hockey gear, barely able to skate and boom…he accidentally collided with another player and broke his wrist.  Fast forward 2 years and that same little boy who had been waiting both eagerly and patiently for his turn to play goalie during a tournament gets his chance to shine, and shine he did. He did such an incredible job that from that day forward his dream of becoming a goalie was fulfilled. The following season he joined a new team with some friends, at a more competitive level and quickly they became our family for many years to follow.

He improved and worked hard to become the successful goalie he is today through perseverance, dedication, training, coaching and his love of the game. He is no longer playing at a competitive level but he is still on the ice, living his passion each and every week with his new hockey family and although I am no longer part of the daily hockey grind I am still a very humbled and proud “Goalie Mom”.

Throughout the years hockey defined our family dynamics, always operating our lives around where the next game or tournament was going to be.  Even though there is no more schlepping from one end of the city to the other, no more packing up the family for a weekend away tournament, no more car stinking like a pair of dirty old socks, no more cheering when the team scores the game winning goal, the sacrifices we made and the dedication we weathered was all for our boys and all for our hockey family.

This week our nation, along with many other parts of the world is mourning the loss of another hockey family.  A loss that is beyond incomprehensible.  A loss of 15 boys and men, many of whom were just beginning their lives. For the hockey family who have been left behind trying to come to terms with their new norm, today they are desperately wishing they could be schlepping their son, brother, boyfriend and grandson from one end of the city to the other, packing up their family for another weekend away tournament, stinking up their car like a pair of dirty old socks and cheering their team on when they score the game winning goal.  Instead today they are only able to hold onto these images as memories while clinging to that team jersey they wore to represent their hockey family loud and proud.

Over the next many days, weeks and years to follow, this hockey family and surrounding community will need each other more than ever.  They will need to lean on each other and embrace each other in whatever capacity they are capable of for they cannot do it alone. For many people it is often very difficult to ask for help, but I know first-hand how crucial it is in order to begin the healing process, I know now it is imperative.

My son was still playing competitive hockey when I was in the throes of my illness and as difficult as it was to attend hockey games, team parties and weekends away at tournaments (sometimes only during a weekend pass from a hospital stay), I got through it because I had the love and support of my hockey family behind me.  Being part of a hockey family means you triumph together and you fall down together. For many of us on the team who were together for so many years we had the honour of watching our little boys turn into fine young men, sharing in each other’s joys and sorrows, helping each other out at every turn. I always knew they would be there for me and my family if and when we needed them, and boy did we need them at times, even if it was simply to drive our son to a practice or feed him a well-balanced meal before a game we could always count on them and I am so grateful to call them family.

Asking for help does not come easy for me, but staying quiet can have very serious repercussions for anyone who is struggling.  As the Humboldt Broncos family begin to heal I hope that they will be able to utilize the many resources been made available to them in order to help them move forward somehow, I also hope that they will take some comfort in knowing that millions of Canadians and beyond are there for them, cheering them on in the stands, staying focused while we put that puck in the top corner… because that’s what you do for our family.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

4 thoughts on “‘Put Your Sticks Out’”

  1. Thank you Kim. I was just thinking the same thing. I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before my oldest went to provincials in Bantam. I keep thinking about the fair weather friends, the ones that found it too difficult to say anything, the ones that dropped off the face of the earth. The compounding losses that these sister moms will face after the world “moves on” will be another phase of grief for them. Thanks for speaking up!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Also thank you for inspiring me for today’s blog post! Every day I write something – whether it’s published or not. I have been thinking about these moms and the next steps for them. Time to get it out of my head and onto the screen!

        Liked by 2 people

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