I Can’t Drive To Hockey Without Crying

I’ve had two hockey games since I returned home from Ontario and both times while driving to my hockey game, I started crying. Being that I live so far away from my family, my Dad’s death still seems a little bit unreal to me. I mean, I was there when he went in for surgery, I was there when he didn’t wake up. I was there when he died and I was there for the funeral. But now that I’m back in Vancouver, my day-to-day life isn’t punctuated with his absence the way it would be if I still lived close by, because I didn’t see my Dad every day. But every once it in a while, it hits me. Especially, it seems, when I’m driving to hockey.

This makes sense, though, because not only did my Dad share my love of hockey, but due to my crazy busy schedule, I usually make phone calls while I’m driving1, so I can feel like driving is less of a waste of time. And often when I drive to hockey, I call my parents house to chat with them. When I talked to my Dad, I would always tell him that I was driving to hockey and we’d talk about how my team was doing, or what he thought was wrong with the decisions the Leafs’ coaches were making, or what happened on the most recent episode of Cash Cab , or what whatshisname at the pigeon club said the other day, or just whatever. And so when I’ve driven to my last two hockey games, it makes me think of my Dad and I know that I can’t call him and have those conversations ever again. I really feel the loss. It makes it more real.

I am really sad that my Dad never got to see me play in person – I didn’t start playing hockey until I moved to Vancouver and he never came out here – but I’m so thankful that he was able to see me play live on the Internet during the Longest Game for CF. He watched every minute of the game that he could and he told me that I skated just like him and my Uncle Harry. It makes me smile to think about how much he liked watching that game and how proud he was of me.

I’m sure that over time I’ll be able to drive to hockey without crying, but I think that I’ll never play a hockey game without thinking about my Dad.

  1. Using my bluetooth headset, of course. All good and legal. []

Comments |7|

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  • It makes total sense to me! Have you thought of writing about him for the Globe and Mail’s Lives Lived feature? I think that a whole lot of people would really like to read some of the things you’ve shared on your blog. Plus you do a great job of sharing all the awesome stories about him. Even though I’d never met him, I know I like him from what you’ve written!

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  • @Michelle – I’m not familiar with this “Lives Lived” section… sounds like something I need to check out!

    @Sarah – Thanks. I love you guys too. I’m really looking forward to seeing you next week!

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  • Thank you for your blog entry, Beth. It captures a lot of the things that I’m feeling as well. My mom never lived with me, so I don’t have any memories of her in my apartment (she was not able to visit). But it still hits me – in unexpected way, whether it’s listening to one of her favourite albums or one of her favourite movies comes on television.

    For me, I have a hard time going to the GO Transit station at Union Station because I always went there to take the bus to visit my mom in Hamilton. When I get on the Milton bus, it makes me sad knowing that I cannot take the Hamilton bus to visit my mom. Interesting that some of our fondest memories come from actual physical journeys.

    That is so sweet that your dad watched your game on the Internet! What a great memory for you to have.

    Sending you hugs from Toronto.

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  • Here is a link to today’s Lives Lived column. It’s in the paper every day (back page of the front section usually) and I find it very interesting, there are some wonderful stories. I get a little sad sometimes reading about these cool people only after they’ve died and wish I could’ve known them, but it is a wonderful way to pay tribute to someone special.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/lives-lived/robert-bob-redhead/article2355758/

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  • I think just driving is part of it too. When my best friend died I cried on my way to work quite often, and she and I never worked together. But I think driving is one of those rare quiet times for me when my mind would just be susceptible to memories, and to grief. And the car was a safe place to cry. In a way, it seems like kind of nice way to be remembering him. His body may not be here, but he obviously takes up a large space in your life and in your heart.

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