and the snow is falling. Every year when winter descends I think about hockey games when Dave and I sat freezing our asses off, a belly full of the worst coffee you ever swallowed and ignited by the most powerful flame in Canada, hockey. We were rink rats for the local minor league team and sometimes I’d take sly side long glances at him while he watched the players whoosh past in silver bladed fury. In those moments I could see the kid he used to be, the one who wanted to grow up and play for the Leafs. Some Sundays he’d play shinny up at the rink with anyone who showed up for a game and he always came home full of the hockey glow, regaling me with stories of saves and excellent stick handling. He was a phenomenal skater and a good right wing when he was in house league.
One year, his hockey hero, #4 Bobby Orr was making a personal appearance at our local mall. When Dave got to the front of the line, his lip was trembling from nerves as he said hello to a man he’d idolized since childhood. When we walked away, he was giddy and spellbound by the experience of shaking hands with a hockey master legend.
Below is a song about a boy who loved hockey as much as Dave but who tragically didn’t live to see his bright future realized. When this song was released Dave bought it immediately and somehow we both knew, as we listened to it together, that like the young man in the song, he wouldn’t live long either. If you have someone you love, hold them close to your heart and tell them as often as you can, just how very much they mean to you.