Hearing about the tragedy that claimed 15 young lives on a Humboldt hockey team bus in Saskatchewan this weekend has me on my knees to be quite honest. As a parent I cannot even begin to imagine what the grieving parents and families are going through – my heart is breaking and goes out to them.
My 4 boys all played hockey and other sports growing up. They have all sat on team buses to go to various tournaments, meets, races, and other events. One of them still does when he goes to various track meets with the University of Guelph. And every time the most horrible thought or worry, crosses my mind, just for a fleeting second until I push it away because I don’t want to think about that. The Broncos families are living that nightmare. They have pushed that worry away hundreds of times and placed their trust in God, the driver, the coaches and told themselves not to be silly and worry.
Every Christmas when my four boys leave here to go see their Dad and pile into the car together – I feel sick to my stomach…for a fleeting second..until I tell myself once again “don’t go there”. And then I watch the clock and text one of them to confirm they got there safely because I know they will never remember to text me as I asked them. Because of course to them, there is nothing to worry about. “Mom is being her typical self and worrying too much”. To them, it’s not even a second thought. But to us it is.
And after a tragedy like this, it just becomes a little more real and a little harder to ignore that sick feeling inside. The grief a parent feels at the loss of a child is unimaginable. We are not supposed to outlive our children. I don’t believe we were even wired to survive it or know how to deal with it. But somehow they will, with the support of their community and each other. They will survive the loss of their son in this tragedy. But not without it changing their lives forever. And in some tiny way it changes the lives of all parents, and all us hockey moms as we wave goodbye to our boys when they
head off on a bus to a tournament. To them it is a victory that they are on the bus, so it is to us too. To them, they are one step closer to their dream of being a hockey player ‘when they grow up’, to going all the way. So therefore it is to us too. So we smile and wave. We feel happy and proud. And as we should. They are living their lives. They are doing their thing. Our job is to support them and cheer and be proud, and to wave with a smile and not let the little worry win. Because we can’t keep them in a bubble as much as we might like to. They are not always going to be sitting on the couch next to us, sleeping in beds in rooms next to us or sitting at the table with us.
But please, please dear God, I pray with everything I have that they are with me for the rest of my life. And I pray that somehow, the hearts of the families involved, might feel a little lighter one day. Please help them be there for each other and to receive all the love the community, country and world is pouring out to them. I pray that even if only for a moment, this gives them a tiny tiny second of comfort.