It is a sad day in Canada. I felt that I needed to write something after the Humbolt Broncos tragedy, which occurred a day ago in rural Saskatchewan. Fifteen young men and their coaches were killed in a tragic accident, their bus T boned by a tractor trailer. Fourteen others are still in hospital with dire injuries. The Junior A hockey team was on it’s way to a playoff game.
Though the accident is horrific and it can never be downplayed; what got me the most was the loss of innocence. Young people dying– feeling bad for the parents. I couldn’t help but get teary. I felt the same way with the Parkland Florida shootings. The tribute on Hockey Night in Canada nearly did me in; the Tragically Hip’s Wheat Kings playing in the background.
I coached our boy’s travel hockey team for ten years. It became our life– travelling across southern Ontario and upstate New York, many times by bus. We adults we took these children on an adventure, never thinking that anything bad might happen. We send our kids to school– nothing is supposed to happen to them, they are in a safe spot… most of the time they are.
I remember Jack banging the back of his head on the boards, sitting on the ice not wanting to be there, or our daughter Molly picking dandelions on the soccer pitch. In the end he became a very good hockey player and a better person, As did Molly, (She’s off to the States on a Rowing Scholarship) -as do most of the kids who play sports… or finish school. There is a dropping off point, where you have to let them go… to venture off into the world on their own. Those kids on the bus, the kids in Parkland were not given the chance to jump out of the nest.
I don’t know exactly where this is going. Maybe as I stated, it’s a loss of innocence. We think that we can protect our children, but every now and then, life happens and they are swept away. I lost a brother in a car accident and there is no more hollow feeling in the world. Time does pass and the wound heals– but never completely.
It’s a sad couple of days in Canada, and south of the border. We can only say a prayer for the families and those that have to deal with hollow sad feelings.