Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Retiring #7

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take
                                Wayne Gretzky

Dale turned 55 this past Sunday and among the family celebrations – doesn’t matter how old you are, you always get a birthday party!..... was the sadness that he decided to retire from playing hockey. The timing was perfect; hockey season starts at the end of September. But this decision did not come lightly, nor did it happen overnight. Dale has been playing hockey since he was a little boy and loves every aspect of the game, but none more than the camaraderie and getting to be line-mates with his younger brother, Ted. He played right wing for the Oakridge Broncos… or the “Oakridge Buffoons” as I liked to call them, and played 2-3 times a week as it was part of his regular exercise routine. He would come home after each game and tell me about the amazing pass that was made to him by Ted and how he put it in the net! He had the excitement of a small child in his voice and, just like his golf game, I got the full play-by-play details. I think the highlight from all those years of playing was the handful of times that Dale was able to play with Ted and Craig. Sometimes Dale’s team was short players (usually over the Christmas break) so Craig was “pulled up”…..How many people can say that they played on the same team as their son! It really made my heart sing when I was witness to this special event and as most of you know how emotional I am; I usually had a tear in my eye.

I knew how important this time was to him and tried hard not to make a big deal out of his deciding to quit. I am pretty sure it was one of the hardest decisions that he has had to make. Sometimes the body just knows when it’s time to take on something a little less physical.

There is a sign that hangs in the SAIT Trojans Hockey Team dressing room, and since having two people in my house play hockey full time, it has ALWAYS been our motto.

“We don’t really need heroes, we just want to win.
If you’re a hero tonight, that’s fine
But if you’re not the next night
You better help someone else be a hero”

So in honor of Dale’s commitment and service to the team, we will have a retiring jersey ceremony and hang #7 from the rafters of our basement!

1 comment:

Linda W. said...

Aww! Beautifully written Valery! Tell Dale there are lots of really successful "armchair heroes and hockey players". Pass the torch & become the one the next generation "pulls up" when they're short. Best wishes Dale on your birthday & your hockey retirement! Love Linda