Some of you may have seen my Facebook post last night about some days just being a straw in the wine bottle kind of day. Here is the back story behind that photo. This is a story of life, loss, families being created by necessity, and coming back together because of love.
Yesterday we celebrated the life of a young man gone too soon. He touched many people in his short life. Our family is among those he touched. This young man was one of Lucas’ hockey teammates from years past. In the time since Lucas stopped playing travel hockey, we have fallen away from our hockey family. And I say “family” in the real sense of the word, “a group of one or more parents and children living together as a unit.” We spent every weekend with these people. We made sure, as a unit, we got our kids to the rinks, to the hotels, to dinners and rounded them all up when the day was done. We may not be in each other’s lives on a daily basis now, but that family unit still exsists, and we all showed up to honor the life of this sweet, troubled young man named Dylan.
Lucas was among a handful of chosen speakers. The boys’ former hockey coach spoke first, followed by Dylan’s older brother and sister. Lucas and another teammater were the last to speak. Lucas delivered his portion of Dylan’s eulogy with ease, honor and grace. He did what he does best. He put a smile on our faces, and a lightness in our hearts, amid turmoil and sadness. My pride in Lucas was a balm to my soul, and I sat amidst our hockey family knowing how very fortunate Stan and I are to have all of our children whole and safe. So very thankful. Tears slipped down my face as I watched another mother mourn the loss of her youngest child. Lucas finished speaking and sat down. I was reminded anew of how fortunate I am as I watched Lucas take his place next to his fiancée, and take her hand.
The reverend ended the service, speaking about Dylan’s short life. He venerated his kindness and the love he brought to this world. At the end of his sermon, he quoted Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I listened intently. I’ve heard that passage so many times. It was one of the verses Stan and I had at our wedding. And yesterday, it struck home.
Love. It’s the why of our hockey family’s continued to celebration together throughout the day and well into the night. And even though many years have passed, and the “boys” are all men now, it was like there was never a minute that we weren’t all together.
In all things and in all celebrations, remember love. Just love.