For the past 3 hockey seasons I could be found in my basement yelling at my computer, sometimes with cheers of joy and other times with frustration and it was all because of you. I have dedicated nearly every weekend to tuning into one of your games. If I was given the option of going out or staying in and catching a game I would always choose you. I wasn’t the one lacing up my skates every night and stepping onto your ice but I was a girlfriend of a player, who got to witness all of your beauty through live streams, travelling to games, and living vicariously through my player.
However, being a girlfriend to one of your players was not an easy task. I had to say goodbye to the guy I love and my best friend and watch him move across the country just so he could have the experience of you and all of your glory. I will forever resent you for taking him away from me. I am jealous of the fact that you got to see him every day and you were the one that made him the happiest. Iresent you junior hockey for so many reasons, but I am also extremely grateful for you and feel like I owe you everything.
It was because of you that I made many new friends and established relationships with people who I would have never known existed if it wasn’t for you. I would have never met the many hockey girlfriends just like me. They are the only ones that truly understand what it’s like to be with one of your players, so I am forever thankful to you for allowing me to meet such beautiful girls who opened their hearts to me and welcomed me into this crazy world of yours.
I am thankful for the travelling I got to experience because of you. I got to go to a new province as well as many new cities just to watch you in action. The cities that you live in are full of fans that embrace the game for everything that it is and it’s an amazing thing to be apart of. The fans are wild and passionate for their teams. I’ve never seen arenas so full of team colours when it’s the middle of the season. The support that you bring out in these small town communities is out of this world and it’s not something you can describe without witnessing it yourself. So thank you for giving me the opportunity tobe in the stands, cheering on a bunch of teenage boys who are living out their dreams. Each game I experienced in one of your rinks will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Not only did you allow me to make many new friendships but you also did the same for my guy. He was apart of 2 different teams in his 3 years of eligibility and each year you brought him new friendships. His first two seasons he was crowned a champion and raised one of your precious cups alongside 26 of his best friends. Many of his teammates are no longer just teammates but they’ve formed a brotherhood and those are relationships he and myself will cherish forever. It was because of you that two amazing families welcomed him into their home and he gained 4 honorary parents, 3 sisters and 4 brothers. I know wherever he ends up those two families will be his biggest supporters and I am forever grateful for the love that they gave him because of you. Besides just his billet families and teammates he formed relationships with the communities and the people that come with them. I know that those cities will always be places he’ll consider home.
Thank you Junior hockey for making my player a better person as well as a better hockey player. He was always a hard worker and a caring person, but you pushed him to his limits and showed him exactly what he was capable of. You showed him how much hard work and dedication has to go into being a champion. By the time he turned twenty and entered his last season of eligibility you had formed him into player that puts everything on the line every single night. You made him more passionate and observant of the people around him. He is not the same 18 year old kid he was when he first stepped onto your ice. You shaped him into a better person, teammate, son, brother and boyfriend and I am grateful for that.
Out of all things you’ve given me the overall experience is what I am most thankful for. Trying to describe the junior lifestyle to a non hockey person is not an easy task. Only people in your world understand that long distance relationships, living with strangers, moving across the country, long roadtrips and late nights are the normal lifestyle. In these past 3 seasons, I saw 147 regular season games, 47 playoff games, travelled over 6000 km, a western Canada cup tournament and a RBC cup tournament. I am so thankful that I got to experience the making of a championship team not once but twice in back to back years. That I got to see both franchises make history. That I got to see my player awarded with league as well as team awards. I saw a team put everything on the line night in and night out, I saw a team that played their hearts out and were eliminated in a double overtime loss. You’ve had many ups and downs, but you’ve been great and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience so thank you.
When I was 16 years old I experienced my first heartbreak. I suffered a knee injury and hockey, a game I had dedicated nearly a decade of my very young life to was taken from me and there was nothingI could do. My heart ached and there was a piece of me that I thought would forever be missing. But it was because of you, Junior hockey that my heart is full again. You brought hockey back into my life as well as more excitement and joy then I could have ever imagined. So, thank you Junior hockey. Thanks for the past three seasons of tears, excitement, losses, and the championships. I will forever be grateful for the experiences you brought me, and as much as I wish our time together didn’t have to end my junior player is aging out and as his number one supporter I have to move on with him. Maybe we’ll see each other again, if my future kid reaches your stage. You can bring me joy and happiness all over again. But until then I’ll forever hold our memories close to my heart. Thanks for everything junior hockey!