When the Stanley Cup arrived at Seaforth Fire Hall on Thursday morning, Ryan O'Reilly knew right away who he wanted to bring it to first. He picked it up, did the celebratory Cup raise for the crowd, then brought it directly across the room to his 99-year-old grandmother, Deirdre.
Adorned in a No. 90 T-shirt, blue beads and a custom "Granny O'Reilly" tiara, Deirdre finally got to see and touch the trophy that her grandson worked so hard to win.
"She's a huge part of this," O'Reilly said. "She raised my dad, an incredible man, and she's been in our lives since we were young, buying us skates, and our biggest supporter."
This special moment came on the heels of another one; prior to the Cup's arrival, O'Reilly and Deirdre shared an emotional reunion as they saw each other for the first time since the Blues won the championship.
When it was time for the parade, the O'Reilly family was escorted to the cars and firetrucks they would be riding in along the route. Deirdre had a special spot, though: on the main truck, alongside the Cup; Ryan; his wife, Dayna; and their son, Jameson. Granny waved the whole way down the parade route, much to the delight of the crowd.
For O'Reilly, it was just another reason that his day with the Cup, and being able to bring it home to Ontario, meant so much to him.
"Winning this is so much more beyond me," he said. "It's everyone, especially her. So to share it with her, see her crying, it's something special."
Be sure to visit stlouisblues.com or the Blues' social media networks throughout July and August as we chronicle the Stanley Cup's journey in our "Summer with the Champs" series, presented by McDonald's. Over the next two months, the Cup will travel more than 28,000 miles, spanning five countries and three continents.