The year was 1994 and my sister Cris and I could not wait for the 93-94 season to begin. The Rangers had made some good off season moves (not to mention trying to keep Messiers promise to bring them a Stanley Cup) and the Isles were coming off their miracle run in the playoffs the season before. So we were both very excited.
Just as the new year started, my sister Cris was given the news she had terminal pancreatic cancer. A devastating blow to the entire family, as is cancer to every family that has to endure it.
She accepted the challenge and continued to put a smile on her face which made everyone around her smile. As the hockey year went on, the Rangers would win the Presidents Trophy for best record during the regular season, but we would still battle and I would tell her in a joking matter that her Rangers would not last the first round of the playoffs against my beloved Islanders when deep down inside I wanted the Rangers to move on. They swept the Islanders in 4 games (that was her Stanley Cup right there).
But move on they did, beating the Caps, and her sons' beloved Devils, where Messier made his famous guarantee that the Rangers would win the series after trailing 3 games to 2. His guarantee held.
Cris was getting more sick everyday and we all knew her time with us was nearing an end. Two of the best series we ever watched were against the Devils and Vancouver as both went to game seven.
I was not with her the night the Rangers lifted the Stanley Cup. I was listening on a radio while at work. I had a big smile on my face as Im sure she did. My mom told me the next day, she watched every minute of the game. I was so happy that she finally, after all the years of joking and arguing, she got to see them win the Cup. I will be forever grateful of that 1994 Ranger team for giving my sister that gift. The next morning, on June15th, she slipped into unconsciousness never to awake. On june 17th, she lost her fight against cancer. To this day, every time I see clips of the last seconds of that game seven, in the crowd a man is holding a "NOW I CAN DIE IN PEACE" sign. I always think of my sister Cris. Ironically, during the Rangers parade celebration, wouldn't you know the hearse carrying my sister was stuck in traffic due to the parade. So we always say she not only saw the Rangers win the Cup, but she was there for the parade too.
As I am writing you today, my wife will be starting her battle with breast cancer.
Staten Island, NY