Mother's Day has passed and I hope you had a chance to wish your Mom a very Happy Day and show her how much she means to you. Like you I have an awesome Mom. It is amazing to me how much mothers all over the world sacrifice for their beloved.
I believe, (like you) my Mom, (Jean) is the best. First off she is a great Hockey Mom. This was illustrated on my last visit to Vancouver. My Mom and my brother live in Canada's most scenic city.
As we were making plans to visit between Game 1 and 2, we thought maybe we could go out for dinner to one of her favourite restaurants.
My Mom said, "No, you and your brother pick up some food on the way over and we will watch the playoffs. There's three games on tonight."
How awesome is that?
I had two great women as role models in my life. My Mom and her Mom. My Grandmother, ("Ma") lived with us in Saskatoon. She was the world to me. I was the "Baby" of the family and she watched over her "Baby".
I was living in Calgary in 1989 and I went to work for Dave King and Canada's National Team Program. My life was starting to progress and I was beginning a career in hockey. I didn't know what I wanted to do in the game but working for Dave King was a great place to start.
My father had divorced my Mom. It was just Ma and her alone in Saskatoon and Ma was starting to develop Alzheimer's.
Eventually it became too much to make a living and look after Ma. On a visit home Mom broke the news to me that she had made the very very difficult decision to put Ma in a home. She would be safe and well cared for.
I didn't like the idea of my Grandmother having to leave our house, so I immediately volunteered a different plan.
"I'll quit my job, come home and help take care of Ma." I will work nights and take care of her during the day until you get home."
As I told you the woman was the world to me. However my Mom's response was the best piece of advice I ever received and another example of a Mother's love and sacrifice.
"You're Grandmother wouldn't want that for you and neither do I. You gotta chase your dreams son. You can never give up on that. You have to run it down. The best thing you can do for your Grandma and me is to chase your dreams."
I owe many people for my career. Dave King who was a mentor to me since I was his 12 year old stick boy in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
George Kingston the first coach of the Sharks gave me a huge opportunity that has lasted more than 20 years in the NHL.
Kevin Constantine, Dean Lombardi and Doug Wilson who let me stay in the organization.
Ted Griggs from Comcast for spotting whatever talent I may have had for TV and of course the great Malcolm Bordelon for always having my back.
But to my Mom I owe the most.
It would have been simple for my Mom to say yes to my offer. It would have made her life easier.
However sacrificing for someone else isn't easy. Putting their needs ahead of your own isn't easy. Being a Mom isn't easy. But my Mom sure made it look that way.
Thanks Mom, thanks for everything. Thanks for guiding me to my dream.