A long, long time ago, my Aunt Sue took me to my first hockey game. I wish that I could say I remembered the actual experience, that specific game itself or the overwhelming largeness I likely felt as such a small girl in a crowd of close to 17,000 people, but I don’t. I wish I could say that I still had the ticket stub or that I could share a picture of the two of us together on that day, but I can’t. What I can safely say though is that game was the start of my love of a certain sport and a true sense of bonding between my Aunt and I that has lasted for decades.
Why am I telling this story right now? Well, as you know I received my proof copy of my book a few weeks ago and gave it the thumbs up. I ordered a stack of copies, signed and packed them up. Smiling, I sent them out the door, excited for the recipients to get them. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I didn’t specifically thank my Aunt for her inspiration and infectious enthusiasm for the Bruins. I didn’t thank her for taking me to that very first game. I didn’t thank her in the acknowledgements page for all the games we attended together since then; for the countless hours of talking all things black and gold.
And that is a downright huge fuck up on my part. Because the truth is that my Aunt Sue was, and still is, one of the largest inspirations for me and why I felt compelled to tell Sara’s story in the first place. She is the original hockey fan! The original Boston girl, lover of all sports!
Sue was there when I found the perfect parking spot on Friend Street the night I did the research as we entered through the West Entrance of The Garden, something integral that made it into the book. And the photo at the bottom of this post was taken that night.
Sue and I sat in one or the other of our cars together (in the other perfect parking spots that we got numerous times after that) until six o’clock when we could plug the meter in order to avoid possibility of a ticket. We’d chat and laugh and just catch up on our lives during those times. And I have to say it’s one of the things I miss the most about not being able to go to games together now that I moved out here to Arizona.
Sue and I shared a once in a lifetime kind of moment in 2011 when we sat in the second to last row of The Garden as the Bruins swept the Philadelphia Flyers in game 4 of the playoffs on their road to the Cup. And then we, of course, went to the Cup parade when they won it all!
Sue answered my countless questions about the new rules after the most recent NHL lockout. She also answered my countless questions on game play when I got back into the game after many years of not watching hockey.
Sue and I for the past few seasons have live-chatted almost every Bruins game and sometimes even had the chance to get together and have dinner at her house or ours to watch the ones we didn’t have the fortune of attending. When we were back in Boston last November we went to a game together. By chance the Bruins were here playing the Coyotes last December and we planned her visit to Phoenix around going to the game together.
Where was all of this in my head when I was writing out that page? I can only hope she understands how much I’ve enjoyed all our time together and how much her love of this game of luck and skill inspired a character in my imagination. I can only hope she understands how much it means to me.
Thank you Sue, if it wasn’t for your inspiration and friendship along the way of this journey this book never could have been. I love you ♥