This One’s For You Dad!

Sadly there will not be any posting today as I take a day to pay my respects to the greatest man in my life.  Please read below and I will always be thankful for that hockey dad that was better than any other.

What is weird is you think this would get easier. But no pictures could do much justice on a day like this I suppose. Seven years ago today, I lost the one man who put up with me better than anyone else — my Dad. Though the good memories far outweigh the bad…maybe I long for simpler days when my father was still here having a good hearty laugh at something he saw on television.

November 20th, 2004 changed my life forever. My father dropped dead of a massive heart attack that still leaves a deep void in my family. My dad was always the one that told me to keep on chasing your dreams no matter where it takes you. Well the dream took me to California and back home and maybe just maybe other places as well. One thing is certain, my father left an undeniable mark on my life and my family’s as well.

Dad was the one who took me to hockey practices no matter what time they were in the morning. He was there for every step of my career and well he was the first one who was on the ice when I broke my ankle in three places ending my competitive career. Laughably and only my dad could say this but he asked me “after they give you some pain pills, do you want some ice cream?” It is funny but true…only my father could say something like that.

He also took me to my first Devils game. I can remember Lloyd Lindsay Young there and the Devils winning 4-3. Ironically I do not even remember who the Devils played that night but it really did not matter. I was hooked! Hockey has been an integral part of my life ever since. My father proudly taught me that if you have to sacrifice a little and work hard for it then to do it! Boy was he right!

Of course, he was more than just a hockey dad. He taught me about life and everything about living it. Sure I would have liked to learn more but that was not meant to be. One of the first things I learned when he died was not to be so bloody selfish with things. Hey I was…I admit it. That and dropping 100 pounds was probably a good thing. Part of me just did not want to die because of a heart condition. My brother Mark unfortunately has the same enlarged heart valve. Hopefully modern medicine is a little more advanced in the future.

Simply this is for the man that put up with me for 29+ years and I am still not sure how. So I raise a hearty cider up to the man who was the one person that loved me no matter how many stupid things I did and I did plenty. Father, this one’s for you!

And yes it has been six years but at times it really still feels like five minutes ago. We will always miss you and we will never forget.  It really makes the loss of Pat Burns a little more sobering but at the same time this reminds me of the good times.

****Sticky Post-It Note:****

Dad….take your teeth out of the corn. (Yes my Dad had false teeth and really did get them stuck in the corn and then still was talking). Honest true story….thanks for the memories father.

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a sports writer whose first loves will always be hockey and food. As we attempt to fix the site which has fallen into some disrepair (okay a lot), any and all help is always appreciated. For now, everything will channel through on a post by post basis. As always, let's have some fun!