It was a few days before the NHL reconvened for Phase three when Ryanne Giroux posted a picture of her son and husband Claude (who is the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers) on social media. She talked about how the couple spent their wedding anniversary. That part of the post was sweet and touching to me but the part that got me more than anything was when she talked about it being their last day together as a family before Claude headed back to Philadelphia for Camp.
There was something about the caption that made my heart ache a little bit for her and Claude. What was the caption? The caption was “My heart just melts when I watch these two interact. Although it’s absolutely heartbreaking to think that they won’t see each other for these next few months we both know it’s time to help dad chase that dream.”
After reading that caption I started thinking about everything Claude will be missing over the span of camp and the playoffs. He missed his son Gavin’s first birthday that is at the end of August. He will more than likely miss his first steps and other firsts. While he might not really understand what is going on or why his dad isn’t there you know that Claude knows and will remember he wasn’t there for it.
Goalie Brian Elliott mentioned in his first zoom conference with local media how hard it was for him and his family. One of his son’s asked him immediately on a facetime call if he was coming home and needless to say Brian wasn’t able to tell his son he was. Instead he took the time to praise and thank his wife, Amanda Elliott, for all that she is doing. After all she is home with two boys under the age of three while their dad is off living his dream.
I recently rediscovered a song that fits this situation perfectly. The song was written by Thomas Rhett and it’s called “Dream You Never Had.” To explain the song, Thomas Rhett wrote it for his wife Lauren as a thank you. While Lauren had known Thomas was a performer when she married him, it was never her dream to travel the world on a tour bus or be a part of his career. She was just fine being at home or away from the spotlight with their kids. When he wrote the song he wrote it to thank her for always supporting him while he lived out his dream even if it wasn’t one she never had.
Some reason that song makes me think of all the Ryannes and Amandas in the hockey world who support their boyfriends, fiances and husbands as they live out their dream of winning the Stanley Cup not just this year, but every year. They try their best to keep everything together especially the ones with children who may or may not understand why their daddy isn’t there at the moment. They do it for their guys and that amazing cup that means so much.
There are fans of the game who are quick to throw around that the money players make, makes up for the risk and time apart from their families. Most though can see past that and see just how hard it is for a player to leave their families especially right now in the middle of a global pandemic. They can see that players are human just like us.