Monday, March 5, 2012

Wayne Gretzky, Jean Béliveau, and Gary Carter

Leaving the Chidren's Hospital, 1974 

Wasn’t it Gretzky who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”? Well, I took a shot and told a few of my friends about the blog I have started. This morning, when I checked my emails, I found the very response I’ve been dreading: “You are not turning 60 this year???”

It’s a nice message, oozing with incredulity. But isn’t that’s the problem? If people can’t believe I’m turning 60, why tell them? Will my older friends think I’m a wuss? Will my younger friends consider me too old to hang around with? Last week I heard the news that Gary Carter died. For an afternoon I relived my former life as a Montreal Expos fan. I met Carter shortly after I graduated as a registered nurse. It seems a lifetime ago, and I guess for Carter, it was.

I felt the same way a few days ago when I heard the news that Jean Béliveau had been hospitalized following a stroke. I was with my youngest daughter at the time. “Who is that?” she asked.

That’s right, folks. I am old enough to remember (a very active-on-the-ice) Jean Béliveau. He also made regular visits to the teen ward of the Montreal Children’s hospital, where I worked at the time. (That’s me above, leaving work after a day shift in 1974.)

In the 70’s, I was the kind of hockey fan that took autographs, stood front row at the Stanley Cup parades, and went to the airport when the Canadiens won ‘away’ games during the playoffs.

I have lots of stories, but rather than bore my daughter, I decided to keep the memories to myself.

Maybe that’s it…getting older simply means we have more stories. Take a shot at something, and let me know how it turns out. At the very least, you'll end up with a great story.

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