I am not a huge hockey fan. At least not any more. There are just too many teams and players comes and go. Besides it has been nearly 40 years since my team has won the Stanley Cup and even longer for some teams.
Growing up though I did watch a lot of hockey. And in the past few weeks, two of the great players died: Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy. While never a huge Montreal Canadiens fan, one could not deny the goal scoring prowess of Guy Lafleur who led Montreal to numerous Stanley Cups in the 70's and 80's. Mike Bossy was also a scoring ace on my favourite team the Islanders. He scored hundreds of goals leading the Islanders to their four successive Stanley Cups in the early 1980's.
It seems hard to think that these hockey stars from childhood are now gone. They were so magnificent during their playing days and now they are dead. It does lead one to think of their own mortality. Like most people, I don't feel all that old. Oh sure there are days when the bones ache and it is harder to jump out of bed. But generally I think of myself as a relatively young man. It is amazing though when I reconnect with friends who I have not seen for a long time. They seem so old. Their faces have more lines, their hair is grayer, or maybe they have put a few more pounds around the middle. Of course they are thinking the same thing about me. When did Darren get to be so old. But usually it is fairly easy for me to deny the fact that I am in my late fifties.
However, when your childhood heroes die, my pretense of youth is suddenly disarmed. Yes they died of cancer. But cancer effects people of all ages. Yes they were known to be heavy smokers. But still it is hard to imagine them gone. I guess age does get us all. None of us live forever. Despite my attempts to deny it, I am not Peter Pan. Blessings.