LETTER: Open letter to young Croix HurtisYou don’t know me, but when I recently met Adam Swanda, the local hockey coach, he had completely shaved his head so I hardly recognized him.
To the Editor:
You don’t know me, but when I recently met Adam Swanda, the local hockey coach, he had completely shaved his head so I hardly recognized him. He soon explained the reason … it was to bring attention to your situation, a statement of loyalty to one of his beloved hockey players, to let people know of your current battle with leukemia.
I was so touched that I was compelled to speak about it here. My first reaction was this … Adults, and as we age, we fully accept medical setbacks, but we don’t want anything to happen to our kids, (I was one once), but one thing I’ve discovered about kids is they are stronger in every way than adults.
They have endless energy, optimistic attitudes about life. They think they can lick the world and they probably could. They are often resilient in a way we adults can’t comprehend.
This is what leads me to believe that you are only going to overcome this temporary setback, but you are already thinking ahead to how soon you will be back with your fellow players, coaches, family relatives, then back on the ice.
Children’s Hospital, the best in the world will see to that.
Being on a team is so great. It makes players want to become coaches so they can maintain that love for competition and being around young athletes.
I know time will drag on slowly for you in your coming weeks, but 10 years from now you will say, “It sure went fast since I was 11.”
Then sometime thereafter you experience something great that happens to all of us… you will be on the ice with your own child, helping to keep that child standing with that first pair of skates. Shortly thereafter the kid stands on their own. What a feeling as a parent!
Back in the 30s in St. Mary’s School, we did not have hockey, but we skated day and night. What we did have though is great teachers (the sisters) who taught us some lifelong lessons. I’ll not forget the words of a special one who told me “When someday you are searching for a special favor in life, send up a prayer.” I’ve already done that for you, my friend, and will continue to do so along with your many friends and family members. I’ll be cheering you in the stands, in a game we will win.