Babcia’s First Hockey Game”

Some of you may remember Babcia’s playoff hockey pool sheet, teams and players carefully noted, in pencil, on scrap paper, from last year. I won’t pretend to understand what is going on here but avid hockey fans are sure to recognize the tallies, players, and teams. Note the attractive grandmotherly tablecloth in the background. 

I was fortunate enough to obtain a pair of pre-season hockey tickets to watch the Vancouver Canucks take on the Calgary Flames on home turf. Babcia is an avid Canucks’ fan, though her favorite player is Sidney Crosby (and I secretly think she’d love to bear his children if she were much, much, much younger). Notwithstanding the attractive Mr. Crosby, I of course did the only possible thing one can do with a pair of tickets.

I took my gran to see the Canucks last night. Her first live game, in person, off the kitchen table, Canucks’ home, not her home. 

I contacted Roger’s Arena ahead of time to help with the logistics of getting my gran, who is mobile, albeit a 97 year-old kind of mobile, from the drop-off to out excellent seats in row 8, a bit behind the goalie’s net. Oscar, from the Canucks guest services, was amazing.  He not only helped to arrange a wheelchair escort directly from the gate to our section, but had a ‘my first game’ certificate drawn up for, met us at the gate, certificate in hand, foam finger ready to place on her hand, and presented Babcia with a complimentary hockey puck and Canucks’ stickers. Monica, one of the concierges, helped to wheel Babcia to our section, and Oscar and helped her to our seats. Joanna was the host in our section, made sure that we were comfortable, and helped me when I needed assistance with my gran. 


Oscar also arranged a great surprise to honour my gran, and just after the 10th minute of the first period, they put my gran on the jumbotron. 10, 000 people cheered for Babcia. 
She waved her foam hand, delighting in the attention. The Canucks promptly scored right after, and ended up winning 4-0. Just saying. 

During and after the game, people kept coming up to her, congratulating her on her age, her first game, the luck she was bringing to the Canucks. She sopped up every compliment. One fellow, at the end of the game, even came up to take a selfie with her, not that she knows what that is. So much happiness generated that evening.

This morning, she kept saying, “I feel as though I was in a dream last night, it was so fantastic. This was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life.” High praise, considering she lived through the second world war, was a postwar refugee, immigrated twice, has traveled to over 20 countries, seen over 1,000 musical and theatrical performances, been to hundreds of museums and galleries. Hockey is the highlight. 

Thank you so much to the Canucks fan team and staff for making her life!

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