Yesterday in the early afternoon I was celebrating Christmas with my Mom's side of the family. I and my Cousins were pretty close to being done with the unwrapping of our presents and we were slowly allwoing the little ones to dispurse and be merry. Through all of the commotion and hustle and bustle sadness and confusing crept on our faces as we learned that one of the members of my brother's hockey team had passed away.
The loss of young life has been so heavy on the minds of all Americans it seems this holiday season but it is always stronger when it hits so close to home and becomes part of the life of those so young. I personally didn't know what to do or how I could help Christian and Brandon get through this or even what to say to help them over the shock of it all. But, really there is nothing you can say or do but be there for them.
After the boys left and joined their team at the Klope family's home to help support and be there for Parents that have stood by, cheered them all on, and were there for them when they needed their support. I needed to do something, I needed to pay some respect. Not only for a fallen lover of hockey but also for my brother and Brandon. My cousins and I quickly ran to walmart and bought every sports wristband they had... litterally every single one, because I certainly asked. We quickly used sharpies and fabric markers to commemorate Jordan's #45 for the team to wear under their jerseys as MVCHA rules require authorization and approval for midseason uniform changes.
Somehow the wrist bands were not enough in my mind, it wasn't uniquely a hockey thing and I felt that it was needed in a time like this. So I tweeted. I forced my cousins and other family members with a twitter account to retweet and tweet some more. We taged Kevin Shattenkirk, Andy McDonald, T.J. Oshie and David Backes. I figured out of those four someone would notice an influcx of tweets and respond.
Shatty was first to contact us. He private messaged me asking what he could do and then promptly wrote an email to all of the members of the Alton High Redbirds Hockey team. He was very kind and gracious and the epitome of class. Not only was I driven to tears by the respons he gave but others were to. Next Andy McDonald sent out a tweet to everyone of his followers commemorating Jordan. Again we were all shocked, moved, and overwhelmed at the fact that these guys would take the time out of their day to show these players their support, and even offer their help.
Hockey is one of those rare things in the world. It transcends the fact that it is a simple game. For some reason it call attention to a need to stand together, no matter our differences. Every player or fan is a stitch in the fabric that hockey builds. Rivalries are there, and they always will be but we stand with our own. We are there for one another when we may need a helping hand. This work stoppage may have us all in a tizzy right now, we may be all mad as hell and we might just not be able to take it any more. But I know one thing Hockey players stick together, they give us their all and in return we give them our passion and our love. We might not always get the same in return but when it comes down to it I know that my hockey family will always be there. They will always stick up for one another and give what they can. I know for Jordan's friends and family it is hard and its very painful but the out pouring of love that the family has recieved from the JV Team on up through the Hockey Community to the St. Louis Blues is something that I believe only can happen in Hockey. It gives those that need a boost a leg to stand up on in the dark times and realize that hey, the pro's do care for their fans and are with us till the very end.
Please keep Jordan Klope and the entire Redbirds Hockey Club in your thoughts and preyers this christmas.