Grey Cup Train brought back memories
Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 10:48 am
Although football factors into life here and there, I’ve never before considered myself a fan.
Recently, though, I gained a memory that will last my lifetime: I stood with my six-year-old son beside the CFL Grey Cup — a trophy his late father took part in winning not once, but twice. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of his father’s passing, and for the first time ever, my little boy gained a true appreciation of the father he never really knew.
When I heard about the train, I knew we would join the festivities. I donned my authentic blue and gold Winnipeg Blue Bombers #57 jersey, with the longest last name ever neatly stitched on the back, marveling that 12 letters can be made to fit on one jersey. I grabbed the “Most Outstanding Offensive Line” plaque and with my son wearing his dad’s Grey Cup ring on a heavy chain, we went to see the train.
Since age two, he's heard stories about his father. It’s how one preserves the memory of a loved one taken too soon. But fairy tales they’ve been; stories he couldn’t comprehend. Today though, I saw enlightenment grow in my son's eyes as we passed through the huge crowd of Grey Cup fans, as we posed beside the Cup, as we toured the train finding pictures of ticket stubs for the 1988 and 1990 games his dad played in and won. When he showed fans his daddy’s giant Grey Cup ring, he knew it was a big deal; because it’s not every day you can experience that history, that pervasive excitement, that love of the game.
Until now, and despite having loved and lost a CFL football player, (though Steve was many other things), the football season for me represented a changing time of year — the beauty of autumn colour we are so lucky to witness annually in this country, and all the things in daily life that progress as we pass from summer to fall to winter.
But because the Grey Cup train passed through our town, my son now understands that his father was a great man, a real person, who did some amazing things in his short lifetime.
I’m sure it means a million different things to a million different people; but for us, that Grey Cup was something tangible that we could look to as a part of who Steve was in life. We stood beside it, we reached out and touched it; and it has helped us remember.
Thank you to the Town of Okotoks and all who took part in bringing the Grey Cup to our town!
Tracey Deplaedt and Thomas Rodehutskors