Our bus driver, Eugene was a nice enough guy, but he drove really slow which was annoying and he kept pumping the brakes going downhill, which made me feel like I was going to lose my breakfast. Mike pointed out that Eugene looked like Bowling for Columbine’s Michael Moore and the coach pointed out the he talked way too much and Leighton pointed out the window and said, “Hey look, we are actually passing someone”. I looked out and saw the two cyclists he was referring to, pedaling up the hill beside us. Leighton is one of the hockey dads and the equipment manager, who provides a little comic relief.
Well, its hockey season and we are on the road again. We left for Nelson on Friday at 5:00am and after three wins, zero losses, and a few bumps and bruises (no major injuries), we headed back Sunday morning. It’s our daughter Madison’s last year with the Phantoms, a major midget hockey team that plays in the BC female hockey league. Mike was glad he could join us and plans to come on all the road trips this year. In past seasons, he didn’t make many trips because he had to work. Mike was happy when he heard our first trip was to Nelson, because he could make a bunch of ‘half Nelson’ jokes. He told my parents we would give them a call from ‘half Nelson`. He suggested a few times that we should stop for lunch at ‘half Nelson’ and so on.
Mike is kind of famous around our house for the ‘half Nelson’ (arm twist behind the back). He is also famous for the vulcan (the tight squeeze of his hand on the collarbone), the back ache (knuckle between the shoulder blades), the toe crack (just like it sounds) and the ‘Terry’ (an ear pull). Mike adopted the ‘Terry’ one day when he saw a mother pulling her child by the ear saying, “Terry, it`s your birthday, get back to the party”. Mike would often put one of the kids, or myself in one of the above vice grips and tell us to say “Uncle Mike’s the greatest”. He wouldn’t let go until those words were spoken. The kids would resist and take the torture for a while, not wanting to give their dad the satisfaction of hearing ‘Uncle Mike's the greatest’. I would simply say, “I don’t have an Uncle Mike, but sure, I’ll say it”, and I would oblige.
Okay, so back to Nelson, the beautiful town in the Kootenays of British Columbia. The last time we were there was in March, the weekend before Mike was diagnosed. We were a little anxious because we knew, after doing some of our own research that Mike might have ALS. Regardless, we had a great time that weekend, watching the last league hockey games of the season and socializing at Findlay’s Pub with the other parents and coaches. We also took a few walks in the snow and prayed about the neurologist visit.
After Mike was diagnosed, we always said that Mike has been diagnosed with ALS. It’s only recently, we say he has ALS. But that shouldn’t fool anyone, Mike still believes that he could have been misdiagnosed, because anything is possible. He is even more convinced that he could be miraculously healed or that a cure could come at any time…because anything is possible with God.
In a little convenient store in ‘Half Nelson’, some small town about half way there, I bought a rock with the words, “All things are possible with God”. I already have the same rock on my bed side table, so I think I will send this one to Mike’s mom and dad.
Michael Moore look alike, Eugene and Mike
The Winning Team