Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Thanks, Miss Joanie
For the past five years, Miss Joanie, the crossing guard at Colin's school, has been a part of our life. At first, she was the person responsible for safe passage across the street when school let out for the day. In time, though, the bond has grown strong, all thanks to hockey.
Our first bond came as the result that she, like Colin, was born in Massachusetts, so we could talk about Boston and its surrounding communities. What really sealed the deal was that she was a hockey fan. She was a hockey grandmother, sharing stories of watching her grandson play.
She told me, too, that her husband had volunteered his time to coach a hockey team here in the Tampa Bay area. When I asked her what team, her response surprised me. Not only did her husband once coach a Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning squad, but that's also the organization her grandson, just like Colin does today, played for when he was younger.
Small world, eh?
During hockey seasons, Miss Joanie always asked how Colin was doing in hockey and repeatedly offered her encouragement before a big game or tryout. When she and her husband attended one of his games, you could see the memories come flooding back.
Miss Joanie pulled me aside the other day. She asked if Colin would be interested in a display case of pucks from all 30 NHL teams. I couldn't say "yes" quick enough and, if he wasn't, I certainly would be. As you can clearly see, Colin was interested and more than happy to accept her offer.
With the end of the school year rapidly approaching and Colin moving to a new school in a different part of the city, the remaining days, and especially June 7 (the last day of school), could be sad. Though we'll exchange phone numbers and invite Miss Joanie to Colin's games, we know that our daily greetings are nearing an end.
In the meantime, I'm going to ask Colin what he would like to do with it. Do we keep it as it is or does it become our primary hounding project in the years ahead? As nice as it looks now, imagine getting a star player or captain, past or present, from each team to sign a puck? Either way, I'll let him decide.
One thing's for certain, though, we'll think of Miss Joanie every time we see it.