In November I hit a low point.
In the middle of a morning practice it occurred to me that this year I will be missing every American holiday as well as family birthday. As you can guess, practice is not exactly the ideal time to have an epiphany and it resulted in my coach railing on me for not being focused at work.
When practice finished, feeling defeated I pushed the nets to the corner like I always do and waited for the zamboni to pass before getting off the ice. I entered the locker room like I always do and began removing my tear stained helmet and gloves but my reverie was suddenly interrupted by 15 screaming and giddy girls who surrounded me and yelled “don’t be sad! We are part of your family and we are here!”
I was honestly speechless! I was a late arrival to the team, signing less than three days before our first game. Yet, the girls had fully accepted me as I am: sensitive, passionate and I’ll admit it, a little off the wall.
Now a month later I am faced with yet another holiday spent 10,000 miles from home. While I am really torn up about not spending Christmas with my family for the first time in my life, I am comforted in knowing that my girls will be right there beside me. Although my Christmas dinner will most likely be mystery meat and some kind of potato, at least I will be sharing a family meal with 20 of my Russian sisters.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!
Until Next Time,