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In Defense of the World’s Fiercest Animal: the Mama Bear

05/06/2016, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

 

One sec, just have to double check…

Yep, Mother’s Day is this weekend. Bet you forgot, right? Well, any hockey mom will tell you that the day doesn’t really matter, it’s the other 364 days of the year they truly appreciate. 

Yeah, right. 

Why is Mother’s Day so important? Because when a mother’s cub is competing on the ice, on the field or in the pool, it’s all the Mama Bear can do to keep herself from climbing over the glass to pummel the competition who would so blatantly target her child for attack. 

And all they ask is for a little recognition on one special day. Truth be told, if we could find a way to convey just how much they mean to us throughout the year, then we probably wouldn’t need to hastily buy expensive flowers or cliched cards at the last minute. 

No, our greatest weapon in the fight for Mother’s Day is our memory. 

Makin’ Memories

My favourite memory of my Mom was driving around hell’s half acre in pursuit of hockey-related dreams. 

No, the actual driving, not the destination. My mom taught me to drive on the rural roads outside of Edmonton, and I remember it being hilarious. Driving was way harder than I ever thought it would be and I remember being terrified. 

However, my Mom never bought into that fear, she just laughed it off. At least that’s how I remember it. 

Fast forward a few years later after I bought a car from my Mom that she absolutely adored, and then, yeah, she was a little worried. About the car, of course. 

Those driving lessons were about the process and not the result. I learned that if I took the right path, or at least what I thought was the right path, then the possibilities were endless. Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to happen, but you need to make decisions that you believe are right and just. 

Plus I learned how to get a car out of a ditch. 

The Only Constant Is Change

Just under a decade ago my family learned that a vicious type of cancer had invaded my Mom’s body. In typical fashion, I wasn’t at home. I was on the road travelling somewhere when I found out. But I got home quick, and the outlook wasn’t good. 

The thing is I didn’t feel bad about not being around. Sure, it was difficult, but my Mom never reigned me in or curbed my need to explore the world. Surely not in the face of some dumb disease she figured she’d handle easily. 

When I was a young hockey player, I learned from my Mom that even if you’re the hardest working player on the ice, sometimes events transpire that are out of your control. No one is going to look out for you if you’re not willing to look out for yourself. 

The next two years were excruciating, but against the odds my Mom laughed in chemotherapy’s face and survived when she wasn’t supposed to. She returned to a career she adored only to be released shortly afterwards, further driving the point home that inspirational stories sometimes don’t count for squat in the real world.

And you know? That’s alright. For every story like mine, there’s one that went the other way. We’ve all been bitten by the demon cancer or some other disease. Even through that ordeal I watched as my Mom ignored her exhaustion and controlled what she could control. One of the happiest moments of my life was making it to the far end of the hallway at the hospital with my Mom on my arm. 

Kinda like a driving lesson.

Look, I’m not here to tell you to phone your Mom up immediately if she’s still around (although I probably will), but no one else has had your back for as long as your mom. 

It’s a tough world out there. 

Good thing we have Mama Bears to teach us how to navigate. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Moms. 

 

PS: looking for gift ideas? Just publish your mom’s life story on the internet for all to read, she’ll love that. 

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