Today, I’m blogging with a heavy heart. It’s “Jersey Day” here in Canada, and we’re wearing our jersey’s or our yellow and green in honour of the tragic events that happened in our Nation this past weekend. I’ve had a heavy heart for the last 5 days, as a fellow Canadian. Somebody asked me once what it meant to be Canadian and I remember hesitating to answer because I needed to find the right words. What was I hesitating for? I am Canadian, and to me that mean’s strength, in numbers…36,953,765 people, to be exact. To be Canadian it means to come together, as one, even with the millions of Canadian’s around us, it never fails that Canada can come together and feel everything, as one. So when the news broke out Saturday about one of our fellow cities, and the heartbreak and tragedy they were going through, the rest of us Canadians banded together, almost immediately, to fight and feel as one.
The Humboldt Broncos, of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, were on the way to one of their games, when tragedy struck them. The entire team bus was hit by a semi Transport truck, which resulted in 16 fatalities of the team. Amongst this number of fatalities, were teenagers and coaches, whose lives were taken too suddenly. The families of these 16 teammates had no idea what pain felt like until they got the phone calls.
I was in my room, about to start blogging actually, when my phone went off. “Massive fatality loss in head on collision in Alberta”… What?… I quickly unlocked my phone and clicked the notification and it took all of .5 seconds for my heart to sink and the tears to swell up in my eyes. I ran downstairs and asked my dad if he heard and he said he hadn’t. My sister turned on the news and it was everywhere on every Canadian broadcasting channel. All I could think was “these poor people, and their families…what the hell?” I immediately started googling news articles and could not believe what I was reading. My heart broke. This was every parent, grandparent, husband, wife, life partner, best friend’s, you name it, nightmare.
I distracted myself from crying, crying over something that wasn’t even happening to anyone I know. But I guess it’s funny how emotions and loss can take over you like that even when it’s something that isn’t personally effecting you. I had plans that night to celebrate a friend visiting from Ottawa, so I focused on getting ready and picking out some tasty treats to bring out that night to my besties house. The day went on and the trending tweets and social media posts circled. We gathered up at my girlfriend’s house and pigged out on delicious appetizers and drank some wine, when her husband put the hockey game on in the background. Toronto vs. Montreal, with the opening “ceremony” focused on today’s tragedy as almost every Canadian in the country stopped for a moment of silence, and watched the screen as they ran through images of the teammates lost. I remember the mood in the room changed tremendously, as my best friend’s and I went silent with tears in our eyes. We were effected by an overwhelming emotion as our hearts broke for those involved. Since Saturday April 7th all of Canada has extended their love and support in so many ways. Leaving hockey sticks on the front steps of their house to symbolize the teammates of the Humboldt Bronco’s in hopes that they find their peace on the other side. Wearing yellow and green to show pride in their colours, and donating toward their GoFundMe page, that has already reached $9Million+, and, like my blog photo above, City Hall’s from around the country changing their signs to reflect the Humboldt Bronco colours. It takes a village to make changes, and improvements, but it also takes a village to show support, and I have not been more proud, ever, in my 26 years of life, to be Canadian like I am and have been this past week. The amount of support and love that I have seen everywhere is truly amazing.
To the families and friends that have been struck personally by this weekend’s tragedy, I think I can speak for the rest of Canada when I say that even though many of us may not know what you’re feeling or going through, we are all with you and we are all Humboldt Strong.
This is the link for anyone who is interested in donating to the families effected by this loss.