Thursday, July 8, 2010

TVOS loses its biggest fan...

Regular readers may have noticed a lack of new articles here at TVOS during the lead up to the NHL's free agency period and as the Intercounty Baseball season winds down - my apologies. The site is growing rapidly each month and I truly appreciate all my readers, those that have been here from the start and the new folks that keep arriving daily. Besides being baseball season, it is also hay season; I have been making trips to my hometown, helping my Dad on his farm and to visit with my ailing Grandmother.

My Grandmother, Mrs Florence Jackson, of Lachute, Quebec, passed away peacefully yesterday in hospital after a lengthy illness. Sometimes when these events happen, we look for distraction, or turn to something we know in search of comfort. For me, that outlet is writing here at TVOS, so I would like to share a few thoughts with you all about my Grannie Jackson.

She was never a “die hard” sports fan, but always watched an occasional game with me as I grew up because she knew I loved sports. It was something we could chat about - how the Expos were doing, what the Canadiens were up to, or if I had any news on the Edmonton Oilers and hometown boy Kevin Lowe.

While she probably did not fully understand the world of emails and the Internet, she was always eager to hear about this site and my career. Who had I spoken with lately? What was I working on? Besides this site and other online writing jobs, my work is published weekly in Main Street, my hometown newspaper. I will share a secret with you - after years of being on the West Coast, working successfully as a musician but unable to share the day-to-day ups and downs with her, one of my greatest joys is creating my weekly columns for Main Street, because I knew she would be reading them and could take part in my accomplishments. She cut out every article and remembered all the names, often asking if I received a computer message lately from Dirk or Bryan, or my “behind the scenes” partner in TVOS, Ed.

When my career brought me into contact last year with Kevin Lowe, my hero growing up, she would ask on every visit, “Did you talk to Mr. Lowe this week?” - No Grannie, I would say, it does not work that way. He is very busy and we do not chat every week... She would then tell me to “Say hello to Mr. Lowe” next time we spoke, and to say hello to his mother too... Awesome guy that he is, Mr. Lowe would pass along her greeting and let me know his mom said hello back - that pleased my Grannie immensely. For me, the Lowe’s are part of hockey royalty; for her, they were Lachute folks and former neighbours, it would be impolite not to say hello.

Sometimes the universe brings very special people into our lives, or us into theirs, and when they leave it, things are irrevocable changed. I am a better man for having her in my life, sharing stories, teaching me right from wrong, and the importance of following your dreams. Her greatest joy the last year and a half was the birth of my nephew Justin, her “little man” - and she would light up every time he was around or she saw a picture of him... It was very special to see them together.

For almost 36 years, she has always been there for me, and it will be tough to write that next Main Street column knowing it will not be cut out and added to her collection. TVOS has lost its biggest fan.... I will close today with my Main Street sign-off for my Grannie - Have a great sports day everyone!

New articles return to TVOS next Wednesday...

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