9 years ago today

I had my last final exam for the fall term this morning. I went to the wrong building and didn't realize it until 10 minutes before the exam started, and of course the right location was clear across campus. I made it 30 seconds before the exam started.

As I was frantically writing my name and the date on the test, I looked at the date, it stood out in my mind. It only took a second to remember why.

Nine years ago today, my dear Grandpa passed away. I thought, oh no, I'm just starting the exam, and now that's going to be on my mind! I don't know how, but I managed to concentrate for the next three hours.

Now I'm watching the Oilers and Flames playing in Edmonton. Grandpa loved hockey so much, loved the Oilers, and loved the Battle of Alberta. In the months before he died, I tried to get him to one more Oilers game. I asked every week, begged really. But he wasn't up to it. I didn't quite understand then, because I was so young, and he didn't really show how sick he was until a few weeks before he died, but I think I understand now. That should have been a bigger indication for me how bad he was really feeling.

I know Grandpa was getting fed up with the way the NHL was going in the mid-90's, the escalating player salaries and the competitive imbalance they brought. The Oilers weren't very good, and missed the playoffs the years just before he passed away, that sucked.

But I know Grandpa would be extremely happy with what has happened to the NHL in the last two years, but he'd still say they're way overpaid.

I know Grandpa would be enjoying this game tonight. I miss you.

Written on December 20, 2005