September 25th, 1999, at 1:15pm at Wayne Gretzky's Roller Hockey Center in Upland, CA I met Wayne Gretzky.
This day, up until recently, was the best day in my life. The second being June 13th, 2015 the day I married Matt. But, Wayne ever remains a hero, an ideal, a motivator in my life. So on this day I celebrate and remember the 2nd very best day in my life.
And it was all possible because of Wayne. I might use a lot of pretty, though often redundant, words to describe my love for Wayne – the hockey player, the icon, the role model, the record setter, the ambassador, the hero, the Great One. The moment, and picture (that so truly captures the feeling of this day), was possible because Wayne was so giving of his time. This small gesture, to a gawky, young fan like me, made my life. I don’t know what possessed him to stop the line, send an organizer to retrieve me from the sidelines, and take another picture with me. To let me hug him too! (I was 16. This was probably more important than the signatures or the picture.) But to me, this meant he appreciated me. He cared about his fans. He saw something in the manic way I kept trying to get his attention that warranted a little extra attention. I felt so special that my face just broke with emotions. I will never live it down. I never want to. I never want to forget any moment of that day.
Now if only I can meet him again, keep my face from falling apart, and have a decent picture with Wayne Gretzky. This is my new hockey goal. Will I succeed? Likely, though partially. I look forward to meeting Wayne again, but I don’t think my face will behave. So thank you Wayne from the young me of 18 years ago, and the older me that is so grateful to have such a memory.
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