This is my family.
Not in the genetic sense, you understand, or even in the social sense. We did not grow up in the same house.
But a couple of times a week for the better part of eight months of the year, we gather at our local house of passion—the Ricoh Coliseum—and join in frenzied excitement over our beloved hockey club.
This is my Marlies family.
We are an odd collection of people of all ages, temperaments and backgrounds. We come from all regions around the city (and abroad) and have quite unique life experiences. And yet we are family.
And like all families, we can irritate the hell out of each other. Sometimes the passions can overwhelm those sitting in nearby seats. We do not deal equally well with challenging times, whether for our team or our family. And disagreement over the smallest thing can take fire, forming a wedge however temporary between family members and forcing others to take sides.
But the second there is a threat from outside the family, we quickly band together in support, in concern and in love. And ultimately, we are drawn yet again by our shared love of our boys in blue and white.
I would do almost anything for these people, help them in whatever way they might need. And I know both from my gut and from experience that they would help me if I needed it.
When viewed from outside, we are complete strangers to each other. Except for small pockets, we do not spend time together much beyond the arena. I don’t hear the minutiae of your life, nor you mine.
And yet, when the hockey season ends each Spring, I am saddened, not just because our boys didn’t advance further in the playoffs, but also because it will now be months before I once again see most of these people.
But when those gates open in October, and we wander down the familiar hallways to our familiar seats around the pristine sheet of ice, it is a moment of pure joy.
I am home with my family.
This is my family, and I adore them to pieces.