Dear Canada, Letter #10 (Humboldt Strong)
When I first moved to the United States in 2010, one of my American friends asked me what a Canuck was? He wanted to know why people from your country are called Canucks and what's so special about being a Canuck?
I thought for a second and responded...'that's a good question, my favorite hockey team is called the Canucks but I'm pretty sure the meaning of Canuck goes deeper than that.'
I felt weird because I was born and raised within your borders but I didn't know how to explain to him what a Canuck was. Wikipedia says the origin of the term Canuck is uncertain but it's generally accepted as a slang term for Canadians, not used in a derogatory way. That sounds about right, wouldn't you say?
You might be wondering why I'm telling this story?
I guess it's because the Humboldt bus accident tragedy is still fresh in my mind. My Facebook feed is filled with images of hockey fans putting their hockey sticks out on their front porches in a show of support for Humboldt. And it's not just people in your country, it's happening way down here in North Carolina and all across the United States, too.
Other creative Canadians are showing their support with drawings, sketches, hockey stick art and tear-jerking poems. Your Prime Minister visited the survivors, and so did Ron and Don and other members of the tight-knit hockey community. And at last check, the gofundme page for the Humboldt hockey families is approaching $9 million dollars!
The show of support across your country and beyond has been, in a word...awesome.
But there are more words I wanna use to describe the awesome support...
Words like: compassionate, caring, emotional, kind-hearted, tight-knit, loving, considerate, thoughtful, friendly, generous, unselfish, charitable, welcoming and helpful. I think you get the idea, there's just an overall feeling of having someone's back.
I wish I could track down the friend from 10 years ago and revisit the question about what's so special about being a Canuck. I'd tell him the past few days is your answer.
Canada and Humboldt, we've got your back.