At first, the grief overwhelms you.  But with time and tears, you can transform your pain into remembrance.  And with that act, you illuminate the person you lost, allowing others to experience the beauty of their spirit….So they live on.  ~Kelly S. Buckley~

Each year, our family, in cooperation with the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League, puts off the annual kick-off tournament for the season.  The Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament celebrates not only the league and the sport of hockey, but the memory of my precious boy Stephen.

I love how the event has grown.  But it is also an emotional weekend for our family. There are moments that if I listen closely enough, I can almost hear him yelling at his defensemen, or laughing after a hard fought win. He would love this tournament.

I busy myself in the weeks and months leading up to it.  With 14 teams, it is a huge undertaking, so it’s easy for the emotion of the event to be quelled by the sheer length of the to-do list. But once the first puck is dropped, it always seems to hit me.  This is for him…in remembrance of him…because he is not here.

But even with that feeling of sadness, we are so humbled and so very grateful. The event is a testament to how he lived, and the impact he had on so many in his short life.

Remembrance….it hurts a little, but it also allows us to keep the memory of our loved one alive.

Have a look at the exceptional piece Wolfpack TV put together about Stephen Patrick.

Sending love to each of you.



Stephen’s Ripple: The Stephen Russell Story from PackTV on Vimeo.