Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dominic Moore's Cautionary Tale Speaks Volumes

This goes a little differently than usual.  I don't write about hockey that often, but Dominic Moore's story made me sharpen the pencil again to discuss it.

It's really not a story about hockey, mind you.  And it took a strange post in Boston Barstool Sports to make me write about this in the first place.  Thinking it was just click bait, I decided to click on a story that made one of the writers of that site admit that it was the "Saddest Thing I Had Ever Seen In My Life."  Who wouldn't want to read or watch that?  Especially on a Sunday morning when I was just sitting on my couch watching the morning come and go. 

It turned out that that writer was right.  The segment about Dominic Moore's leave of absence from the NHL to tend to his sick wife is one of the saddest things I have ever watched in my life.  But it might also be one of the kindest.

The piece, which aired on ESPN's E:60 program a couple of weeks back, tells the crushing story of Dominic Moore, a journeyman center who had been toiling away in the NHL for over 10 years, and his wife, Katie Moore.  The lede to the story begins with one of Moore's teammates talking about Moore's come back after he had to take care of "something."  Then we saw pictures of Moore playing hockey spliced together with pictures of presumably his wife.  Immediately, I knew that this one was not going to be an easy one to watch. 

The story begins by taking us through the Moores' meeting at Harvard University, traveling to play in various NHL cities and their eventual marriage in 2010ish.  They bought a home in Cambridge, they were talking about starting a family, everything seemed right.  Unexpectedly, during San Jose's play off run in 2012, Katie Moore was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of liver cancer just days after complaining about feeling ill.  Moore abruptly left the team to care for his wife leaving the playoffs to the side.  The story then takes us through Moore's diagnosis, and the procedures done to prolong her life and, sadly, her eventual death just 8 months later.  To see the metamorphosis of Katie from a beautiful woman to a frail shell of herself in just 8 months is tragic.  The scene where they walk into their Cambridge condominium after friends had finished the work that the Moores had started was poignant and saddening.  Dominic Moore skipped the strike-shortened 2012-13 season to deal with his tragic loss.  But the story comes around to tell of Moore's reemergence with the New York Rangers this year.

But why write about it?  It's a terrible story, and although Moore emerges to play hockey again, start a foundation in his wife's memory and generally move forward in a positive way, its an awful story that I hope no one has to go through.  But this story, to me at least, is a cautionary tale about how life sometimes gets in the way of itself.  And more importantly how one can try to make sure that it doesn't get in the way.

What the Hell does that mean?  It's easy to take a lot of things in your life for granted.  It manifests itself in a number of ways.  You count the days until the weekend or the Summer.  You come home from school or work and you think you're too tired to do anything but sit on that God damned couch.  You watch as the days pass you by, thinking that there will be plenty more of them.  The problem is that that might not always be the case.  For me, it takes a story of some hockey player and his wife, to remember that life is filled with changes, all that needs to be explored.  For you it might be something else.  It doesn't matter, so long as you find it.

Maybe "cautionary tale" is bad term to use.  Maybe "wake up call" is better.  The point is that all of our lives are short, some more than others.  And if we always worry about the small stuff, the big stuff slips right by us.  We all need to try to relish every second that we have.  It's not easy, and neither is life.  That's what Dominic and Katie Moore's story means to me.

Oh and one more thing, I think I'll root for the Rangers this year.

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