The Tragically Hip's "The Lonely End of the Rink" shuffled on during my bike ride on Friday. I've loved this song since the first time I heard it in 2006, but it took on a far more personal meaning in January of 2008. That's when my uncle Bruce passed away suddenly.
"The Lonely End of the Rink" is now Big Bruce's anthem. When I hear it, I'm immediately brought back to the speech his only son made at his funeral.
Mark was a goalie, playing in the OHL for the Sudbury Wolves and Belleville Bulls. His father was his biggest fan and supporter. Big Bruce, a large and imposing figure, would sit at the end of the rink behind the net his son was minding. If anyone turned on Mark, hurling insults or ridiculing him for letting in a weak goal, Big Bruce made sure they knew who he was. Instantly, the catcalls would stop. Big Bruce always had Mark's back when he sat on the lonely end of the rink.
Big Bruce is still very much missed...
I hear your voice cross a frozen lake
A voice from the end of a leaf
Saying, "You won't die of a thousand fakes
Or be beaten by the sweetest of dekes"