Thankful yet heavy-hearted

September 21, 2016

Condors Family,

What an amazing September morning. The sky is bright blue, the air crisp and clear, and the majestic maple tree I look at out the front window is clearly more colourful than even yesterday. It’s also “International Day of Peace” so we can’t help but be reminded of all that we have to be grateful for.

Yet even while thankful for so many things, my heart is heavy today too, as we received the word that Roseanne Facchin passed away this morning, after an incredibly courageous and inspiring battle with her illness. Her condition had been declining rapidly over the past couple weeks, and as Will shared last evening, he hoped that she could just fall asleep, maybe even today, the first day of Fall.

Many of you wouldn’t know this, but I attribute a great deal of the Condors existence to Roseanne. Ryan was one of the first three players ever to take to the ice way back that first summer, and it was then that we were blessed to meet his incredible Mom, Roseanne. She was SO encouraging, and grateful that Ryan was being given this opportunity to play hockey, her enthusiasm and spirit began to have an immediate impact on us. She asked us to consider keeping it going, and promised that she would do all she could to encourage other families and players to check out this new team. We knew so few people in the special needs community then, but I remember vividly driving home from the rink, and as Shana and I talked about Roseanne and our conversations with her, we said, “If Roseanne Facchin is any indication of the kind of people we’re about to meet, this is going to be a life-changing experience.” Little did we know!

Roseanne kept her promise, and her infectious optimism and positive spirit helped move us through those early days and years. I don’t believe it is over-stating it at all, to say that she was one of the builders of the Condors Community that we are blessed to be part of today.

For all of us who know her, I’m certain we will reflect and readily speak to her influence in our lives. She has set such an example for us of so many good things, and we are all better people because of her. My heart is thankful today for everything that she means to me, to us all. But my heart is heavy too, because we’ll miss her terribly, as she has a place in each of our hearts that can’t be filled.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Willie, Ryan, and his brothers Ben and Kevin. I’m sure any of us would do anything we could to ease what they’re going through now. We will stay close and support them in any and every way we can.

I do not have any details at this point as to what plans the family has made, but will get that information to you as soon as I find out. In the meantime, I KNOW that the Facchin family is grateful for and encouraged by your unfailing love and support for them. We’re incredibly thankful to be a part of such an amazing community, such a family, that reminds us daily, that this is bigger than hockey.

Most sincerely,
Jim

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