I grew up in Red Deer and met my husband when we were both in High School. When he passed away seven years ago it was devastating for me and my kids, and it's been a long road to move through the grief. I don't actually know if the grief will ever be gone, it's just part of who I am, it doesn't define me, but it's part of my life. I think about my husband a lot, not constantly as I used to, but he's still a pinnacle part of who I am and will always be.
I remember talking about him a lot after he died, never really accepting the fact he was gone, and not wanting to let him go. I still talk about him, but he's not front and center in my conversations any longer, nor is my grief. But I still miss him terribly, I miss my best friend and I miss our life together, but I have learned to move forward.
Sometimes, I worry people will forget about him, but then I stop and realize that would be impossible, he was an amazing individual and touched so many lives, and truly made a difference for many people. I remember hearing stories from people about how he helped them, or inspired them, how kind he was, and how he would listen to them, and of course how much fun he was and how funny. Even after his death he continued to inspire people to change their lives for the better.
It warms my heart when people talk to me about him and remember him for being such a great human being that he was. Yesterday, my son shared with me a Spittin' Chiclet podcast that Ron MacLean was on, and that he mentioned Bernie in the pod cast. Bernie and Ron were friends growing up in Red Deer. This isn't the first time Ron has mentioned Bernie out in the public, and each time I hear about it I am truly grateful. You see, Bernie was the person who got Ron involved in broadcasting, and then into refereeing. I remember when Ron's book "Cornered" first came out we bought a copy; Bernie was surprised and happy that Ron gave him a mention. I also remember one of the times Bernie met Ron somewhere in Edmonton, this particular time Don Cherry was with him. Ron off the cuff mentioned to Don that Bernie was the guy that got him into all of this, I don't remember what Don Cherry said, something sarcastic I think.
Now that Bernie is gone it means even more to me when he is talked about or mentioned; I love to hear the stories about his practical joke antics and just hearing about him in general. It means a lot when Ron mentions him and gives him credit for getting him in the business.
I know Bernie was so proud of Ron and it was always fun for us to share how we knew Ron and to watch him on Hockey Night in Canada. Bernie might not be here any longer, but I still think he is influencing and changing lives for the better.
You can hear the pod cast by following the link, Ron mentions Bernie at the -1:22:47 minute mark.