A long time member of the hockey community and his family have been devastated by a terrible incident, but once again thanks to the wonderful hockey community that we all belong to there is at least a silver lining here for the family.
38 year old former player Mike Christian and his family were just enjoying a typical Sunday afternoon last week, spending time at a friends place and swimming in the pool when Christian received a life changing phone call. There had been a fire at the family's home in Caledonia, Ontario so Christian hopped out of the fool gathered his partner Ashley and his kids and began racing towards the family home. No amount of speed would have changed things however, it was already far too late.
Christian had purchased the home three years prior, an 1870s farmhouse that was largely constructed with very old and very try wood, something that provided ample fuel for the fire and resulted in the complete destruction of the home. When Christian and his family arrived on the scene there was nothing left, they had seen the smoke from miles away but when they saw their house there was nothing left except for a few badly charred pieces on the ground, everything else had been completely consumed by the fire.
"It was gone," said Christian as per the Hamilton Spectator.
The good news for the Christian family here is that the family does have insurance, the bad news however is that the family has lost so many priceless and irreplaceable memories in the blaze. The family says that memories from Ashley's grandmother, the stuff from when their kids were babies, family photos, and some especially precious memorabilia of Christian's were all lost forever never to be replaced.
Christian lost his jerseys from his time with the Barrie Colts and the Guelph Storm, the gloves and pants that he wore as a member of the Dallas Stars, his only experience in the National Hockey League as a player, his championship ring from the Ontario hockey league, and perhaps worst of all a helmet that belonged to his father Gord from the time he won two championships with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1967 and 1972.
"It's really disheartening," he says. "We were shattered."
Nothing anyone can say or do will ever help the family fully recover all that they have lost, but once again the hockey community has rallied around the Christian family and extended some incredible support their way. In spite of the fact that this story has received very little coverage in the mainstream hockey media a GoFundMe set up for the family has already raised nearly $10,000 for the family. Additionally a good Samaritan has given the family their cottage to stay in while they wait for the insurance payments to come in and settle themselves into what will likely be their new home.
As for where they go from here? Christian says that there is nothing else to do but put your head down and keep pressing forward after a tragedy likes this.
"You start all over again," he says.
Obviously we wish the family all the best on their future endeavors.
Photo Credit: The Hamilton Spectator