A tribute to Bryce Jesse Mason
-written by John Labosky
Why does it hurt so...
Maybe it's because you've seen him carry the puck through three defenders and beat the goalie in the upper corner when he was only supposed to control the puck for a shift change.
Maybe it's because you've seen him give your son a fat pass to score when he could have taken the shot himself.
Maybe it's because you've been with him when he won the game on a break away with one second left.
Maybe it's because you've been with him at tryouts and seen his pain when he didn't make the team, seen his determination not to give up, and then seen his joy when he made it the next year.
Maybe it's because you've played with him and wanted him on your line.
Maybe it's because you've played against him , and you know he was never cheap. He won or lost with grace.
Maybe it's because hocky brings out passion in the players and fans, and he played it with that passion, the passion he had for life.
Maybe it's because his parents are as selfless as any could be. They encouraged your son even more than their own. They thought more of how you and his teammates felt, not of themselves. They were prepared to give you the shirt off their backs , even when there was no shirt to give. Their selflessness was instilled in their son.
Maybe it's because you've seen how proud his parents were of him. They pushed him to be his best, encouraged him when he was down, and quietly loved him when he succeeded.
Maybe it's because he was on the brink of spreading his wings. You've shared some of his dreams of college and beyond. You just knew he was going to make a difference in the world, because he had already inspired his fellow players and friends.
Maybe it's because he was out selflessly helping his little brothers' teams when he could be doing other things.
Maybe it's because you have seen the utter grief on his teammates' faces when they realized what has happened.
Maybe it's because you see your own son when you look at him, and hope your boy picks up some of his good traits.
Maybe it's because we are his extended family. It's always incredibly hard to let one of your own go.
With BJ gone, we are all hurt in different ways. Remembering him keeps him alive.
Go with God, BJ, go with God.
Illustrated by BJ Mason