Last night, Sunday April 7th, 2013 my daughter Tara and I drove over to Chicago’s United Center to watch the Blackhawks play the Nashville Predators. This night was to be like most Blackhawk games at the United Center with 22,400 faithful fans rauciously yelling, clapping and screaming for their team. For the record the Blackhawks claimed a 5-3 victory and a playoff birth for the 2013 season. The most important event of the evening didn’t occur on the ice; this evening would bring forth something infinitely greater than any hockey game ever played.
Tara and I had driven down to Chicago from Minnesota, arriving just an hour before the game. Sunday games start at 6pm, an hour earlier than the normal start time. For that reason you will find more children at Sunday games. The kids were out in force last night. About five minutes before the end of the first period Tara and I walked into the concourse to get fries, bratwurst, and chicken wings. We stood at a small table just opposite to the entrance of the men’s bathroom.
After about 5 minutes I noticed a cute young girl, about 8 years old, standing patiently at the entrance to the men’s room. She stood facing the entrance, obviously waiting for her father. Hundreds of men walked in and out of the bathroom; still no daddy. Bravely she held her composure, but I could sense that something was wrong. At that time I told Tara that I wasn’t going to take my eyes off of that girl until I knew she was united with her parents. Five, then ten, then fifteen minutes went by. I walked over to the little girl and asked her if she was waiting for her father in the restroom. She said yes. At this time a middle aged woman approached us, also keeping an eye on the girl.
All of a sudden the most wonderful thing in the world happened. Her young, tall, handsome father ran up and swooped her in his arms. He had been frantically looking for her for more than fifteen minutes. They were both crying at this point; he out of thankfulness, she out of joy. Gosh what a moment!
I didn’t dwell on what could have happened to that girl. After all, not everyone of those 22,400 fans has noble intent. The little girl did the right thing; she stayed in one place and waited for her father. The other woman who was watching this young girl did the right thing too….she wasn’t going to go to her seat until that girl was made whole. For this man and his daughter last night at a jammed hockey game wasn’t a time of disaster, it was a time for loving and caring about the most important thing of all….family!