My Rock

My Rock

Let’s rewind to 9 years ago when Craig and I started our relationship.  It was a time in my life where hockey was a total different language to me.  I thought Craig was going to faint when I said, “I never heard of Wayne Gretzky.  I never been to a hockey game either.” His exact words, “Do you live under a rock?” But lets be real, growing up on the eastern side of Pennsylvania the sports that consumed our lives were football, wrestling, and baseball.  I have to chuckle today, as we are in the playoffs, before he signed in Colorado, Dancing with Stars was way more important than the NHL playoffs.  Wow, how things have changed!   Last night, I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve so excited for playoffs.

Ever since Craig stepped into my life, he brought that missing ingredient to my recipe.  I can actually say his strengths compliment my weaknesses, as my strengths compliment his weaknesses.

Since our first date, I knew Craig had the patience of a Saint. I was late to our first date, and he acted like a pure gentlemen.  We had a lovely dinner, great conversation, and he even opened my car door to go home. I remember leaving thinking this man is genuine and sweet.

We continued to date and get to know each other for a couple of months. I was so scare to jump into the fire of dating a professional athlete. Even though all the signs were there that he was “awesome”, I was still very apprehensive of getting my feelings hurt. Everyday Craig proved those insecurities wrong. The man doesn’t have a bone in his body to ever intentionally hurt me. In fact, he always one step ahead.

I remember when we first decided to officially commit into a relationship, he organized all my kitchen cabinets.  I had the flu and thought I needed Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup, to find out I had 5 cans of it scattered all over my cabinets in my kitchen.  Craig holds me together.  He teaches me to be organized and plan things ahead of time.  If anyone reading this knows me, I am laid back and fly by the seat of my pants.

Then our first big obstacle was when he signed with the Colorado Avalanche.  He asked me to move to Colorado with him.  My response, “I will only move if I have a full-time teaching job.”  I wasn’t leaving my teaching job in Florida to asking him for five dollars a month for Walgreens.  I had too much pride to rely on a man.  I worked too hard for my teaching degree to just give up my passion for influencing the world.  I began applying on-line to Colorado, and at the time skyped my first interview for a half-day position.  I remember not having a care in the world, thinking it was half- day position and it was a practice interview.  The school called me back within two hours offering me a half-day position which I turned down.  Within thirty minutes they called me back and offered me a full-time position.  I couldn’t believe this was happening.  Some might think I was stubborn, but as an established adult, I couldn’t role the dice without security for myself.  I am so glad I took the plunge that led to marriage and two beautiful boys.

During this cancer journey, my husband definitely has shown the definition of a best friend. We cried and laughed together. We experienced situations that we never thought would come our way. He became my cheerleader, like I am for him on the ice. He pushed me on days where I didn’t think I was going to make it.  He was the first to hold my hair when chemo didn’t agree with me, and when I was so weak he would carry me to the car and rush me to the hospital or hydration.  On Christmas Day, I was admitted into the hospital, missing our kiddos, and found a way to smile drinking milkshakes and hospital chicken fingers.  During the night he would watch over me, and check on me. Never once did he ever complain that he was tired or needed a break.  His strength to be by my side is truly remarkable.  I always think I can I ever repay him?  I am truly blessed by GOD to have this man in my life.

On top of caring for me, he cared for our boys. As I would sit back and just watch him, I would tear up.  I was so happy to see him, doing my job at ease.  To making breakfast, finding activity for them to do, to napping our little guy, to becoming Santa, the man held the fort down. It amazes me what a great dad he constantly displays day in and day out.  I am also impressed with how receptive the boys have become with Craig, since Mommy kind of gave her role to Daddy. Of course he hears from Jake, ” Mommy does it this way.” I am truly thankful the boys bonded in a special way which puts me at peace.  Each day of this journey, I am trying to take the positives out of this twister in our life.  It definitely puts a spin on how I will view the world forever.

Just when you think nothing else could go wrong, my Yorkie, Bella, broke her jaw during the first round of treatment in New Jersey.  Craig knows my two dogs are my world.  He jokes with me, and calls them my “College Tuition Dogs”, but Yorkshire Terriors are a high maintenance breed, I guess just like me these days.  Bella began yelping in pain.  The screeching sound broke my heart.  Without hesitation, Craig immediately googled a veterinarian, and was referred to an oral surgeon in Philadelphia.  He was basically told, Bella needed care as soon as possible or should could go to doggie heaven.  Knowing how much Bella meant to me, this man drove two hours at 11:00 at night after taking care of me all day to University of Penn. She received surgery and thank God she still with me today.

To watch my husband, add multiple things to his plate and handle them with grace completely amazes me.  As a goalie’s wife, during a season, I usually try to take things off his plate.  During naps, I either nap our kids or take them somewhere not to disturb him.  Pre-Game meals are ordered for him or I use my Italian skills.  Household responsibilities I usually handle. Anything I can take away from him to make his job easier, I always did in a heartbeat.  This season has been so different, the man wore many hats, piling on role after role, and in my book deserves an A+.

As I watch Craig play hockey, he truly amazes me to be able to be so focused and carry this weight on his shoulders.  It can’t be easy to push aside everything he has experienced on the outside of hockey.  I truly admire his strength, determination, and perseverance.  It pushes me through my everyday battles.  He honestly helps me with the mental battles I encounter daily.  Sometimes I believe he uses his goalie voodoo on me.  But, he is right!  The mind is a very powerful tool.  I can’t thank him enough for keeping my mind in my game.  He sure makes a great coach.  I try to reassure him daily, “I am ok too!” The last thing I want is his mind on me and not his game.  Everything this man does for me and our children is genuinely from his heart.  For me to see him, giving his all empowers me. I am so proud to call him my husband!  I Love You!



















33 thoughts on “My Rock”

  1. I am so happy for you all. You both are great together and are blessed to find each other. God will take care of you and your family. You have grown into a great women, I remember you growing up and so proud of the woman you have become. Love you Patty

  2. What a wonderful story and tribute to your husband! It’s nice to have someone to lean on in those tough times. You gather your strength from them, which you just need desperately sometimes. I watch the Senators games, and you can see the kindness and thoughtfulness. I enjoyed reading your story and am glad your getting better!!! ( I’m from Long Island, NY ).

  3. Nic, this is beautifully written, with such depth of feeling that each line is litterally filled with your love. I remember when you first started dating your “knight in shining armor” and how you would have that shy smile and perk up when you talked about him. I could tell early on that he was the guy for you. I am so happy that you found your soul mate and that he is there to help you through this challenging time in your life. Your love shines and grows and together you can face anything. Thank you for letting us in and sharing your beautiful love story. xoxo

  4. Thank you for sharing him with us. Thank you, for selflessly sending him back to Ottawa when his teammates needed him, but you needed him more.
    Thank you for being a strong, caring person. A wife, a mother, a teammate to the Sens spouses, and a role model for Sens Army. We don’t get to meet you in person, but you have shared so much with us that I feel like I know you. We continue to pray for you and your family. #andersonstrong

  5. Nic, this was beautifully written! I remember when you first started dating him! It was the year you had Tommy in 4th grade! I knew he was special as my sin said, “He’s awesome cause he played at recess with us and we all had so much fun!” That’s a true companion for life, and I’m thrilled you have each other❤️

    1. Boys will be boys! The 4th graders loved playing kickball with him, and I am sure he loved it just as much! Kid at heart.

  6. Your story brought me to tears. Twenty years ago I battled cancer, my children were aged 4 and 6. Everyday my family gave me the courage and strength to get through.
    I am a huge Senators fan and I continue to be amazed by Craig’s commitment to his family and his team.
    Your family is truly special and you are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing a beautiful story.

  7. this brought me to tears. your marriage is what all couples should strive for. thank you for sharing this.. I saw you at one of the games this past winter, i was sitting near you and i thought you were such an inspiration. to be there with them supporting craig during this difficult time. you are both blessed to have one another.

  8. Nicholle this story brought tears to my eyes. It is nothing short of a love story and I felt that in every word you wrote. I could feel the love you have for Craig and in return the love he has for you. This is the true meaning of marriage. You are blessed to have such a genuinely kind hearted person in your life. It sounds as though there is nothing he wouldn’t do for you or your children (furry ones included☺). I have so much respect for both of you and the way you have been dealing with this unforseen obstacle. Together you will get through this and your bond will be even stronger because of it.
    And you are right, the mind is a powerful tool. When I was going through cancer last year someone gave me some good advice. “Control your mind or it will control you”.
    Easier said than done I know, but it is a saying that I still think of often. Thanks again for sharing your story with us. Although it brought tears to my eyes it also brought a smile to my face?

  9. I love reading your stories. You are so blessed to have such a strong man by your side. Not only is he keeping you positive he is teaching your boys what a gentleman really is. They will grow and have so much respect for others. Keep fighting. You’re almost there ❤️

  10. This is how a marriage should be, and you are truly blessed to have found it Nik. As a sens fan in the supporter section, we truly appreciate your sacrifices and commitment to his career. As a wife, and mother I think of you often and rally behind you in your fight. Keep fighting and keep cheering as we definitely all do for the both of you!

  11. Your words and your determination to feel the love, see the joy, and find the positivity through this journey is just remarkable Nicholle. You have so many people thinking and rooting for you and in this fight. I hope every young girl finds their “Craig” but I am especially happy that you found yours!!! xox

  12. nicholle this story really inspired me there are not alot of good supportive men out there.. keep working together u guys will get thru this.. praying for ur recovery.

  13. What a beautiful homage! Carried you to the car when you were too tired? That’s so beautiful. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with everyone. Kinda got me teary-eyed…. : )

  14. Nicole I have been following your life feel my dear best friend Terry . I am so so sorry to hear what you are going through. I know you will get through it with the love you have a your husband in the love he has if you want to love your children here for you that’s enough to make you stronger each day. I enjoyed reading the story of how you two met I love how he loves you and how much you love him. It’s amazing how everyone comes together in a time like this. I love how you are so behind him as well as he is behind you. Would love to get together with you Terry and your family when you get well. I truly believe in prayers and know that I lit a candle for you on Easter Sunday I truly truly did. By the way you are a great writer I can see why you were a schoolteacher and I believe that you are a good one. You must’ve really love this man to pack up and move. But it was the best move of your life . I know in my heart it’s not over everybody gets through this and I feel that you will keep praying, and the strong love of your family is going to get you through this. Keep trying and remember the only time you feel is the last time you try. But I know you’ll never stop trying. Get well take care of yourself , And I will be looking forward to following your husband through Terry and also on Facebook. Love your love story, Denise Hewitt, best friend of Terry’s model from Michigan, that sells the jewelry, hope you like your necklace s. Know that I am keeping you in my prayers. Love Denise Hewitt

    1. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful info specially the last part I care for such inmoifatron much. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  15. Your story is truly amazing. I know that both of you are truy
    t Blessed to be in each others lives. God Bless you both

  16. Nicole,
    I have never had the chance to meet you, but knowing Craig since he was 12 years old when he stayed with us in Québec city and see the man he became with you is truly a sign that you two were meant to be. I wish you both all the best in your fight against the adversity life brings you, your love for each other is the foundation on which you stand strong and positive. You are both in my thoughts and my prayers. God bless you.

  17. ur so incredibly lucky nik.. my bf does nothing when he is sick or when he is ok hahah.. he is useless around the home! alo t of men dont share even half of all domestic chores and on top of that i make more money than he ever did..why do i get the jerks:(

  18. Nicholle, thank you for sharing your journey and battle with cancer, as well as the loss of your daughter. Your openness and honesty will hopefully help others who find them selves in a similar situation. Watching the Sens win Round 1 tonight against Boston, the camera panned to you in the crowd, my husband, son and I were so elated to see you on the screen, cheering on Craig and the team. Thank you for all you do in Ottawa. Wishing you a full recovery. Randy, Ryan, Melanie

  19. You are so blessed to have an understanding husband and other people in your life. That helps tremendously. I’m not married but I have family and friends that helped me will chemo and after my surgery and more chemo. I couldn’t do much after the mastectomy because of shoulder and arm problems. You two make a great couple and team?! Good luck, Hope.

  20. Dear Nik,
    Ever since I heard your husband took time off to be with you, I have been sending prayers and good thoughts to your family. You are an amazing family and it’s wonderful you can stick together and fight this together. I am also a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma when I was 10 months old. I had surgery and radiation and cancer never came back. I couldn’t get pregnant so my wonderful husband and I adopted three children (2 girls and 1 boy). My son loves hockey and plays centre in Atom A. He dreams to play in the NHL like many boys of his age. We also are Sens fans and we are very excited the team made it to the next level. I wish you the best of luck with everything. You deserve a great husband. As for me, I wouldn’t replace anything that happened to me. I have three amazing children and a wonderful husband. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story.

  21. Your a good fighter Nicholle.thank you for sharring your story. Believe in God and pray sometimes miracles can happen ♥

  22. Hi Nicholle,
    You don’t need to go through this terrible treatments.
    Contact: thetruthaboutcancer by Ty Bollinger or
    You will see anazing healing in simple way and honest way.
    Thank you,
    Bozena J.

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