Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/06/10 at 11:05 AM ET
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Last Sunday, Lorelei O’Byrne succumbed to cancer at age 56, her spirit strong, but body no longer able to resist her disease. At her bedside in Victoria was her husband, Dave, and her daughter, Krystal….
“My dad called the rink to leave a message. ‘Call home,’ it said,” O’Byrne recalled yesterday, speaking quietly after Canadiens practice.
“It’s the phone call you’re expecting, but it’s one you dread. It was a sad day. It had been a long battle for my mom, a long fight.” He cleared his throat once, then again. It had been only five days since his mother had died, but O’Byrne was ready to share these memories.
“I knew she was going to pass away, but it always comes sooner than you hope,” he said. “She put up a long, hard battle. She was a strong woman.” O’Byrne had gone home to Victoria last month, his 10-day leave from the Canadiens described then as “family reasons.” His plan had been to spend four or five days with his mother, who by then was in the final stages of her illness.
But his general manager suggested otherwise.
“Bob Gainey told me to take a step back and take more time with my family,” O’Byrne said. “He encouraged me to take as much time as I needed.
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