In two days, we will be on our way home after having completed our second hockey season in Scotland. As often happens when you come to the end of any wonderful experience, you start getting sentimental. And that’s what I’m doing now. Looking back fondly on our little Fife life.
It seems like yesterday we arrived here, after what had been a whirlwind off-season. Just two months before, Kevin had been recovering from his second-consecutive season-ending injury. His career may well have been over. He wasn’t a particularly marketable goalie seeing as 1) the timeline of his recovery might not allow him to regain his form before the start of the season and 2) signing him meant bringing along his pregnant wife and their little boy. Would all that extra paperwork be worth it for a player that might not be able to stay injury-free for the entire year? Most recruiters would have said “no”. And I wouldn’t have blamed them. But Stewy wasn’t most recruiters. He saw past Kevin’s injury-record and past the fact that our family situation was more complicated than other potential prospects. I will be forever grateful to him for taking a risk on us, and to the rest of the Flyers management for trusting his judgment. Had it not been for them, we never would have had this extraordinary opportunity.
In two seasons, we’ve been lucky to see so much of what this beautiful country has to offer. From Edinburgh and Stirling to Inverness and The Isle of Skye, from little fishing villages like Crail and Anstruther to bigger seaside towns like St. Andrews and Kirkcaldy, we’ve marveled at the scenery and soaked in the culture. In all our adventures, we’ve driven through more
roundabouts than we will drive through for the rest of our lives in the States.
We’ve eaten more toast and consequently more butter than ever before. And we’ve
taken more pictures than we could ever afford to develop.
Looking at our lives now, I see little pieces of Scotland everywhere. I love that our backyard is the “garden”, the mail is the “post”, soccer is "football", and Brayden knows chips as “crisps” and fries as “chips”. I don’t have any shame about the fact that I practically eat Scottish butter with a spoon. (Yes. It’s that good.) I’m proud that I now understand about 90% of what Mr. Allan Anderson says, which is a testament to my vastly improved understanding of a thick Scottish accent. And I’m happy that my boys have spent many of their toddler days puddle jumping in tidal pools at the beach, playing in Fife’s pristine parks, and exploring the ruins of Ravenscraig Castle. We are so lucky that so many of our earliest memories as a family-of-four will have Scotland in the backdrop.
Thinking back to what this community has meant to our family, I couldn’t be more grateful. This is the place our youngest son was born. The place where I was welcomed into a group of lovely mothers who, over the course of playdates and playgroup sessions, and the occasional night out, have become wonderful friends. Where we have found lifelong friendships in players and their better halves. The place where my husband’s played in front of his favorite type of home crowd, the big and loud and proud kind. Where he was given tremendous fan support, even when he thought he didn’t deserve it but probably needed it the most.
This hasn’t been the easiest two years for us. Having a new baby so far away from our own families comes with its own set of challenges. Losing my sister last January was the start of what has been a long and painful journey. Through it all, we have been so humbled by the support that's poured in. We are so lucky that hockey brought us here because we would not have been able to do it alone.
So, to all those who have been there for us in different ways over the course of our time here, I want to say thank you. And to those of you who also happen to be Flyers fans, keep doing what you do. This may not have been the season that you all wanted and deserved. But better seasons will inevitably come, as well as some long-awaited hardware. Until that day, no matter what future seasons hold for us, we will be cheering on the Flyers. And, all the while, you can take pride in having made Fife such a wonderful place for your hockey families to play.
All our love and thanks,
The Regan Family