I loved my man with everything in me. I loved getting to live in different places, and watching hockey games. However, I just didn’t like the time difference for some of the games. My hometown team was the St. Louis Blues. When I met my boyfriend, I told him that no matter what team he was on, I’d root for the Blues first and foremost. Any time I get the chance I go St. Louis when my boyfriend’s team is playing them.

Living in Pittsburgh for work was fun, but when Rob signed with the Blues, it was the best option for us. I missed St. Louis. He had the choice of a trade to St. Louis or New York. We both needed a clean slate and this was it. We met at Diesel and when we were both sober, I told him that I would follow him wherever he played and that he were to think about what was best for him- to not think about me when he signed to teams.

When Rob told me that he was being traded, I braced for the worst- going where it was freezing cold in the winters. Then, he surprised me, and told me that we were going to St. Louis. I think I passed out in shock. Never did I imagine I’d get to go home and watch my hometown team play every home game. When the shock wore off, I found articles online about the choice, and confronted him.

“Rob, is this true? You had a choice, and you choose St. Louis for me? I told you not to.”

“Dani, yes, it’s true. And before you say anything, you have been with me through everything and didn’t leave when things got tough. I wanted to do this for you, to show you how much I appreciate you. I love you, Dani.” He took my hands in his, and leaned in to kiss me.

How could I be mad at him after that?! The truth is, he was so sweet to think of me. Most players would go where the money is. But Rob thought of me. It was the most romantic gesture that a man had ever done.

The season started and we were acclimated with our new home. We bought an apartment as we would be visiting in the off season as well as Thunder Bay. It was November- American Thanksgiving to be exact. Since it was smack dab in the middle of the season, we went to the Parayko’s for Thanksgiving dinner. We had become close friends with Kyla and Colton. Most of the team did their own thing, but since Kyla and I were American’s, the four of us decided to celebrate when the boys had off, rather than celebrate and have the boys miss dinner due to a game or being out of town.

“I’m thankful that we are friends, and that I feel like I have a best friend. Also, that Colton and Rob became friends.” Kyla said, as we went around the table saying what we were thankful for.

“I’m thankful for my supportive wife, and everything that she has gone through with being a hockey wife.” Colton followed.

“Well I’m thankful for the friends we have here in this house. But I’m also thankful for you, Dani. You’ve been nothing but supportive since we met. I love you, which is why I want to ask you something. You’re my best friend, and I can’t imagine my life without you, and how I survived without you in my life remains a mystery. I want you in my life. Will you make me the happiest man and Marry Me?” He got down on one knee, and I started tearing up. I was expecting Valentine’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s, etc. but not Thanksgiving.

“Yes, I will marry you. “ He slid the ring on my finger.

“Well how can I follow that?” I wiped my tears from my face. “ I’m thankful for you guys welcoming us with open arms. It isn’t easy being the new comers on the team. And for Rob- without him, I wouldn’t be here in my hometown. He sacrificed for me, and I only hope I can return the favor. I am thankful for my fiance and everything he does for me.” I was in disbelief. I couldn’t wait to plan my wedding, and be called Mrs. Robert Bortuzzo.