This story will surely pull at your heart strings, especially when you see that it is about one of the most loved goaltenders around the National Hockey League: Curtis Joseph. Late on Tuesday night, CBC’s Neil Davidson reported that the former NHL goalie was coming out with an autobiography and its message is moving and inspiring.
Joseph reveals he was neglected as a child in his upcoming autobiography “Cujo — The Untold Story Of My Life On And Off The Ice.”
“I had a weird life,” he writes. “Two moms, three dads and I grew up in a home full of mentally ill patients run by a crazy person. The last thing anybody expected was that I would someday make a living playing hockey.”
In the book, he tells all about where he grew up; a “rehabilitation centre” north of Toronto, where his mother, who adopted him as a baby, ran the place. She was an addict, was unstable and let him sleep on a mattress filled with cat urine and barely provided food for her growing boy.
“By the time I was 10 years old, I was living on a steady diet of stale cookies, processed cheese slice sandwiches and frozen institutional hamburgers — God knows what they were made of,” he writes.
“Mom treated her animals better than she treated her kids.”
When he was active in the NHL, Curtis refused to open up and talk about his difficult childhood. As he wore the colour of the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames, the netminder never dared to tell anyone about his hard life.
Until he met his wife Stephanie, whom he married six years ago. She convinced him to open up about his past and share it to potentially help others in a similar situation.
“It was not something that I was really proud of. I was embarrassed of (it),” he said in an interview.
“She’d squeeze things out of me … I’d learned to embrace it and then I’d tell her more. And then I’d use it as a teaching tool to my kids,” he added in an interview, according to CBC.
Calgary author Kirstie McLellan Day, who had previously collaborated on books with Theo Fleury, Bob Probert, Wayne Gretzky, Kelly Hrudey and Ron MacLean, has helped him put it all on paper in a tell-all autobiography.
In documenting his life, they reconnected with family and friends who helped fill in his story as Joseph revealed he was, at least, able to count on “a string of warm-hearted adults — outside his home” to help him out along the way and the road to the NHL.
Joseph appreciates life to the fullest and hopes his book will be able to help others.
“I try to (stay in shape) because life is good now and I don’t want to waste it. I want to enjoy it and live it a long time. I’ve got a lot to live for.”
On Tuesday, TSN also broke down his story in a special segment: