FH : Argentine Hussey shares deep bond with grandmother

first_img Published on November 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Julia Hussey remembers watching her granddaughter, Stephanie, carry her field hockey stick around as a small child. When Stephanie got older, Julia attended many of her elementary school games at St. John’s School in Pilar, a province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.But when her son, Eduardo Hussey, left Argentina for Miami after his company transferred him in 2004, that all changed. Stephanie, her mother and her brother followed Eduardo a year later. After being so close for many years, there was suddenly a 4,300-mile gap between Julia and her closest family members.‘When they lived in Argentina, I used to see them every weekend,’ Julia said. ‘So when they left the country to come to the United States, it was very hard for me to even think that I would maybe not see them very often because I’m old and I can’t travel.’For Stephanie Hussey, a freshman on the Syracuse field hockey team, it has been equally as difficult to deal with being away from her grandmother. Until earlier this year, Stephanie hadn’t seen her grandmother in person since leaving Argentina six years ago. But the two have stayed close through phone calls, emails and field hockey. On Friday, the two reunited again, as Julia traveled all the way from Buenos Aires to watch Stephanie and the Orange win its second consecutive Big East tournament title. It was a highly emotional reunion both had looked forward to.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Just the fact that I can show her all this,’ Stephanie said. ‘Show her my team and show her my coaches, the university itself, for her to understand, and whenever she goes back home and I tell her, ‘I’m walking around here, I’m walking around there,’ she can actually visualize it.’These are images she can take back with her to Argentina and hold onto for the rest of her life.Julia said not seeing her granddaughter was one of the most torturous aspects of being separated from her family. She had been used to seeing her regularly since she was born, and it was tough to lose that close bond.Stephanie knew it would be a harsh transition for the family, but it was also what was best for everyone. In the last six years, they’ve done everything in their power to remain close with Julia.‘We’ve been always there for her to help her out, and at the same time, she’s been looking after my hockey and my brother’s rugby,’ Stephanie said. Though Stephanie refused to lose the connection with her grandmother, she had to overcome other challenges to continue playing field hockey.Stephanie’s high school in Miami didn’t offer field hockey, so she often had to travel 40 minutes just to play. The Husseys regularly drove 12 hours for her to participate in the Futures Elite program in North Carolina.For the majority of the last six years, Stephanie and her grandmother have been forced to communicate solely through phone calls and online messages. At first it was very difficult, but over time her grandmother has transformed into a ‘cyber friend,’ even making Facebook and Hotmail accounts.‘It was hard at the beginning not to see them, not to be able to kiss them or touch them or share some of the everyday life, but I got used to that way of connecting,’ Julia said.And just as it was in Stephanie’s youth, field hockey has been a strong part of maintaining that bond.When Stephanie provides pictures and regular updates of how she’s playing, her grandmother reciprocates by filling her in on the Argentine national team after each of its games.Last weekend, Julia got to watch Stephanie in her biggest games as a collegiate athlete. Coming off her second-career goal against Bucknell on Oct. 30, head coach Ange Bradley said she’s adapting to the college game well.‘It takes freshmen time to adjust,’ Bradley said. ‘The speed of play, everything is just happening so much faster. You’re playing more structured. So Stephanie, through time, has really adjusted and started to understand the concepts of team hockey.’But that on-field adjustment is nothing compared to the changes she’s had to make since coming over from Argentina. Her grandmother’s presence in the stands last weekend served as a reminder of her journey and relationship with her.Said Stephanie: ‘To keep in touch and everything, she’ll look at pictures, she’ll look at whatever’s possible for her to be informed and be here with us.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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