Sometimes you have to get through the bad to get to the good.
That is certainly the story for a Brantford man who had his entire Wayne Gretzky collection stolen, leaving him heartbroken.
As the owner of a small car detailing business, Mike Agriesti works non-stop for hours on end, and rewards himself with Gretzky memorabilia.
“Best hockey player in the world that ever lived,” said Agriesti.
Coming to work Monday morning he faced a heart stopping moment.
“I knew right away when I pulled up in my car and the glass was smashed that I got robbed,” Agriesti said.
The wall which had been packed with everything from a Gretzky retirement jersey to dozens of hockey cards was empty.
He had started the collection when he was just a little boy.
“I don’t think you can put a value on it, it meant that much to him,” said Paul Mitchell, a neighbour who stopped by to offer his support.
Agriesti buckled down and got right back to work.
“And all of a sudden I see Walter Gretzky roll up and get out of a customer’s car. I was in tears before he even stepped out the car,” said Agriesti.
“That’s true. He’s not lying about that, because I saw tears in his eyes,” said Walter Gretzky.
The elder Gretzky hadn’t come empty-handed.
He brought along a famous photograph of his son, a signed replacement for one that was stolen.
“He brought me a picture, literally exactly the same as one that I had,” said Agriesti.
Not everything that was stolen can even be replaced.
“Some of the items that were taken. The cards, even I don’t have them,” said Gretzky.
He said he was happy Agriesti was so excited about the picture.
“He is a wonderful person and a true, true Wayne Gretzky fan and a hockey fan,” Gretzky said.
Agriesti said that maybe things do happen for a reason, if his collection hadn’t been stolen, Canada’s ultimate hockey dad would never have shown up at his door.
“That man doesn’t have to say anything. Just his presence alone would put a smile on anyone’s face.”