I'm really struggling with the idea that you are now gone. Of all the people faced with cancer, I thought for sure you were going to be one of the survivors. In a sense, you were. You kicked it's ass the first time and you showed it that you weren't going to just lay down and die.
I remember when we were standing in line waiting to sign up for our first Ironman, in 2006, you were waiting to find out if the lump in your breast was malignant. When the news came back that it was, you took it like a champ. You figured out what needed to be done and did it.
I still laugh that you wanted to walk around with your shirt off after your masectomy because 'hey, there's nothing there now!' You always knew how to turn any situation into a positive one.
Even after the masectomy, the chemo and the radiation, you were still going to do Ironman. You have no idea how much you rock my world because of the way you fought this thing. NOTHING was going to stop you from reaching your dream.
I love the fact that you and I finished our first Ironman together. I never could have finished that marathon without you. I love that sometimes I would talk and sometimes you would talk whenever we found a bit of energy to do so. We kept each other going. I love that we both wanted to hurt the whiny dude behind us that kept saying how it was pointless to keep going on. He had no idea who he was dealing with did he??
The second time the cancer came around the doctors actually had the nerve to give you an 'end date'. Who the hell did they think they were? Obviously THEY didn't know who they were dealing with. They were dealing with Tigger, the most positive fighter of cancer ever to live.
I was so sure you were going to beat it this time. In a sense you did because you lived two months longer than they said you would. Even as you weakened the past few weeks, I thought, nope, this is a little blip. Things will get better. As the cancer spread I got a little more scared and I started to face up to the fact that maybe this time would be different. I always held out hope that things would be ok though.
I am sure some people would say that things are still ok, even though you have passed on. I've been talking a lot to Leslie and Esther about death and dying. I've been reading a lot of Buddhist books too. Trying to find some solace. I do take solace in the fact that I know you are still with me. Your energy is still here, even if you are no longer in your physical body.
That said, I'm selfish. I want the physical Tigger to be here dammit. I know you are going to be pissed at this, but I can't stop crying. I have this pain radiating in my chest and it's really hard to breath. I just don't want you to be gone.
When I found out the news yesterday, I went to Esthers. All the EE girls gathered there. There were some tears but mainly we shared all our wonderful stories about you. You'll be happy to know that there were way more smiles and laughter than there were tears. You touched our lives in such a positive way. I do hope you know that.
I shared the story of you showing me how to feed the baby cow 'Bear'. It was so funny trying to straddle him and hold the bottle out. I was pretty much riding him as my legs weren't as long as yours so I couldn't quite stand over him. Man that was funny.
Oh, and I loved getting to ride in the combine on the farm. You were so kind in holding in your laughter when I told you I didn't know what a combine was. Hey, I'm from Vancouver, not a farm girl! You know, Tim said you were the best driver he ever had working for him. No matter which way he went with the combine you never missed a bit of grain. It was so awesome that you gave me that experience.
And let us never forget the marshmellow shooters you showed us how to do in Fort Macleod. All of the girls were laughing at that last night. I still can't believe you mixed the Jack Daniels with the Hot Sex in the marshmellow. Holy hannah girl! I think that's what got us in trouble and we decided that after only doing sprint triathlons we could now do a Half Ironman!
There were so many good times and now so many stories to tell. I will never forget them as I will never forget you. I know, I'm a crying snotty mess right now...and you wouldn't like that. I promise to get my shit together though and start smiling a ton as I think of you. Because that's how you always were - smiling with that 1000 watt smile of yours.
I also know you will be with me when I attempt to tackle Ironman Canada this year. I will be racing for you my amazing friend. And I promise to get us in a lot quicker and with less pain than last time!
My thoughts and prayers go out to your hubby Bruce, and your family. Knowing how I feel about your loss, I can only imagine what they are going through.
I love you Tigger. Forever and always you will be my inspiration.