Loss of a loved one at any time, is a difficult thing. Even if it is expected, as it was this time. I have been wanting to tell you about my friend, Tami, but struggling with the right words. I want to honor the incredible person she was, but I am sure that the words I write just can’t express to you just how much of an incredible person that she was. I am going to just let the words flow as they come to me and hope that you will learn a bit about this amazing person that I was and will always be honored to call a friend. She is forever my hero.
Tami, was THE strongest person I have ever met. I mean that now and have always felt that way. Even before she was sick, she was one kick-ass human being. I have no other way of saying it! I remember when we worked together and she had crashed her bike and came into work with a leg injury. She really wasn’t supposed to be working, but nothing ever kept her down. Not even cancer. More of that in a bit.
She was such a hands on physical, do it yourself person. I admired her for it and I was jealous of it, a bit. I wanted to be just like her! (In many ways!) I remember when she came over and helped me work outside once. She went into her truck and brought out all of HER tools. She told me she had her own set and her hubby best not touch them!
She wasn’t afraid of anything and she instilled that into her children. She told me when they were learning to drive she made them drive in any weather. How else would they learn? Smart woman.
The thing that anyone that knew her will tell you is how genuinely kind she was. She had a great heart. She loved her family and friends and she made sure they knew it. When you hung out with her she made you feel like you were the most important person around. She was fun and lit up any room she was in. She wasn’t afraid to talk to anyone and I remember her going up to strangers without a thought about it.
I was honored to help with a benefit a few years ago for her and even though she was sick, she wanted to help. She hated to sit back and do nothing. It was something she just wouldn’t do, something that was hard for her.
We did a lot of talking about this cancer and life stuff. Sometimes she would come over for a “Joy hug” as she would say. I think I got the best end of it, as I got a ‘Tami hug” and those were pretty great. When we would talk, she would tear up at times and that would make her mad. She would apologize for it. She always wanted to be strong.
And she was.
We took a trip to Las Vegas in February of last year. She had just taken her first chemo for this round of cancer days before we left. But she went anyway. Because that is what she did. Lived her life. I won’t say that she didn’t have a tough time that trip, because she did, at times. She also had a wonderful time. We ‘made memories’ as she said. and she got to see the lights in the fountain at the Bellagio at night-something she told us she always wanted to do.
I could never find the strength she did. I know she was scared. She told me. I know she didn’t like people to know that or to see her being anything but strong. The fight she found in her was unlike anything I have ever witnessed. She wanted to stay for her family, she wanted her grandchildren to know her. She fought with everything she had, all the way to the end.
I know she didn’t want us to cry after she left us. But I have and I will. The loss of Tami is a profound one. My world will be a little darker with the loss of such a great light. I promise you, Tami that I will try. And I will remember the good times, the happy times, the times we laughed. But there will always be the times that remind me that you are gone. And the tears will come.
Ride free, my dear sweet friend. You are forever in my heart….Thank you for being a part of my life. I am a better person for having known you.