The Fighter
13th Apr 2011Posted in: Blog 4
The Fighter

Cloaked in a large grey hoody, multiple layers and sweat pants, Tree takes in the morning one breath at a time.   She is a fighter.  Her over sized attire, her uniform. Every day is attacked with the same fervor of a professional boxer, yet her fight doesn’t just start or end on the rock that we throw ourselves at daily, it is nonstop…24-7…second by second…a quest for how to live in the present and how to live with the most unimaginable loss.

The uniform is joined by a daily ritual.  A multitude of vitamins, kale and fruit smoothies (cancer killing/prevention foods), hard boiled eggs, stretching, yoga, and a lot of reading. For these past few days though, the ritual has also included rock climbing…in the magical playground of Skaha, where endless walls of challenge and play await.

Anyone who knows Tree, knows that she is an avid climber.  She cranks even on her bad days…but on this trip, “infused with Andrew’s spirit”…she is unstoppable.  The first day we got out on the rock (me, weak and scared from a season of ice climbing), and Tree motivated to take Andrews spirit to the chains on every route…had gravity seeing 0 and Tree 6.  I didn’t know what I had signed up for…

As the days of this trip progress, I am continually amazed at Tree’s grace and strength.  Andrew Langsford was an amazing man, and the complete love of her life.  Why go on a climbing trip you might ask??  Well…I recall getting a text from Andrew last summer when he was unable to go climbing with Tree on one of her days off.  It read “Sarah…this is your time to shine…Tree needs a climbing partner, you are the chosen one”.  Andrew knew what climbing meant to Tree because they were two shared souls and it was a mutual understanding.  Making that next move, searching for the next hold, facing the unknown of your physical limits, all pulls you to a place that is so present that everything else fades away…temporarily…..

And so, now as we put a close on our trip to Skaha, and turn our tired and worked bodies toward home…the fighter must continue her battle.  She is armed with printed shirts of her amazing mountain man, a picture on the dash of her van, books on living and dying and  food to fuel a healthy body. Mostly though, what the fighter is armed with, is an incredible spirit,…both that of Andrews and that of her own, love of friends and family and a true belief that she will, eventually, find a way through this maze of life to once again truly live again, moment to moment, day to day….a lesson that takes most, a lifetime to learn….

To Andrew, you are eternally missed, but never forgotten…



4 Responses

  1. Kristen Page says:

    This is absolutely beautiful and such a joy to read. Thank you so much.

  2. Al ducros says:

    thanks that was what life and its pain, love and enjoinment is all about. A thing of beauty .

  3. Geoff says:

    More tears, speechless. But thank you.

  4. Jan Black says:

    I had never read this before Sara, it brings fresh tears. I have learnt so much from Tre and the past 6 months, and I like to think I have become more open and honest because of her. it’s been a pretty raw ride, eh?

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