Anne Marie passed away peacefully yesterday.
Anne Marie was one of my wife’s closest friends and they had been friends since college. I won’t embarrass anyone by saying how much time that is, but it is the end of this part of the journey for Anne Marie.
There were many kind people who stepped forward with the fundraising part of the swim this year and because Anne Marie was such a private person, she was touched by the fact you helped her without looking for any sort of validation as to where the donations were going to.
The donations went to an immunotherapy clinic in Europe which gave Anne Marie a lease of life and she had a reprieve from the cruel cancer that struck her down. People turn to this kind of therapy sometimes when other options have been exhausted, but everybody knows that cancer has no emotions or sentiment. So if you find yourself in the early stages of something that doesn’t feel right, please get it seen to medically.
Anne Marie was a mountain of positive energy. She always had a wide grin on her face and she wouldn’t dwell on the negative or suffer fools. When I crossed the finish line at the Warrior of the Sea race a few years ago, she was standing there and cheering me on. She wasn’t too concerned about the place I had finished in the race (I won), but she was glowing with praise for even doing the swim. And her friend, my wife, is the same.
I hope to resume this swim adventure next year in some form while I still have my health. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t, but I know while we only have a finite window of opportunity in this life, that we need to chase our dreams.