An email from my pal Julie:
Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy.
I cannot tell you how gutted I was to hear the news from Muffin that the cancer had once again reared its ugly head. To say that this is the shittiest news I've heard is a gross understatement. FUCK it just sucks and I am truly sorry.
But here's the thing, I'm even more sorry about something else. I'm sorry that I've never taken the time to tell you how thankful I am for having the one and only Jimmy Button in my life. You, my friend, have had a major impact on my life, a bigger one than most of the people I know and I bet you don't even know that. Now that in itself is just wrong and I apologize that it's taken this long for me to tell you what a difference you have made in my life and how I'm not even sure I'd be here today if it wasn't for you.
It's no secret that you're a pretty frickin awesome person and you have crazy good hair but I'm sure you're tired of hearing that by now ;o) ( yes is still prefer old school emojis).
But what most people wouldn't know is that you honestly and truly saved my life.
Twenty years ago I was at an all time low, my beautiful little baby girl had unexpectedly passed away in my arms two weeks after her first birthday, my marriage was pretty much a heaping pile of poop and I was about to leave all my friends and family to move across Canada to redneck cowboy country (my impression at the time) where I didn't think I knew a soul. Uschz, scary, daunting and totally depressing. I had been working at Holt Renfrew in marketing since graduating Guelph and although I had never been to Calgary I was pretty sure it wasn't Canada's second fashion capital so to top off all that other crap I had no idea what I was going to be doing once I got there. (Don't worry the good part is coming soon, spoiler alert the good part is you)
Then a long came the curly haired boy with the crinkle in his forehead that I had partied with (and had thoroughly enjoyed partying with by the way) at Guelph and knew mostly from my friends fiancé. We had had many a great time as a group and I always enjoyed your company but we had never really had a ton of one on one time and frankly I wasn't even that sure you'd remember me. (Totally natural insecure chick talk right there). Anyway Muffin had reminded me that you had moved out west and mentioned that he had let you know I was on my way and that I should definitely look you up. He mentioned that you had made some great connections and that you had been loving it. He failed to mention that you were actually more popular and well liked than the premiere but that story is for another time. I don't think I had even landed yet when you reached out to say hello, welcome and oh yeah I have a job you might be interested in. Tracy had been working with an amazing guy and he needed some marketing support for his kids clothing company. It was no Holts you said but it was the first shining star and my very first glimmer of hope in surviving my new 'adventure'. I had a fantastic experience Kids only Clothing, learned a ton, met some amazing people that I still call my friends, got to travel back and forth across Canada with them, spend weeks at the Banff Springs Hotel putting on conferences and even hooked up with my now husband on a business trip back home from that job. I'd say that was an amazing experience and for all that my friend I thank you.
Next came the volunteer work opportunity. Having time on my hands was a bit dangerous for me back then. My husband was never home and was extremely focused on getting established in his new big job. Alone time for me was sad time. When you called to say the Zoo needed help and I could be on one of the committees I jumped at the chance. I could get out of the house, get out of my own head, get a chance to know your lovely wife and actually give a little back to my new community. Plus I got to wear a leopard skirt and great boots to a really good party and for all that my friend I thank you.
Socially I was a little slower in the uptake, the only people I was meeting was my huband's work friends, they were nice and all but dinners parties in the burbs weren't really my scene at the time and most of them had young families. Constantly having to answer the question 'do you guys have kids' was just brutal. I was feeling like I was sinking lower. That changed when you introduced me to super jocks!! Super jocks is the best idea ever by the way! A ton of different sports, something new and fun each week, young fun people and booze. Really there is no better combination. Did I tell you about the time the watch lady at the Bay almost called social services because of all the bruises on my wrists? They were the aftermath of wallyball but she apparently wasn't buying that story! Anyway I was back in the land of the living. I was laughing and smiling and meeting more amazing people and could see a light at the end of the tunnel and for all that my friend I thank you.
Hang on there's more.
The best way for me to cope with crazy shit is to blow off steam, work out my aggression and shake off the things that are weighing me down, controlling me or all around making me nuts is to picture them on the toe of my foot flying through the air with a big fuck you attached to them. Sweet heh? Anyways, to this day, soccer is the very best way for me to do that. I got to play soccer in Calgary and who you might ask introduced me to my soccer team? Why Jimmy Button of course. Girls soccer and coed, amazing people, they let me be me, they helped me to create a life outside of our sad bubble. ( most sad they never even knew I was married. Good lord) They let me freeze my ass off on snowy fields (that was a new one), they let me party hard and get fit again. They helped give me some of my strength and my sanity back and for that my friend I thank you.
There are a million other examples, super fun times, deep ridiculous belly laughs as well as super fun experiences (including the floating skin episode after skiing in Banff in the hot springs as we all jumped out and ran to the change room never ever to return to that place) and all of the super people you have introduced me to. That we have stayed in touch and have remained friends over all these years means so much to me. You are a pretty friggin amazing and inspiring person Jimmy Button and for all of that my friend I thank you.
I left Calgary feeling strong and optimistic because of you and all that you put into motion for me. Thank you doesn't seem big enough but seriously you need to know I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.
For all of that my friend I thank you.
Stay strong, laugh long.
I'll talk to you soon. xoxo