I remember the days when long spiky leaves would jab our faces on the quest to conquer evil,
trees that relentlessly stabbed our arms and legs as we hugged it trying to reach the top to find the hidden treasure, the days when the phrase 'giving up' was something unknown to us.
We took on each quest with all our might, swinging foam swords splitting in two.
Each quest was just as challenging as the last, yet adrenaline pumped through us, carrying us all the way through to the end to the hidden treasure.
Quest chirp was the most difficult of all. That baby bird we found was only a few breaths away from death, yet you tried nurturing it back to life without a doubt that the baby would survive.
Days and nights on end you'd feed the poor thing, give it the love of only a mother could give. A lifelong friend was achieved. Whether that was your goal or not, you never gave up on that bird.
Swaying branches were nothing but vines for us to climb up. Those frail vines snapped and cracked as we grew.
The wind carrying us through the air, lifting us higher into the sky until it was time for reality to come crashing down.
We'd climb so high that we thought everyone looked like little ants running about, collecting leaves for their queen.
The branches would crack under our feet as we flung ourselves up to the next branch, not thinking about the consequences that would follow.
But that didn't matter to us, because we were determined to get to the top even if it meant being caressed by the harsh touch of the tree's hands. We were unstoppable, undefeated.
Even on that brisk winter day when ice formed around the tree's branches. Skin and clothes sticking to the ice as we began climbing, higher and higher.
The souls of your shoes had worn from all the little adventures we went on around the yard, they were filled with pits and holes.
You were fortunate enough to be met by a huge, hairy huntsman spider. It gracefully dropped upon your red, sun-kissed skin. I could've sworn I saw your soul leave you that day.
Your grip loosened as you swatted the spider in a poor attempt to get it off of your face.
Loud cracking and crunching sounds followed your fall as you plummeted through one branch after the other, the tough ground finally stopped your fall.
Crunch after crunch, I soon realised it wasn't just the sound of branches and twigs breaking.
At least you got a wicked cool cast out of it, am I right?
I never personally got to experience the pleasures of having to stick a ruler down your cast or the joy of having people write nice messages you could read all night long.
With your left arm crippled, climbing only became that much more difficult, yet you found it fun. A new obstacle entered your life and you took on the challenge head on.
You never letting that fall scare you, oh how I admire you for that, I would've never been able to face height again if I had fallen.
Fast forward a few decades, when we're finally in our 20s and settled, you still have that mentality.
Holding your wife's hand, whispering to her the sweet things that little Charlie would bring, as the doctors breathe your daughter back to life.
You didn't shed a single tear was shed in that moment, Charlie's death never crossed your mind, not even for a split second.
When that sigh of relief slipped through your wife's pale lips as your baby girl began crying, you said you knew she was a fighter.
Now we're in our 50s. Life is swell, our babies are no longer babies, retirement is waiting to shake our hands as we turn that corner.
Sitting in the doctor's office, stunned, shocked. Finally caught off guard as we hear the most terrifying news possible, "cancer". The forbidden 'C' word.
The word capable of shaking anyone's world. Yet you remain composed, motionless. You lift your head up, lips pursed as if trying to shake something off.
"A game" is what you said, a game you'd defeat, a game you'd face head on with all your might.
Days and hairs fell by.
The tingling that was once in your fingers now begins battling its way up to your arms, almost crippling you like that tree did when you were young, but this wasn't a cast you'd wear.
Every day you grew stronger, stronger than that cancer could ever be. You weren't going to let it consume you, swallow you whole, leave you as a frail and discoloured twig of a man.
You knew this thing could keep you anchored to the bed, and it would, but you knew it wasn't enough to stop you from fighting, to make you give up and let go.
Look at how far you've come. The battle is almost over and you're winning. Its army can't compare to yours.
You believed it wouldn't defeat you and it hasn't, because you never gave up on yourself, on life. No obstacle could tear you down and rip you of your hope.
The day you get to ring that bell is waiting for you Teddy, it's just a stretch around the corner.
With all my love and best wishes,