My buddy, Denise Short…

The whole gang, at Brett's birthday at the King's Arms... (that's me with my arm around her in the front row).

The whole gang, at Brett’s birthday at the King’s Arms… (that’s her and I with our arm’s around each other in the front row).

My good friend, Denise Short, passed away Saturday morning from cancer that she had been fighting for about 7 years.  But she was everyone’s friend though too.  Everyone loved Denise.

I really don’t know what to write about her except that she really was a great person.  And I’m going to miss her.

Denise and Joanne after Denise's first Half Ironman at the Steelhead, in Benton Harbor, Michigan

Denise and Joanne after Denise’s first Half Ironman at the Steelhead, in Benton Harbor, Michigan

I saw her last at coffee at Brett’s coffee shop, 2 weeks ago.  Where we always go for coffee after LOST swimming.  And on this Saturday her good friend, Barb, came to coffee without her and told us she had just passed away.  She had actually passed away about an hour earlier, at 8:00 am, when we were just getting the water for our LOST swim.  Kind of an odd coincidence, I suppose.

I don’t want to make this about her and LOST swimming, because although she was one of the very original members of LOST, she was so much more than that.  To me and to everyone.

Barb brought up the point that she had survived much longer than the doctors thought she would, but that our group are all so healthy that it wasn’t surprising.  The funny thing about our whole athletic group is that we probably are much healthier than your average person, but even within that group she stood out.  She really was a great athlete… but that isn’t what made her special… she was simply one of the most perpetually happy and positive people I have ever met.  I think that is more likely what kept her going longer than most people could have.  I try and surround myself with positive, fun, up people… and nobody was more positive, fun or up than her.

Annette and Denise (and Lambrina with long hair!) at the Polar Bear dip!  A couple of the original "F.A.B.'s".

Annette and Denise (and Lambrina with long hair!) at the Polar Bear dip! A couple of the original “F.A.B.’s”.

So when she came down for LOST coffee 2 weeks ago, she was completely bed ridden and obviously not doing well.  But Barb and some other friends helped bring her down in her wheelchair.  Even though she only lived about a block from “Bean There” it was still a

At the first LOST Race... she was one of only 8 swimmers!  That's her with the white cap on and the Ironman wetsuit, from IM Canada she did the previous year!

At the first LOST Race… she was one of only 8 swimmers! That’s her with the white cap on and the Ironman wetsuit, from IM Canada she did the previous year!

major ordeal to get her there.  She had put on all kinds of weight from the medications she had been on and was not looking good and barely recognizable.  As soon as I saw her I walked over and gave her a big hug and a kiss and promptly put my foot in my mouth… I said “oh, Hi Denise, how are you?!”  She’s laying there looking awful and I asked such a dumb question… and what did she say in her same squeaky, perky little voice?  “I’m good… how are you?  How was LOST swimming this morning?  I heard the water was nice.  How many people were out?”  It was still Denise.  And typical Denise, she had no interest talking about herself and was always more interested in all the other fun things everyone else was doing.

Denise and Joanne at the Mississauga Marathon!

Denise and Joanne at the Mississauga Marathon!

She was really a nice, warm and exceptionally fun person to be around.  I am really glad I had her as a friend.  But I’m also really sad that I won’t see her anymore.

Out watching the Bruins game at "Four's"... just before the Boston Marathon in 2008.  (Joanne, Denise, me, Joe, Nicole)

Out watching the Bruins game at “Four’s”… just before the Boston Marathon in 2008.  That’s her with her Boston Marathon jacket from 2006!  (Joanne, Denise, me, Joe, Nicole)

Here are some pictures that I have of her that I thought I’d share.  At least those pictures and memories make me smile a bit when I think about her.

Love ya, Denise.

Rob

laughin' it up at before the Boston Marathon over a pint!  (me, Joanne, Nicole, Denise, Joe)

laughin’ it up at before the Boston Marathon over a pint! (me, Joanne, Nicole, Denise, Joe)

Swimming Hugh in at the first LOST Race... she was being nice dropping back for Hugh... because Hugh's swimming sucked back then!

Swimming Hugh in at the first LOST Race… she was being nice dropping back for Hugh… because Hugh’s swimming sucked back then!

b

And after the first LOST Race… tucked in between Madhu and Huge!

 

About LOST Swimmer

I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!
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One Response to My buddy, Denise Short…

  1. Megan Hanna says:

    Hi Rob, loved your post about Denise. I was one of the FAB’s and loved that time in my life – the gals made it special. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. “hi” to Joanne.

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