Until today, I have not lost any friends or acquaintances since junior high school. An ultimate teammate, Mila Oh, died today after a long battle with cancer. And when I say ultimate, I mean both the sport we played together and as an adjective to describe her. She was super-supportive, always enthusiastic, gave great trash-talk, and was a sharp student of the game. Mila was one of the core people in the Montreal ultimate frisbee community, representing the spirit of the game so very well.
I will always remember and admire how well and how bravely Mila fought her cancer. I didn't know about it and found out in a way that was typical of both of us. I teased her about wearing a tocque (winter ski hat) when it was not so cold, and then she showed me her hair loss. And then Mila teased me with great humor for my faux pas. She was very fond of my cow costume that I would wear when playing Ultimate near Halloween. Even though it is falling apart, I will make sure to wear it again this year as a small remembrance of her spirit.
Mila is, appropriately, in the middle of this shot.
This is an incredibly tough loss for her husband Ken and for much of our silly frisbee community.
For her Montreal Gazette obituary, see here. And for another dimension--as a beloved gourmand, see this chowhound thread about her and her post about her hockey team (yes, she was one tough woman). She talked about her fight with cancer in this last post. I hope her ultimate time gave her some of the same solace as hockey did. And damn, playing hockey in her condition, what can I say? She said it all, I guess.