For my rock.
My Story: This is Why I Ride
by Megan Kwan
Over a year ago, (now that feels weird to say) I lost my mom, but she also was my counsellor, dance partner, goofball, advisor, life teacher, my best friend—my rock. When she passed away, I felt numb, I couldn't comprehend why or how this could have happened—but it did. And so, we went through it; the arrangements, the tears, the getting "back to normal," all of it. The outpouring of support from friends and family, acquaintances and colleagues, we were overwhelmed by how much my mom had resonated with so many in her “cut-short” lifetime. At first, I held it together pretty okay, distracted myself with going back to school and trying to stay strong for my dad and sister, but things were different. Life just didn't feel as sweet as it did when I could share it with mom.
I remember the day my dad decided he was joining the ride last year. It was before the celebration of life occurred and I part of me thought he was joking when he said to change our invites to “in lieu of flowers please donate to team kwan for the ride to conquer.” He said it with certainty but we both nervously laughed, 250km is no joke. Then the first donation came in, then another, and another. “Looks like you’re doing it now.”
Training for the ride, gave my dad a mission and purpose, he had already lost his mom and dad (ma-ma and ye-ye) to cancer and now his wife. People began joining the team, he started losing weight (we had to buy him a new belt) but it also did something for our family. Seeing my dad so motivated, continuing to carry on in such a positive way, was what made me and my sister know it was going to be okay. And that is exactly what we needed. While we might have lost someone so important we still have our dad, the goofball, the coach, the number one fan, and through this journey he’s become my counsellor, my dance partner, my best friend and my rock. That’s not to say he could ever replace our mom but he’s doing one hell of a good job.
Jump to the ride. Surrounded by hundreds of riders, survivors, volunteers, friends, and family— there was a level of (un)spoken understanding among the group, it was an emotional and uplifting experience. It was exactly what I needed. The energy cannot be explained in words. Seeing my dad cross the finish line, I have never been more proud. That weekend did so much more than raise money and awareness, it brought people together, it made us stronger, and it carried me through to now—where I set off on my own journey as a rider this time. Thank you to everyone for reading my story, supporting my family and the team, the cause, and honouring not only Momma Kwan, but also everyone else who has been effected by Cancer. I am riding not just for those we have lost, but also for the ones that are still here.
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