EDIT: The Kickstarter campaign ran into some admin snafu, so Tove now has a Go Fund Me page.
At the time of writing this, I’ve known that one of my best friends has terminal cancer for about three months. She messaged me on the morning of September 2nd, 2017.
I am a selfish person and so my first thought was “how am I ever going to survive without her?”. I don’t think I’ve ever, ever been as stressed as I was between late August and mid-October. A colleague – Corey Gaspur – passed away unexpectedly in July and just a month later I found out about Tove.
Unlike Corey, who left a gaping hole behind when he passed away, Tove will be with us a while longer (I’m hoping for years, many of them), but when I found out, there were no answers. I wasn’t sure if she’d be around for days, weeks or months. I had no idea. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to see her and tell her all the things I wanted to say. Things were horrible. As I said, I’m a selfish person.
It wasn’t until October that I could see her, and see for myself that she was doing well, under the circumstances. It was comforting to see her and to tell her how much she means to me. I know this post may come across as rambling and incoherent. But how do I summarize 20 years of friendship and unconditional love and support in words? So many things have happened and all of them so quickly that it’s hard to separate them in my mind.
I first met Tove and Anders in 1998 at SydCon. Anders called me up and asked if I wanted to host their RPG at the gaming convention, and I was overjoyed. Western was the rules system of choice for my gaming group. From there on, we became friends. Conventioneers at first, meeting mostly at conventions. Since we were all going to most of the conventions in Sweden at that time, we met maybe 5 – 8 times a year. We found each other.
Tove became a good friend, and we bonded over many things. The most important thing though – all those awards I’ve won? I never would have had the courage or the energy to take on the entirety of gaming Sweden without Tove in my corner. She listened to my rants (“write about the issues!”), she gave me a platform in the form of Fenix, and most importantly, she never ever gave up on me.
When most of table-top gaming Sweden called me “ignorant”, “stupid”, “rabid fangirl” and other less palatable insults, she was on my side. When members of the biggest gaming forum in Sweden called for my resignation as a reviewer, she trusted me. She trusted my integrity, she listened to me, she amplified my voice through Fenix.
All the things that I’ve accomplished in gaming Sweden since I met her, I did because she was there to support me and to trust me. All my anger, she listened to it. All my frustration, she sympathized. All along she told me “I love you and you’re the best”.
This is not true. I’m fairly sure she loves me. I love her too. But I’m not the best.
She is. And she always will be, and because I am a selfish person I want to keep her with us. Forever.
Please. If you like what I’ve been doing, support her. If you want to give me a Christmas present, support her. I’ve never asked for anything from anyone, but I’m asking now. Please support her.