Tika Hick and her fiancé David Potts had a very special reason for coming to Maui a few weeks back. It was their last hurrah before she was to rid her body of the cancer that had been slowly taking over. Following their return, she was to have a double mastectomy and hopefully be done with cancer.
But after a freak accident, Tika was alone in this battle the two of them fought together.
It was an act of God that dictated what would come to pass for Tika and David of San Anselmo. The story was all over the news – “Marin County man missing after fall into Maui blowhole”. Stories thereafter had witnesses describing a scene where a man was too close to the blowhole and was swept in and out to the ocean on July 9th, 2011 when a rogue wave crashed down on him. His body was never found, and Tika had to make the long flight home without him. Now she is left to raise their infant son, Indigo, on her own, rejoicing and grieving as she sees the man she loves in the face of their child.
It’s unthinkable the loss this family is suffering, what Tika is going through right now. And learning of their struggles before the accident, it seems so harsh that this woman lost her best friend and confidante in just a moment. The couple had lost their home a short while back. Weeks after this, Tika was diagnosed with breast cancer. But in it all, she knew it would all be ok because she had her family – David and Indigo.
And then, David was gone.
“David died just a couple days ago, and people said there’s no damn way you can go through surgery now. And my response is, screw that. I can go through surgery, and I’m going to be cancer free on Wednesday. So you can’t tell me I’m not going to go through surgery. I have to. I have to for my baby. I have to for me. I have to live with a damn tumor in me? I don’t want to live with a tumor inside my body. It’s trying to take over my body. It needs to be got rid of, I need to get it out of my body,” Tika told Michael Franti of Spearhead in a recent interview with him. “And to be honest, right now in all this chaos and heartbreak, it’d be nice to have the pain of my body match the pain that I’m feeling in my heart. It will, like, even out… Also, just having surgery sounds relaxing. Somebody gets to put me to sleep, and I have to sleep for hours on end. To have surgery? That sounds pretty good right now.”
It is said that we aren’t given more than we can handle. I cannot even comprehend the strength Tika has to have been handed so much all at once. Many more would buckle under this intense amount of devastation. But through her tears and pain, Tika is determined to keep going and be strong for her son. And that includes being cancer-free.
Her surgery was on Wednesday, July 20th.
Whenever I think of things being too stressful, or that I have too much on my plate than I can handle, I’m going to remember Tika. Here’s a woman who lost her home, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and then lost her fiancé and the father of her child in a very short period of time.
Tika’s story is one of devastation. But it is also a story of strength.
She is still getting up out of bed. She is still surviving. And faced with life’s greatest hardships, she is determined to be strong. Compared to Tika, I have never suffered. And being grateful for all the gifts and blessings of my life has taken on a whole new meaning.
I have no right to complain.
Michael Franti met Tika a few weeks back at the Harmony Festival. And he was amazed by her strength then as she told him of her fight with breast cancer. When David died, he took it upon himself to set up a way for others to contribute to Tika and help her financially as she heals.