There is a new kind of friendship that was birthed by the advent of internet socializing. It is, in some instances, stronger, more powerful and intense than friendships grown in the usual way, as a matter of the course of life, in school, in church, in social groups, through family, chance encounters at bars and nightclubs, meeting someone through someone else... whatever... however... whenever.
I met Tessa during my brief stint as a stay-at-home mom, when I had more time for creativity, including resurrecting my passion for visual art. She was part of a huge art group on eBay, and eventually a small group of us, about ten of us, branched off into the small social circle of an online group.
Tessa's art is just incredible! So full of color and life, it grabs you and makes you smile. Eye candy, but always there is a story there, a message, an invitation to be a part of Tessa's world, to see things as she sees them, to adore them as she adores them.
Her writing is phenomenal! I've always had a "thing" for writers, and she stole my heart the first time I read her blog. She took me on her journeys to her beloved Africa, introduced me to her beloved family, made me laugh and think. Oh, how she made me think!
Tessa was also a photographer, and she captured images of places I will probably never see any other way. Again, Africa. I marveled at her adventures! Her complete LIVING of LIFE!
When we learned we'd been born on the same day of the same year -- Valentine's Day 1960 -- it was such a delight! We referred to ourselves as twins across the miles. She was the tall and graceful twin. I was the short and round. It was such an honor to share the day with this remarkable woman!
On December 27, 2010, Tessa died. She'd battled pulmonary fibrosis for a long time. She was surrounded by her family, who she truly adored, and my heart breaks for them, losing this amazing Light in their lives.
I never had the privilege of meeting Tessa "live and in person", but the impact of this loss has devastated me. I have such a strong faith and an unshakable belief system about death and dying. It is just the next step on the journey. We DO go on. Tessa's soul soars with a billion shooting stars trailing behind, trying to keep up. So why this intense sorrow? The tears that keep coming? I considered that the shared birthday might be making me recognize, truly recognize, my own mortality, but that really isn't it. I think more that it's making me realize that there is so much more I could be doing with my life, and that I really need to find ways in which to do those things. To make a difference in the world, in the lives of my family and my friends and people who need help and...
I will never have another birthday that isn't steeped in thoughts of Tessa, and I will look forward to this for the rest of my life.
Jeanne, the short and round twin
Friends who would like to get to know Tessa, and you really should!, can read her blog: http://aerialarmadillo.blogspot.com/2010/12/tribute.html