Life is Good. That’s what Tina Downey taught me.
I don’t know when she stopped being just a blog friend, and became a friend. Sister in Spirit, SIS.
You can read more about her public persona here.
But she told me of her private struggles, and knowing of those, of just how many challenges she had overcome in life– I marveled at her smile, her laugh-out-loud-bring-it-on spirit towards everything life threw at her.
We sent each other snapshots of our everyday surroundings and errands, between Singapore and Colorado, and when I sent her this one last year (of the swimming pool I swim laps at), she immediately said, I have to come to Singapore before I die and swim there, and I said don’t be stupid, of course you’ll come.
Yesterday when I took snapshots of the pool with my sunflower, I thought I heard her infectious laughter, her teasing, half-joking-bossy voice.
I swam a few laps this morning, and with each stroke of my arms, I told myself, life is good. Today, this moment, Now, life is good.
Tina hasn’t left us. She’s somewhere around, watching, smiling, sending out snarky reminders, laughing and crying in the same sentence.
And though each time I look at her emails or messages or read another of her blog posts, I feel the tears coming– I see that Tina would have laughed at me, and said, I’m around, Damyanti, what are you crying about? Don’t you see there’s a lesson in this?
Tina always found a lesson in everything, no matter how sad, or senseless it seemed. And the lesson always was a version of: Life is Good– see it with the eyes of faith, acceptance, and gratefulness.
If you knew Tina, please take part in this Sunflowers Blogfest for her.
If you didn’t know her, take part anyway– celebrate Today, This Day, Now, in memory of a fabulous woman who found it in herself to Smile, no matter what.
(Tina’s family has set up the Downey Education Fund for Tina’s sons, if you’d like to donate, the way some of us have done, here’s the link. If you want the code for a badge on your own blog, drop me a line at atozstories at gmail dot com)
SIS, you’ll live on in my heart– for as long as I’m given on this earth.
For the coming week, this blog’s header would remain a field of sunflowers. For Tina, who loved Sunflowers.