Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A TRIBUTE TO MY FRIEND, TINA

I've been writing posts on facebook.
I've been reading posts on facebook.
I've been answering messages on facebook.
And, I've been answering emails.....
all about my sweet Tina.
But I have not been able to bring myself to blog about her.
This is my safe place.
This is where I tell you about the funny things that happen, where I show you new art, tell you about my family and sometimes, but rarely, bare my soul.
That's what has made this so hard....it's one of those soul baring posts because my dear friend, Tina, went to meet her Lord this past Sunday, January 3rd.


What that means to me is that she's not here any more.
She's not here to talk to on the phone, to email, to play "soldering", to enjoy the adventure of the Paper Cowgirl art retreat that she founded with Cindy Mayfield.
All of that is the selfish part of me.

The unselfish part of me, the part of me that drowns in sorrow, will tell you that she has left behind an amazing husband, amazing kids, grandbabies and friends.
Her husband, Will, "Silly Will" to me, gave me the endearing(?) nickname recently, "Nine Toes", telling me that it was my Indian name. "That's silly, Will!"
I've seen Will and Tina together more than once and I know deep in my heart that he simply adored her. He was Mr. World Federation Cancer Fighter during her fight, researching, Googling, putting her on a homeopathic diet (she called him "the Food Police"), doing everything that he could to make her better.
They were married for 27 years and now she's gone on before him and he's sad that she's not here with him.
He has an amazing faith, thank you, God, for his faith in you, or I don't know how he'd get through this.


Also mourning her passing are her children, Nicole and Deke, both so very special to her.
When Deke was counting the days he would be coming home from the war, she was counting them, too, and telling anyone that would listen that her Deke was coming home! Oh, how she had missed him, loved him.
Oh, and, she loved Nicole as only a mother can love a daughter!
She has also left behind her darling "grandbabies". She doted on those girls. She would have them stay with her and Will and they would play "art" and would just enjoy being together.
How do you explain grandma going to Heaven to wee ones in a way that they understand?


And, the friends from her world of Harley's, the friends that she loved going on Harley road trips with - they will surely miss her sweet nature.
One day she and Will and another couple rode their Harley's to the ranch. They were on a road trip in the Hill Country and she knew where I lived - very close to where they would be riding. So, she calls and we make plans for them to come by and go to lunch.
That was the first time we met in person. Oh, my gosh, you would have thought that we had lived next door for years...........once we started talking we couldn't stop! Poor Will and Frank - thank goodness they really liked each other. But that poor other couple...I can't remember their names right now, but both were so nice. I hope they didn't leave feeling left out!
It was at that point, that 'in person' visit, that Tina and I really clicked. Just think, a Harley made us complete. Who would'a thought?

And, this tribute wouldn't be complete without mentioning her art. She had a gift from God for creating and teaching. I have many pieces that she made that I bought from Paper Cowgirl Art Retreat Vendor's Nights, several pieces that she made "for me", and one extremely precious necklace that she made for me last March for my "half-birthday" (celebrating my half-birthday cracked her up).
She was always gifting her friends. That's who she was.
The mixed media art world will surely miss her.
There are hundreds that she touched in some way. And, there are so many from the blog world, mixed media art world, facebook, places that I'm not thinking of, that she touched that didn't even know her.
*click on the picture to enlarge*
The saddest part of Tina's death is when I think of all of the people, hundreds of people, that are reading blog posts about her, facebook messages about her - there are SO many, and they/you don't understand Tina's passing the way that a believer does because you aren't a Christian.
You don't understand what I mean when I say that I look forward to seeing her again, sitting at the feet of Jesus. You don't understand Will's faith that will get him through this horror on earth; nor do you understand the peace I feel because I know that God has healed her.
But, she died, you say.

No. Her body died. She lives on in Heaven. It gives me great peace and joy to know that she is with Jesus.
If you are someone that doesn't understand any or some of this, if you've got questions about Christianity, anything, please email me (polkadotbarn@gmail.com) and I'll answer your questions. And if I don't have the answer, I'll find it.
And remember, there are no stupid questions. Never.

Tina would want you to ask questions.
On her facebook page it says, "Jesus Christ is my Savior. Who's yours?"

That's my "tribute" to Tina. I hope it made sense to you. I hope you were able to see into my heart and know what I was trying to say with words that seem so inadequate.

I loved her dearly. Still do. And until Jesus takes me to Heaven, I'll miss being with her, but I'll keep her memory in my heart every......single.....day.

God bless you, my sweet readers, know that I'm back and know that I love you,

Jan


Can I say one more thing? I think Tina would like it if I mentioned this thought that I can't get out of my mind. . . . .Don't wait until it's too late to tell someone how much they mean to you, how much someone has touched your life, no matter how small, to tell someone that you love them. Don't keep those kind of thoughts to yourself - share them with those involved, preferably in writing so that they can have that tangible piece of you for all times.

It's important. Tina would tell you that and it's what I'm going to be doing this year. If I love you, you're going to know it, if you have touched my life in a positive way, you're going to know it. I think that if we all did that for each other that we would all have higher self esteem, we would have higher self worth and we would all be a better person because of it.

Oh, and one more wee little thing.....if you don't have something nice to say about someone, don't say it. And remember that everyone is fighting some kind of battle so always be kinder than necessary. (I promise that's all:)

God bless you all.

31 comments:

kimmcl said...

Jan, I don't know what to say, except, "thank you". Thank you for baring your soul to us. Thank you for sharing your dear friend Tina with us. Thank you for being a good friend, someone that I know I can bare my soul too when the time comes. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Jan, I don't even know you and never have been to your blog. oh yes, it was the name "polka dot barn"-- me being a farm girl at heart & all. You just gave your Tina the best tribute of all, your soul...baring the love of Jesus Christ and how He is there for us even in sorrow. It is sad there are not a lot of people who choose not to believe that. You've touched my heart today and I will try to pay that forward. Bless you. Sandy

Robby said...

Jan that is so beautiful!!!!!! I shall look forward to meeting her in heaven...and hope she has the craft room ready for us. When she started soldering...so did I. I have a beautiful domino necklace she made for me that I treasure.

As for how to live your life...I am with you on that.

Thank you for that post.
xxxRobby

Sea Dream Studio said...

Oh, sweetie~ You said everything and said it well! I knew you would! Bless your heart for this beautiful and inspiring tribute to our beloved Tina!
Hey, I LOVE YOU!!
xoxoxoxoxo~dale

the wild raspberry said...

i hate to hear this news....i'm so sorry jan.

chasity

summersundays-jw said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. What a wonderful tribute. Jan

Diva Kreszl said...

Jan,
What a lovely tribute to your dear friend Tina! I never met Tina face to face but had on occasion conversed with her on our blogs, she was indeed a delightful soul! Even though some of us did not know her well we will all miss her here as she leaves a huge whole in blogland! I can honestly say that I am looking forward to meeting her face to face in heaven some day. I recently sent a card to Will just to let him know that his beautiful wife touched the heart of this new blogger and I shall never forget.

Fanciful Expressions said...

I didn't know Tina and I'm just getting to know you, Jan. But, I want to say that your post is a loving tribute to your dear friend. It's also a wonderful reminder to all of us out here in bloglandia to love and let our loved ones know it.And to remember that our Father in Heaven is there for us always.
He'll be there to sooth you and Tina's loved ones too.

NicNacManiac said...

Oh Jan,
Such a wonderful tribute to a terrific friend! Tina was loved by so many and we can see that she moved you as well as others tremendously!
My heart aches for her family.
You have truly warmed my heart with your kind words!
Take care sweet friend!
Big Hugs, xOxO Nerina

cindy said...

Amen Sista! And you know, Tee was always good to say that...she loved ya. To hug your neck or grab your hand, she was just that kind of person. You done good on your post and yes, she will be immensely missed.
hugs,
love ya,
c
yapping cat

trash talk said...

Jan, I don't know if finer words could be written...certainly none more from the heart of more passionately than yours. I wasn't blessed as y'all were to have known her, but I've blessed by the opportunity to meet you through her. What a beautiful legacy...to continue to touch people and their hearts.
My heart aches for you and Cindy, but I remember reading somewhere...I can't remember where...that we hurt because we were loved and because we loved. You are absolutely right...she is with her Saviour and now she knows all the secrets. Praise God.
Thank you for sharing your precious memories.
Debbie

trash talk said...

I apologize for all the typos...trying to type through tears ain't easy. I hope you can decipher what I was trying to say.
Debbie

Linda B said...

Hi Jan, when I first saw your post I was devastated. I truly thought that Tina was on the road to recovery. But by the time I finished reading your post, I feel so relieved that Tina is with the Lord. Your words are very comforting and you already have made my world a better place. Thank you Jan:D

GypsyNurse said...

HI Jan.. I received your email..and finally had the UMMPPHH to get here to your blog...scared to at first..to get the gut wrenching feeling drug up...Your post is beautiful... a perfect tribute to a wonderful person..
thank you...
my thoughts are with you and Tina's family..
many hugs..
Cat

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Jan, your words were perfect. They were from the heart. Even though I had not met Tina, I know we will all be together in heaven. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Her family is in my prayers, as are you. You are a true friend in every sense of the word.
Hugs and love, dear Jan,
Debra

SharDon Exclusives said...

Jan, thank you for keeping us updated on Tina's progress...yes, progress she has had the greatest healing of all. I KNOW you will miss her and will grieve but you will always have that special gift of God...you KNEW her. I remember when my Momma died and my daughter said to me "I feel so sorry for anyone who did not ever know her". I wish I had known Tina. I only met her shortly before her passing into heavens glories. She made such a difference in those who came in contact with and it was my pleasure to have known of her, even for such a short time. Baring your soul is a way of healing and testifying of Gods' goodness. I will keep Will, family and you in my prayers in the days to come. We WILL see her in her perfect body but in a moment.
Blessings to you, Jan, may the Lord surround you with His love and His peace.
Sharon

Debby said...

Jan, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful friend.
Hugs,
Debby

Anonymous said...

Jan I am one of Tina's aunts and that was beautiful. She was such a wonderful person to know. Thank you for this. Atha Eller

primlin56 said...

jan...thank you for being there with tina...in spirit and in grace...i have known tina for about 10 years....she came to my house her in michigan for a weekend getaway we had for a group of girls about 6 years ago...it was a blast and i will forever have tina in my heart...she taught me so much...she was a true treasure to so many...i will miss her so much....your tribute to tina was so sweet.....thank you...linda

Robin said...

What a beautiful tribute to Tina. I know she will truly be missed by many.

Take Care - Robin

Jann said...

What a lovely tribute, Jan--I, too, feel very sad at hearing of Tina's passing--I didn't know her, but made tags for her and hoped so much that she'd make it, but God has other plans for her. I remember my dad on his deathbed--he was drifting in and out of consciousness, and he said to me, "Jann, it's just a stop along the way," referring to life. That has helped me tremendously whenever I become overwhelmed with the thought that I won't see him again on earth. I continue to pray for Tina's family and friends . . . I know this must be so very hard for you all.

Bettyann said...

Dear Jan: I know Tina through you. Thank you for sharing her with us..it showed us yout love, respect and happiness for knowing Tina..I loved the pictures you shared of Tina receiving the "tag gate"..my prayers and thoughts are with her family..but I am also sending you love, prayers and ((((hugs))) for you too..take care..bettyann from canada

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Jan. What a beautiful post and tribute to precious Tina!!! I wish so bad that I could have known her...will you introduce me in Heaven? I'm so sorry for your loss of this precious friend but rejoice in the fact that you know you WILL see Tina again ~ thank you for posting this as I love hearing more about her, sending you a big hug and love, Dawn

Itch2stitch.com said...

I have tears in my eyes. Your post is beautiful and so wise. I am sure that Tina will be with you and watch over you. You are so right, it is so important to show love, Now,when we still can. suzie. xxx

CEDAR JUNCTION said...

Jan, this is a beautiful tribute. She will be dearly missed.

Bless you,
Teresa

Cheryl ~ ZanyMayd said...

Jan,
Thank You for Sharing such a Beautiful Tribute ~ Tina must have been a Wonderful Woman, You sure can see the Joy she had in Her Smile.... We truly have the Beautiful Gift of Salvation, We will Meet again in Heaven.... Until then, May Your Memories Bring You Peace & Comfort~
cheryl

VintageCrafter said...

I am so sorry to hear about Tina. She was certainly blessed to have such a wonderful friend in you. What a beautiful tribute.
hugs...
Carol

jeanne said...

Dear Jan I am so sorry for the loss of a dear friend. Your tribute is beautiful and I admire Tina so much for her faith in God and the love she gave her family and friends. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt sadness about Tina's passing and your wonderful faith that you shared with us. You will see Tina again, I truly believe in our Lord's promise.

I just arrived home from five days in Atlanta so this response is belated. I thank you for the emails even though it was a sad story t tell.

Blessings to you and Tina's family.
Hugs and love, Jeanne

meleen said...

jan,

thank you!

meleen

debsea said...

i am so sorry you have had to say goodbye to your friend jan. i know she must have been a very special person, as she is so lovingly speken about by so many folks, in so many blogs. to have so many caring friends is a wonderful gift, and the words you have written for her, and for us, in your post have touched my heart. take good care of yourself.

Meri Wiley said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. God Bless you for giving such a heartfelt tribute about someone special in your life.

Hugs,
Meri

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