Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tina

     For those of you who don't know, Tina Downey of Life Is Good passed away last night, on August the 23rd. She was a host of the A-Z Challenge, a blogger, a writer, a poet, a sister, a mother, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, my math teacher, and a personal friend. And so much more.

     She was in and out of the hospital this year for various reasons. She struggled with pulmonary hypertension, hypoglycemia, severe asthma, and depression, among other things. After being in the hospital for a few weeks, she was finally able to go home for another few weeks.

     On Tuesday, she was readmitted to the hospital. The email that she sent me, but her sister typed out for her, said that she was having problems with her heart caused by the asthma. Her blog says that she appeared to be getting better and it was discovered that she also had sepsis, until Saturday evening when she took a turn for the worse. Someone on Facebook said that she was surrounded by those that she loved.

     Tina had a lot of influence on the blogging world and changed a lot of lives. She was always, always supportive and willing to do everything in the world to help her friends and her family. She was funny, sweet, and had a heart of pure gold unlike anyone that I've ever known before.

     I'm never going to get to ask her what the "KMD" in the blog link is. I'm never going to get to apologize for telling her about my weird/bad week that I told her about just before I found out that she was back in the hospital. I'm never going to tell her I'm sorry that I was wrong, when I promised her that she would get better and it would be okay. I'm never going to get to hug her and tell her thank you for changing my life.

     So here I am now. Brokenhearted, crying, and missing my friend.

     Last night, not long before I closed the store, my coworker went into the bathroom in the back. She said a plastic shoe shape-holder fell from on top of the door. I had been in there a few minutes before her and there was no way for one to be up there, but still be able to close.

     This morning at work, I turned on the music when I arrived. I couldn't help but think of the music game that Tina and I had going on, to introduce new music to each other. I thought, "Wow. She would really hate this song." (To be fair, it was 'Pop, Lock, And Drop It' by whoever that guy is. I don't know anyone who likes that song.) And the stereo shut off. I went to the back room and everything was fine, nobody was there, but the stereo itself had been shut off.

     A little while later, a little boy was looking in the mirror and said, "There's a blond lady!" His parents were brunette, I'm a (fake) redhead. We were the only ones in the store. His father tried to brush it off, but he kept pointing and saying, "There's a blond lady there!"

     I'm certainly not saying that Tina is haunting me, but I'd like to think that those are signs that she's watching over me and that she wants me to know that she'll still be around, even if it's all coincidence. I know that she's watching over her family, her friends, and probably anyone else that she sees may be in need. That's just who she was and I don't think that even death can change that.

     Tina, I just wanted to let you know that I love you and I miss you. Don't worry about me graduating high school now. You were my math teacher and you taught me things that dozens of other people never succeeded in teaching me before. You changed my life. I'll get my diploma. Not for me anymore, but for you, for all the work you put into making me understand something that nobody else could. Thank you. Now, just rest. You deserve it and you deserve your peace.

     As she always said, "Stupid asthma".