Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tessa & Her Give-a-Way

In December 2010 Tessa Edwards died.
To many of her friends here in the blogs, and probably in all parts of her life, Tessa being terminally sick was a fact that defied her elegant beauty and international sophistication
She was a South Afrikaner relocated to England, always a colorful South African exquisite painter, an intelligent writer, a humanitarian, a mother and wife., a woman any other woman would be proud to call her friend.
I always thought I would meet Tessa one day. She was deeply involved in helping in Swaziland along with dr. Maithri, and I thought I would somehow volunteer with them for 2, 3 weeks.
Tessa was probably already sick when I first told her about this intention. It was not possible to know that because, unlike our beloved mutual friend Renee, Tessa did not talk much about her illness until near the end of her life. And when she died, it was a shock.
Just weeks before, she sent me a lithograph she made for some of us. She called it “Friendship.” I think she did that to be remembered by, to confirm the permanent bonds of friendship, a reminder that death doesn’t end that.
A few nights ago, my partner JB presented me with a collage she created from Tessa’s paintings, from Tessa’s women. JB is a sometimes reluctant and very talented artist herself and I am close to tears looking at this gift she has given me. She has honored Tessa and captured her vibrant legacy. I will frame this piece and I expect I will always keep it near.
If you knew Tessa, or if you look at this collage and can just tell how special she was, would you like a copy of this original? I will have three (3) good quality prints made and will ask Emily Rabbit to draw three names. The only requirement for you to be eligible for this drawing is that you have to say one way that one person can make the life of another person better. (We are all better when we share things like this.)
One thing about blog relationships: you can’t grieve losses in the same way. Renee died and then Tessa died. I didn’t know their families, their friends, I didn’t get to say my best goodbye. But that doesn’t change the fact that something permanent, something good, has been imprinted and will remain in my heart, always.
P.S. I will never forget you, Tessa. I hope you like what JB has done with your work. I know you do. Please give Renee a long kiss from me. Take care of one another. Together Strong.


  1. a reminder: say one way that one person can make the life of another person better.

  2. oh my, how beautiful!! Tessa would surely approve.

    I'm going to give this some thought seeing as I have to choose one way.

    Wow, so nice.


  3. this is beautiful. JB is a genius. Giving love, hugs and kindness, listening with attention. That's more than one word but it is one gesture.

  4. Smiles.
    Just a simple smile from a stranger often goes a long way.
    Give smiles.

    Beautiful, heartfelt art from the Love Trio:
    Tessa,JB, and kj

  5. Ah, dear Tessa...I only "knew" her briefly....but we had some wonderful discussions about books and travel....and like Renee, she is a Life-Changer. Her art reflects who she is (I hate those past tenses).... bright, brilliant, passionate.

    If a person really listens with warmth and tenderness...then they will enrich the lives of those around them.

    Exceptional work from JB.....(but then, that doesn't surprise me in the least.....she creates all sort of wonderous things in the "Magic Cottage"). I KNOW you were thrilled when you received it!


    ♥ Robin ♥

  6. One thing about Tessa's art is that it is so vibrant. Not just the colours, but also the "feel". When I look at her art I see joy in living. I think JB has done an absolutely brilliant job here. Just brilliant.

    When I think about what's important to me in my life I look first and foremost to the people I love. I am so fortunate to have people in my life that love me back. It is so essential in life to love and be loved. To me this is one of the most profound ways that one person can make the life of another person better

    ... at the same time I realise that people are not sheltered by love ... are not freed from prejudice by love ... nor freed from illness, pestilance, famine, etc.

    Therefore love ... in order to be truly meaningful must be backed up by acts of love ... at least to my mind. I believe we all have the capacity to make the lives of others better. You KJ make my life better, that I do know. xx Jos

  7. lo, hello! xoxo

    suki, i'll take those hugs anytime! i told JB you said she was a genius and she smiled. xoxo

    babs, !~~~~~~~~~~! it's a straight laced smile but the best i could do :^)

    robin, what? what?!! just kidding! yes, listening from the heart is the best gift. i don't like using the past tense for tessa either xoxo

    ditto and likewise, jos. ♥ those acts of love can be so small and manifest so large. one of my favorites is a smile in the grocery line. xoxo

  8. Oh what a beautiful post!
    And what a beautiful work JB made of her art.
    But don't put me in the hat, because I didn't know Tessa. I think one who knew her deserves this wonderful piece JB created.
    You are both sweethearts . Tessa will love this ♥

  9. gosh kj, how is it that i have just been thinking about her too? and now this.

    i am so touched that janet did this, and there is no doubt that tessa would love it. she does love it.

    kindness is the thing. i know you know this already dear kj, i have seen you now (twice!) interacting with strangers (or people you have not yet met)always with a smile, a gentle word of greeting or thanks, i know you make a difference where ever you go with your honest and true kind nature.

    i hope you still do get to africa someday, there is always a need for more kindness there.

    p.s. please leave me out of the giveaway so someone else will have a chance to win.

  10. I'm sorry to hear about Tessa. And what a beautiful collage from JB - it really does honor Tessa.

  11. I did not know Tessa, but saw many tributes to her around the bloggosphere.
    JB should not be reluctant as the composition is exceptional and perfectly put together.

    One way we make each others lives better:
    Through reaching out in whatever manner we have and offering our heart, spirituality and soul.
    No greater gift.
    As I have learned so often....


  12. I have a bunch of things from Tessa - who I admired and adored. So I won't join in on the giveaway- but really KJ - just say one thing? how about your friendship and steadfastness and funnyness, and traveling to see people even when you should be driving in the other direction, and being there - I know I can always call you and you know I don't call...
    Shall I go on? You - being a good friend - have made my life better.

    So there.

  13. thank you, marianne. tsup!

    lori, (blush). you give me credit that belongs as well to you. xoxo

    thank you, cs. i am very touched that JB did this for me.

    anne, what a wonderful compliment for JB's work and you are so right. thank you on her behalf. and yes, we reach out and we connect. xoxo

    yikes, mim. all i really want to say is that i love you very much. ♥

  14. This is a very very beautiful post, and a very very beautiful piece of art. I did not know Tessa at all, so I do not think I should be in the giveaway. Let it go to those who will treasure the memory.

    As for freindships and making life better I can only reflect on my own special life long friendship with my friend Patty, who is there when I place a phone call, who listens, who reassures, who cares and who loves unconditionally. I hope I give the same back to her.

    My other wonderful example is my 92 yr old uncle and aunt who care and love each other unconditionally and I see it in every action between them. He who offered her the art journal I'd handed him so she could see it first, pulled his chair across the room next to hers so they could look at it together. Such an example of putting the other first before self.

    It's little things really that count, that add up, that make life so worth while.

  15. I think one of the greatest things we do for each other "in here" is witness. Without judgement or even opinion at times, we witness each other in the minutia that gets missed. So much goes on between our ears, the unspoken growth and death that our fingers scream about on the page. We witness these things and press their petals into our scrapbooks. It's important to be so heard, and collected.

  16. jb's collage gave me evoked tessa's work but is completely her own creation as well. how lucky you are to have a gift where tessa's love can come through the love of your life.

    one way one person can make the life of another person better?

    to listen. with an open heart. unconditionally.

  17. lynn, you know that saying: 'the little things? they're not so little.' thank you for two great stories. your uncle and aunt are precious.

    OMG ww, i think you've nailed it. i LOVE what you've said. yes,in the witnessing we find ourselves and one another. may i put this one my blog and attribute you? you've put words to the real deal of blogging ♥

    amanda, thank you on behalf of JB. i sent your comment to her (she rarely reads my blog!) to understand before being understood: i try to remember that. xoxo

  18. That's a wonderful gift from JB in celebration of your friend Tessa.

  19. I did not know Tessa,but I was thankful to have known Renee's sweet heart.JB's heart is just as big for creating this wonderful gift.I can tell you that when I starting my blog I was not expecting to make meaningful friendships..and happily,thankfully,I met people like you along the way.
    So whats one way a person can make another persons life better...Kindness and Validation.
    Big Hugs Friend,Cat

  20. i am very touched by JB's gift, annie. it allows me to hold on to tessa in some way.

    me too, cat, i never thought i would have real friends here. a treasure....♥

  21. I did not know Tessa but know how nice it makes me feel to have fellow bloggers Lo and Jos' art in my house...this will give you lots of pleasure and is a wonderful gift!

  22. Yup a wonderful woman, I knew her well through my blog- and bought two of her pieces for the Swaziland project. It is all too sad.