Saturday, July 02, 2011

Tessa Now Rests

The call came exactly at 11:00.

Tessa has passed away.

She died just short of making Canada Day. It would have been her first as a Canadian. Her citizenship was granted just a few months ago, and due her disability and her illness the judge came right to her apartment and held a small ceremony there. She was given all sorts of Canadian gifts from her friends and celebrated the day. She fell seriously ill on the eve of the Canadian election, the first she would be able to vote in, and she had the ambulance guys stop in the lobby and wheel over so she could vote. Everyone applauded her determination to participate, to exercise her citizenship. It was an act that was truly in the spirit of Tessa.

Tomorrow is 'Gay Pride' and the city will be celebrating. last year Tessa rode her scooter with the contingent from Vita. She loaded her scooter up with water and cards and carried peoples things safely tucked in her baskets. She'd never been in a parade before and there were over a million turned out to be there at her first. She loved that moment. Vita, staff and members, embraced her participation and she felt incredibly welcomed by the group. We have loads of pictures of her draped in rainbows, but the rainbows that were most important were the ones that were in her eyes that day.

Over the last few weeks, while we were away in British Columbia, we spoke with her only briefly. She asked us to call but only every other day or so. She was weak and tired. Sometimes she'd say 'hello' and then seconds later 'goodbye' ... she was tired. Her voice was slightly slurred and it took effort for her to speak. We wanted to visit her but she said, 'You remember what I look like, I remember what you look like, please don't come. And please don't be mad at me for asking you to remember me, not visit me, right now.' We resisted the impulse to simply go - she was a woman who wanted her voice heard, fought for her voice to be heard. We listened.

When the call came, a weary, teary, voice gave us the news.

Memories sprang to mind. Too many, too personal to share here.  In fact, right now, this is about as much as I can bear to write. I'm weary of loss. There are too many feelings about too many things for this little heart of mine.

I need a tea.

I need a cry.

Then, as is necessary, I need to fold up memories - carefully so as not to crease - and move on.

21 comments:

Andrea S. said...

Dave and Joe

I'm sorry for your loss.

theknapper said...

Tessa will be missed. Thank you for telling us about this amazing woman. Take good care.

Belinda said...

It has been a very sad time; a time of loss upon loss.

There is grieving to be done. May God grant time to do it well.

Louise said...

Dave and Joe
I am sorry for your loss. So much grief in a short time. May you be cared for by those around you. Be gentle with yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave and Joe,

I am so very sorry for your loss.
I am going to send you caring thoughts.

Sometimes I wish more people would be as determind as Tessa.

Take good care
Julia (from Germany)

Anonymous said...

Tessa will be missed!

You're both in the eye of a grief storm right now....take care of each other!

Love Linda (LinMac)

Leslie said...

Dave and Joe-

I'm so sorry - losing two good friends in such a short span just compounds the grief. Take good care!
-Leslie

kiwiaussie said...

Just wanted to add my voice to those saying how sorry I am for the loss of Tessa.
God Bless xx

Anonymous said...

Sooo sorry to hear of your loss, you both have been dealt much grief in such a short time...Hoping you get the time you need, be good to yourselves and one and other. xo

Melissa said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your Tess. She was an amazing lady.

AkMom said...

Dave and Joe, you have suffered too many losses in the last weeks.

Joe, your description of Tessa and her will have made me tear up. You clearly love her a lot.

Take good care of yourself during your time of grief.

Kristin said...

Dave, you most definitely don't have a little heart. You have an incredibly huge heart and that is why you are feeling these losses so profoundly.

Dave and Joe, my thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone who loved Tessa. Thank you for sharing a little bit of her with us.

liz said...

Your posts about Tessa the last few years made me feel like I knew her. She will be terribly missed. I am so sorry for your loss.

All my best.

Noisyworld said...

I'm sorry to hear of your losses, you have brought these women to life for us as real people that we could know and I value that.
Take your time, we'll be here when you're ready :)

Myrrien said...

Sending my love to you and Dave x

coffeetalk said...

Sending thoughts and prayers your way Dave and Joe.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave and Joe:

Please accept my deepest sympathy in the loss of your friend Tessa.

Take really good care of each other. Thoughts and prayers are with you

Colleen

Lillytigre said...

RIP Tessa you fought the good fight. Dave you and Joe have been through a rough couple of weeks. I hope your memories of the people you loved will carry you through the sadness.

Faery said...

I'm so sorry, Dave, to hear of your loss. I never met Tessa but this news has made me feel sad as I know the world has lost an amazing spirit.

Take care of yourselves.

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I think you have a very big heart. Wishes and stars to you in honor of those you have lost.