After a long and courageous battle against Pulmonary Fibrosis Tessa passed away on Monday, 27th December surrounded by her family.
She brought warmth, light and colour into our lives and the world is a drabber, sadder and drearier place without her. No words can describe the loss we feel, but she will forever remain a bright, shining star in our memories - warm, bold, brave and strong.
This blog was meant as a memoir for her children, but through it she found new friends who lifted her spirit and helped her fly. Thank you.
Beani, Georgie and Guy Edwards
I am so brokenhearted. I am posting a tribute to her today, knowing that your loss—your loss of this vibrant, loving, full of life woman—is unspeakable.
She loved you all so much.
I am broken hearted also. Tessa is a shining star in the blogging world and will be sorely missed. I treasure her artwork, and adored her spirit. God bless you all
There really are not enough adjectives in our world to describe your Mum. She was unique - a one-of-a-kind...whose courage, strength and humour enriched the lives of all she met.
We "met" early this Summer, thanks to KJ, and I truly enjoyed the exchanges we had regarding travel, literature and music. My only regret is that we met so late and I did not have a chance to know her better. She is now, a shining star - sending love those in Africa, England and all the world.
She adored you.....(and she still does).
I send you all love and strength....
♥ Robin ♥ (from San Francisco)
Thank you for posting this lovely tribute to Tessa. I knew her through "An Aerial Armadillo" and through Facebook and am sorry I did not personally know her.
Tessa helped us all understand this world a bit better through her words and images. Through her and others in blog land I have more insight into African life and the joy that comes from that mystical place.
Love to you all and may you find peace & joy in the coming months.
Most sincerely, Cheryl Cato
Thank you Beani, Georgie and Guy. Our warmest heartfelt wishes for your gradual recovery. Understanding how you will regain your footing is difficult in view of how surprising and disruptive the news was to me of Tessa's passing.
I had talked to Tessa about doing a show at our gallery in Springfield, MO. She seemed interested but explained that she needed to build inventory of new art.
What I didn't know at the time was that when we spoke of it she was already ill. I found out months later through another Facebook friend. When I sent Tessa a note that I didn't know and tried to express some sense of my sorrow was also months ago.
I never heard directly in a private message from her again, though I did see some posts and comments which were sent in reference to me or a conversation I was in.
It occurred to me yesterday that her art and the village and Possible Dreams International really was barely reaping all the potential from Tessa's vision. If I can work as a volunteer on the effort to see more funds brought in from her art, be it prints or other products, I want to offer my support. I'll never accept a cent for myself if me or my gallery are ever used as part of the effort. I think quite a large sum could be raised by continuing the work she started.
My name is Winston Riley, in case the link doesn't work and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for this, and for the beautiful picture of Tessa.
Many sincere condolences to your family. Tessa was a very special soul. May she fly high.
With love and respect.
Nothing is enough, but my words, mixed with words and a painting Tessa sent to me through the years, are here for you, her family and friends, whom she loved so much:
Tessa and I met through an eBay art group a few years ago, and from there moved to a smaller group of kindred spirits. She and I were born on the same day, the same year (Valentine babies), and fondly considered ourselves twins across the miles. She was the "tall and graceful twin" to my "short and round".
I have been awed and inspired by her art and her writing, the way she shared her vibrancy with anyone fortunate enough to encounter her, her adoration of her family, and her dedication to making a difference in the world.
It was impossible not to fall completely in love with Tessa. I will treasure her artwork, be inspired by her shining example, and carry her in my heart. Valentine's Day will be a very different celebration from here on out. ~*~♥~*~
I send hugs across the miles to Beani, Georgie and Guy. Oh, how she loved you ~ and still does as she rides her aerial armadillo across the sky keeping watch!
such sad news...honestly...i sent her one of my music cd's and she sent me a beautiful painting of a mermaid in a bath...we never met....but we always talked of africa (where i live in tanzania) and i felt such a kindred spirit with her...she will be sorely missed. she was quite something...so so sad to hear she is gone..the world is a much lesser place without her in it...massive amounts of african love to you all who must be very very sad x with love and salaams from tanzania...safari njema tessa darlin' x janelle
Oh, sweet friend. I just learned of your passing and I still can't believe it.
You are and always will be a treasure.
I send my love and my prayers to you and your family.
She sent me her artwork and a beautiful bouquet of roses, out of the blue, just like that. She was a phenomenal woman. They don't make them like her anymore. My condolences to all of you.
So so sad to hear about the loss of beautiful Tessa - who spread her light around us all in the blogosphere. With all her work to help communities in Africa, she still had time to think of the little school we support in rural Mozambique. Following Tessa's idea, i took them some paints and papers, and hope to collect some pictures next time that can be made into cards for fund raising. Tessa so kindly allowed me to print up a few of her pictures to show them and inspire their artistic talents. She will be in my thoughts always and her influence will live on in so many spheres.
Thank you for this lovely tribute and photograph of our dear Tessa, who means so much to us all.
My heart goes out to you all in your time of loss. With love from sunny SA
Words alone will never do Tessa justice, she was an inspiration, an angel filled with humour, grace and generosity of spirit. We planned to meet three times, in Cape Town and in England and never quite managed it. But I will cherish her emails, the blog and Facebook connections forever. She touched and changed lives, and in that way she will always be with us, always be walking among us. Her beautiful light will shine on.
We have all been blessed to know her.
My deepest sympathy and love to you Beanie, Georgie and Guy.
I am so deeply sorry about Tessa's passing. She was a beautiful person and an inspiration for many of us aspiring artists. I know she will be missed by many!
My heart goes out to her family and loved ones.
I don't know what to write, I was never good with words the way Tessa was.
We met soon after i began blogging, over 2 years ago. Through many exchanges of words and gifts I never knew she was ill. I am shocked and so saddened, I loved her, everything about her. Her emails to me always said that i 'got her'. But i didn't know she was so sick. Until the post when she revealed the truth. I don't know if it would have changed anything, but somehow i wished i would have known. I still wish i could have hugged her and heard her voice.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Beani, Georgie and Guy, she loved you all more than anything on this earth, not even her beloved Africa could come close to what she felt for you.
Safari Njema darling Tessa,
To Bean, Georgie, and Guy, thank you for posting this lovely tribute. I first met Tessa through the eBay arts community. Bean, she used to show off your art in our group. She was so very proud. Though we never had the chance to meet in person, Tessa always called me her African sister, as I am half South African.
Tessa was more than a gifted artist. She was an adventurer who lived her life to the fullest. She had a deep concern for human rights and worked to make the world a better place. And she had the kind of courage one rarely sees, remaining incredibly positive throughout her illness. She was a remarkable woman who will forever be an inspiration to me.
Today I picture Tessa's spirit being free to once again sing and jump and turn cartwheels, and dance to the music of the great Johnny Clegg. "Asimbonanga . . ."
Sending you my heartfelt condolences and best wishes,
I didn't know your mom personally, but loved her through her beautiful blog. Her sweet spirit came through in her words and artwork. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all her family and friends. God bless you all.
I am one of those touched by Tessa. I loved her so much. She started collecting my art. In turn I loved her manner of life, her wonderful outlook, her art, photography and words.
She is very sadly missed.
My condolences to everyone.
Our paths crossed but briefly, but that short time was long enough for me to say with confidence that the world is a poorer place with her passing.
She was and is a beautiful soul.
Tessa's humour, art, gift for writing well and commuicating effectivly with all sorts has made this world a much sweeter place- she has given so much- I have reconsidered what to do with time here...to be more like she would be my goal.To Beanie and Georgie and dear one, Guy- the grandchildren-I send best wishes to soothe your loss.I know it won't work really but there you go. I am so sorry.
Tessa gave me permission to copy some of her work to felt...as long as I wasn't a Chinese manufacturer plant...I assured her. She did make me laugh. LOVE to you all.
Beani, Georgie and Guy, my sincerest condolences on the passing of your dearest Tessa.
Words are often so inadequate at a time like this, but some years ago I came across this quote, by author unknown, that resonates for me.
We choose not our beginning, we choose not our end, but in the moments between, we choose who we are and how we will be remembered.
Tessa touched so many and will be remembered for the wonderful woman that she was.
Take time to grieve, mourn fully and in time you will savour the memories.
What a lovely tribute to an amazing lady. As her family, I can only imagine the deep hole she's left in your hearts.
I know how much she's touched us through the blogs through her art and writing~it's hard to describe how much a "virtual" friendship can mean.
As I've said before, she earned her wings here a long time ago. Earth has lost an angel, but heaven has gained one.
Fly peacefully dear Tessa.
I know you've only now just begun your work ;)
My condolences and blessings to you all, Beani, Georgi and Guy♥♥♥
Lolo (Rhode island)
Oh I am so brokenhearted and I can only imagine your pain. I loved your mother. She was my friend. May God bless her and keep her.
Goodbye, my dearest Tessa. The skies will be brighter and more colorful as you spread your color palette up in heaven.
It is with both joy and sadness that I write this. Sadness that the world is left less colorful and luminous without Tessa in it, but joy that she is finally free from that pain which held her in its hateful grip. I met Tessa through her blog and was fortunate enough to have been graced with a piece of her art which I display in my home with gratitude and honor. Through Tessa, I met others from around the world who have touched my life in various ways. She seemed to be able to bring people together despite the oceans between them.
To you, Guy, Georgie and Beanie, I wish for you peace in your hearts. She loved you beyond measure.
Farewell, Tessa. The colors of your vibrant soul, like the colors in your beautiful art, will keep you alive forever in my mind.
I never had the honor of meeting Tessa, but I was touched by her spirit, joy and charm nonetheless. She owns some of my art and I hers and that is something I will always cherish - a special connection with an amazing woman. I would say "rest in peace", but I know she won't - she'll be seeking new adventures among the stars and riding that armadillo!
My sincerest condolences to Bean, Georgie and Guy - your loss is shared by many who were fortunate to have been among Tessa's group of friends.
I know you're dancing on the beach T. I am looking at your art on my walls and know your spirit lives around the world.
I was so sorry to hear about Tessa's passing - she certainly was a luminous presence in the blog world...
I have one of her paintings - and I will think of her whenever I see it.
I am deeply, deeply saddened. The world, indeed, is a drabber, sadder and drearier place. Whenever I see a brilliantly colored sunset or sunrise, I will know she is painting the sky.
Sending you love, strength, and prayers.
I feel heartbroken, so cannot even begin to imagine your sadness. Hold each other close and honour the incredible legacy she left. My sincere condolences. How blessed you were to be her loved ones.
I, too, own a original piece of Tessa art -- the colors and theme as glorious as I imagine Africa, which I've never seen -- and as beautiful as Tessa's heart and soul, which she also allowed us to see through the moving words of this blog.
I cannot imagine the depths of your sorrow -- you will remain in my thoughts and prayers.
I am so sad for you all at this staggering loss! Sending all my love! Silke
...I will always think of Tessa when I see anything Armadillo...life is just like that, some people touch someone, and then thousands more are bettered because of their presence. Tessa will always be touching us in some way.
Bless you for writing those of us who adored dear and beautiful Tessa, may you find peace in knowing she is always there beside you or painting the sunset her gorgeous palette of color only she could dream of... whenever you seek her, look up at the sky as you will find her playing, i am sure of it....
Not too long ago i received a treasure of little things from her, things like a horse print, the original being lost somewhere between her and texas while i am in california.....i was so upset and she was so not, being Tessa, but rather she was simply going to make me another...and suddenly it appeared one day along with a few other goodies as only Tessa would put together...forever I will regret not having returned to her something special i could so easily have done but somehow i know she understands why....
As do we all, I adore her, I always will. She inspired me like no other, she opened my eyes to things I knew nothing of and she made me also realize what my art could do for others just by gathering my courage and offering it, then giving the proceeds to the cause, in this case the beloved, preciously beautiful gogos(grandmothers)..while I have yet to act on my dream to help as I too suffer from illness, one day for her, I will...I have my printer she told me to get, I have my paper she advised me to use and I have all my advice she gave so generously...for you, my dear friend Tessa, I will do what you can no longer do, with hope, time and healing...and if not, then I too shall paint the sky and sea and earth with my own colors that kiss the world and make it a little more beautiful...thank you...go sweetly, sweet darling, and always kiss your loved ones goodnight when they are sleeping...we all know you will as they are your most precious of all treasures, something you sang so clearly of here, on this blog...
I did not know this blog was meant to be for her family but now, I see how it was....and family of Tessa, how blessed you are to have had her and still she will always be there to light your path as you move forward as we all must....I love you, Tessa darling, fly high and bright for us all to see when it is the most dark and we are stumbling....let us never forget the star you are nor the star you chased to the very end, skidding to the finish with a glorious swoosh of dust and lightness of being.
xoxoxox to us all through you....
And, dear Tessa family, thank you deeply for the picture of her to always remember her by, besides her gorgeous art....you are cut from her cloth.♥
I intermet Tessa relatively recently via Linda Sue who said to me, "she's from Africa too and I think you'll like her". I did. Very much. She truly shone like the African sun - strong and warm and life-affirming - and I'm so thankful to have connected with her, albeit briefly, and very, very saddened to hear this news. I extend the most inadequate of condolences to you, her family. She touched and inspired many with that special light of hers... and she will be very missed.
As I was writing that, I was reminded of the Edith Wharton quotation, "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.". I think Tessa was one of those rare people who manages to be both the source and a reflector of the light in others with equal heart.
Thank you for making the time to share this with us all.
This is very sad news and I don't really know what to say.
Tessa is very much loved.
Take care Beani Georgie and Guy
with love from Robyn
Thankyou so much for posting. Sending love to you all in this saddest of times.
Goodbye beautiful Tessa,we will giggle again.♥
Thank you for posting this. I am speechless, learning of her passing away, even if I knew she was ill, and read into the long internet silence that preceded this sad event.
I have Tessa's art here with me, in the generous gift she made of it online and in the post. My little boy has learned to count to three in English thanks to one of her last presents: a bright red marine trio lithography that hangs in his room.
I stare at the brushmarks of her other paintings in my empty rooms, seeking an answer.
Dear Beanie, Georgie and Guy my deepest condolences. The world is indeed a sadder one. We will miss her talent, insight, generosity, talent and elegance dearly.
Ciao Tessa. Safari Njema
Dearest Alex, Georgie and Guy,
Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute.
'Liquid sunlight' is such a perfect description for the way in which Tessa touched us all...
Her legacy is one of love, connection and pure vibrancy of spirit....
I told Tessa that one day I would take her by the hand and show her some of the lives whom she has touched in Swaziland...The Gogos whom I know she loved... I extend that invitation to each of you...if and when you ever feel the desire.
May the soft wings of peace surround you all...
Her love is yours forever,
It cannot die.
Of this much I am certain.
I never met Tessa, but had the joy of knowing her and her wonderful art through our eBay art group. I was stunned and so sad to learn of her passing. Her soul is as vibrant as her art was.
Soar forever free Tessa~
I am so so sorry for your hurting hearts.
I am so saddened by the news of Tessa's passing. She was the most delightful, caring and inspirational person - always with something wonderful to say or show here on her blog. She and I exchanged art - I treasure her pieces. My heartfelt condolences to all of you. Caroline Soer
She was amazing. I never had the privileged to meet her in person but we exchanged many emails and she was always supportive and funny and kind. What a being of light she was and I can not even imagine what you must be going through. I know for me it was devastating to hear the news she was gone. I have so much respect for her, so much admiration. She was and is, one of my heroes. Her art graces my walls. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
I am feeling very sad about this news. I know however that there is a lot more color and beauty in heaven.
It was always a pleasure to come to Tessa's blog.
I only found Tessa's blog a few months ago, but had heard of her often through other blog friends who spoke of her with great love, respect and that kind of admiration reserved for only those very special souls on this earth who reach out and touch people, who reach out and make a difference in this world. Tessa most definitely did that.
My deepest condolences to you Beani, Georgie and Guy. May Tessa's memory be eternal and her spirit live on in her works and in all those who loved her.
how much beani and her Mom look alike...
i am sad and sorry, beani, georgie, guy. Tessa and i reminded one another we shared the same sky, that we could simply look up any time and find one another. that will still be true. i knew when i held the last wonderful friendship art i received that Tessa was saying goodbye, remember me. i knew she was leaving her love in that painting.
remember me? i will never forget her. bless you all. she will find you each and comfort you with her colorful blanket of love; of that i'm sure.
My love and prayers go to you, Tessa's family.
Your mom was indeed a great inspiration in so many ways. Her generosity of heart and spirit, time and creativity will live on in each of us - she has touched so very many. I am so grateful to have known her and to have her artwork in my home to serve as a constant reminder of her strength, beauty, and of all the good works that can be achieved through the creation of art.
My prayers are with you.
Hi Tessa's family - to you one and all my heartfelt thoughts at this time .. she seemed to have touched so many .. with peace, love and blessings .. Hilary
Blogworld was made brighter by her presence, and her light will linger...
When i think of Tessa, i think of colorful, happy days, and also a sense of warmth and softeness, and especially love.
Tessa was a unique and giving person beyond all words.
To Tessa's Family - may you hold on to all the wonderful memories of your lives together. I'm deeply sorry for your loss.
I consider it a blessing to have known Tessa. She was a beautiful soul that loved life and family to the fullest and still had love to share with the whole world. She will be sadly missed but will live forever in our hearts and memories.
I am so very sorry for your loss. Tessa left this world but her beautiful art and her charitable work in Africa live on. You must miss her terribly. Thank you for posting this tribute.
I, along with many, will miss her presence here terribly. She was a generous soul, and a very bright light. My prayers are with you all.
i am only just now - this very moment - finding this magnificent world of color and love and vitality created by tessa - i come to it through my dear friend linda at the vulturepeakmuse blog here - as a weaver of words myself, it is very rarely that words escape me as they do now, in this moment of trying to gather them for an appropriately worded homage to a woman i've only just heard of actually - but whose presence even now in the gloriously painted skies she creates in her new life impacts us all in such a magnificent way - the world down here was a far better place for her presence and now, the skies all the brighter for her presence there - with all my deepest caring thoughts to you, her loving/beloved family - namaste' - jenean
There just aren't enough words to express how I feel about Tessa's passing. Although I never met her in person I was close to her. She encouraged me as an artist, buying one of my paintings of houses and sheep, and validated my artistic efforts completely by doing so. She encouraged my art students by mailing art supplies she could no longer use, she even mailed us yards of bark cloth. I researched bark cloth and created an art lesson from it which includes a bit of African culture...where it comes from, how it's used, who benefits from it..all thanks to Tessa. She once sent me a pair of earrings, and a wired and beaded hanging from Africa. So generous and kind. When I learned of her passing I pulled out her aceo and hugged it and cried. I know she would want us to be happy and carry on, but how can we be but so happy without her here? Ah, but she is here. Still. Always. So giving and loving. What a dear soul. Her passing is causing me to re-evaluate my very existence. I will surely be making some changes and will be thinking of her all the way.
Guy, Georgie and Beanie, my heart aches for you as you transition into this new life, for change is inevitable but so unkind. I pray you will be able to make the best of it and cherish your loving memories. I'm here, thinking of you, praying for you. Thank you for sharing this blog and for your post.
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I just learned of Tessa's passing... she was such an inspiration, both as an artist and a person. She saw the best in everyone and was always trying to make the world a better, brighter place. I believe she succeeded... because I know it's a bit darker and drabber without her. My thoughts and prayers go out to all her friends and family... Tessa dear, you will be sorely missed and warmly remembered.
Unencumbered by trivial concerns such as gravity and disease she once again performs Olympic caliber cartwheels.
Thank you for sharing this memorial on Tessa's blog.
I am relatively new here and did not visit as often as I would have liked, but I am grateful for the short time I was able to spend here.
This is a beautiful and fitting tribute to your mother. Again, I thank you.
I was so very, very sad to hear of Tessa's passing... she has left beautiful memories for all of us, even those of us who never met her in person. Sending warm wishes from Africa, to you all ..
By my desk, where I write my blog, is a picture on the wall so I can see it easily. It is Tessa's Balloon Armadillo....sailing away. I look at it regularly.
Lately, the picture has called me over and over and I'm just now getting here to hear your news. Now I know it was Tessa kissing me goodbye for now. Saying farewell, asking me to continue to love the world in her absence.
I will try, but I find the world a bit gloomier now, with the colors a bit dull now that I know she has moved on.
But, thinking on Tessa, I feel I need to take a breath and smile and find the job and color in the world for that's what she did all the time for us.
I am deeply sorry for the loss you now have...and happy for all the memories and moments you have had.
I think you all to be incredibly kind to take the time to let all of us who have come to love Tessa that she is now ambling on her new Safari, discovering the new plains of her new world.
In peace, with deep respect, with colors and a smile for Tessa.
Dear Guy, Alex and Georgie,
I was so saddened to hear of Tessa's death.
Even though I only knew her through the blog and e-mail letters, I feel we had much in common.
Our grandson Henry James (Schmid) was obviously named after your grandsons.
I'm certain you have been overwhelmed by letters of condolence from all
over the world. Tessa read my books and we talked/wrote about art.
She was so very insightful about others and so interested in lives outside her own.
I was so impressed by her fortitude. I would have been a gibbering pile of self-centered self-pity.
She must have had guts aplenty and a wonderful family to support her.
Sending much love to your family in this dark time.
You have lost a very bright star.
I'm so glad she left the blog as a testament to her art and her life.
To Tessa's family: My most heartfelt sympathy.
WHAT A WOMAN!!!
What a life well-lived.
She had such a great mind and heart and was an inspiration -- I feel comfortable making this generalization -- to everyone who knew her.
We will miss her terribly.
I have just learnt from Beani about Tessa's death and am devastated. Like me, she was a transplanted African, living with one foot here in England but the other one, and her heart and soul firmly fixed in Africa. Heartfelt sympathy to you all, and we know that her soul is now in Africa where she longed to be. I will cherish her art that I bought and is hanging on my wall in my home, and think of her often, as I do.
So deeply sorry for your loss..for our loss..what a joy she was! I am so sad that we have lost such a beautiful sprit here!
Sending love and prayers to all of you!
To Tessa's dear family: i had the honor and privilege to meet Tessa in a small online art group - i felt like i was watching an epic movie or lost in a great book when i heard anything she said. What a life. What an amazing human being. She was beautiful and wonderful and genuine and i'm so lucky to have gotten a chance to "know" her. My love and deepest condolences to you, Adrienne Trafford
Condolences on your loss of such an irreplaceable woman and beautiful spirit. It's amazing what a source of inspiration she was in the time she kept this blog to people around the world, she really did some amazing good for the world at the end of her days.
Thank you Tessa for being you! Sweet dreams dear friend.
I am so sad to read that Tessa is no longer here to share her joy with us.
Thank you Tessa for all the wonderful sharing, and for the inspiration you gave. We will all miss you.
I would like to hug you all and to whisper how sorry I am about your loss! Although I was feeling the long silence wasn't a good sign, I still hoped that miracles are possible and Tessa may overcome the illness and the bad times! I prayed for her and tried to send her my positive thoughts...
I'm very much upset.
I cried a lot.
It hurts so much!
Although I was following her blog from not that long (since Summer), our meetings in this beautiful, wondrous, spiritual, sensitive, wise, loving island of her art, thoughts and dreams were (and will ever be!) very precious to me! I'll always keep her warm and friendly words and the memory of our written "conversations" deep in my heart and soul! I miss her... I love her...
I'm sorry for being so late with my condolences! I just wanted to postpone my comment in time, but I'm finding out in this very moment that the pain is as strong as in the first moment!
I don't have an original piece of art by Tessa, but I have them all here and I know that every time I need to feel her presence or want to get in touch with her colourful, vigorous paintings, or follow the exciting and unbelievably beautiful story of her life, this blog will be here. For all of us!
You are a happy family to have had among you Tessa! She had been happy with you, too!
It is with sadness I have just heard across the miles of blogging of Tessa's passing. I send my condolences and thoughts to all that new her and her family. The world is a better place for the mark she has shone upon us.
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Thank you Beani, Georgie and Guy for the tribute. Tessa's light shone bright, bright bright!! I bought a limited edition which I will cherish always. I'll never forget, the day I received the package here in Atlanta, GA. It had been packed with such care, with a couple extra bits of love... It warms my soul to look at that beautiful print every day.
Have strength and peace.
I am so saddened to read this. It was one of my ambitions to meet Tessa in person. She sent me some beautiful cards she had designed for her grandson and my own grandson will receive one for each birthday she commemorated. She was a very special person and reading her words always made the sun shine brighter.
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