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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The A to Z Team Honors Tina Downey

Today the A to Z Co-Host Team, past and present, would like to honor fellow co-host, Tina Downey from Life is Good. We lost Tina on August 23, 2014, and words cannot express how much we will miss her or how much she meant to us. But in this tribute, we give it our best…


Tina, like I used to say to you every so often, I was in awe of you, your will to smile in the face of all kinds of odds and pain and despair. You made light of your suffering. Always.

I was in awe of how much you gave of your spirit. Only you could talk to hundreds of strangers online in a day and make each of them feel special. You knew how to make our team work together. You made people feel like sending you a hug even as you told them what not to do. You had this gift for listening, just being there.
Thank you for being my SIS, for teaching me that life is good, no matter what. Above all, thank you for your words, your smiles, and the gazillion icons of sunflowers. They lit up my darkest hours.
Farewell, till I see you next. As someone has said-- meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

-- Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs


I met her on the A to Z this year, and loved her sense of humor right away. She bubbled and bossed all at the same time, and who can resist that combination? While I never talked to her or met her in person, I feel the loss of her. If she were here, I’d be getting emails telling me to stay on my toes because, if I didn’t follow the directions, she’d have to take some serious action, like send in one of her Flamingos to set me straight.

I’m sure she would be organizing this tribute, and perhaps she is. Certainly, her energy is still with this group and she’d love to know sunflowers remind us of her.

C. Lee McKenzie


I’ve never met Tina Downey.
But, I’m going to miss her very much.
We emailed frequently, as she did with so many people.
You could always count on a funny movie quote, or a funny Tina quote, at the end of her emails.
Here are some of my favorites.
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~Tina, who’s ready for her chardonnay, but since I still have to write, will reluctantly wait...
The weirdness has begun…Tina
Happy dance!....Tina
Buckle up! It’s a bumpy ride. Fun, but it has it’s twists and turns, and unexpected surprises…Tina
~Tina, see I've already chatted with you twice in 10 minutes...
Tina, here all day ;-)
~Tina, off to write a post
~Tina, who is worried about Sonny. He's practically buried in weeds...poor fella.
~Tina, who usually signs off with something weird at the end of a comment. So here's one. "Something weird."
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Who is Sonny? He’s Tina’s garden gnome. She sent me a picture.
I don’t know what else to say except that we will never be the same without her.
Our thoughts are with her family.
Rest in peace, Tina.
Heather


You have gone... you were a friend when I needed a laugh, you were a sister when I needed to cried and you were... just there. Now you are watching over all of us, may your flight to heaven be a peaceful journey. Now sweep those damn flying monkeys out, share your kindness and humor with the angels.... Please, please... please watch over your family, they love and miss you something dearly! Peace, Tina... you are a person I will miss, we all will miss... thank you for always being so strong!
-Jeremy


When I found out Tina had become an A-Z co-host and she introduced herself to everyone, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of wild ride we were in for. She was a blogosphere ball of fire with boundless amounts of energy, which frankly intimidated me a little. And outside of A-Z she was a tireless supporter, always willing to help champion a cause or help promote a project. She was so forthright, so real, it was a pleasure to interact with her – even if it was just digitally. I’m jealous of the people who knew her in the real world; because she seemed like a person who would be the life of whatever party you were throwing.
I’ll truly miss Tina. The blogosphere is a dimmer without her.
DL Hammons


Though I only met Tina Downey a short time before she passed, she made a lasting impression that will stay with me every time I open up my blog. I will never forget her kindness as I entered a strange, new community, nor her reassurance when I felt overwhelmed. From her first introduction, she exuded encouragement, support, and snarky fun. She made the overwhelming seem possible, and hard work feel like entertainment. But more importantly, she brought strangers spread across the globe together in an online community that far surpassed its digital bounds. Her legacy will live on in the people she inspired and the connections she forged. And everyone, from her oldest of friends to her newest acquaintance, will remember her.

-- Lauren Hennessy


I met Tina via the A-to-Z, so it's only right I say goodbye to her here. We challenged each other to visit all A-to-Z participants, and from that the Post A-to-Z Road Trip was born. Road Tripping together, we became friends. Tina was dynamic, a lady with a big, welcoming heart. She was always positive, no matter what was going on. Not only was she a pleasure to work with, but she was a friend, a confidante, and a great support. My heart goes out to her family. I'll miss you, Tina. The world lost a phenomenal person last week, but there are a lot of us who will think of you and be lifted up every time we see a sunflower.

~ Shannon


Whenever I’m faced with tragedy I always turn to a book for solace. Maybe you’re no different? Some turn to the Bible or other sacred texts. I, turn to poetry. During times of sadness or loss, poetry speaks to me and provides comfort.
I lost a friend last week, Tina Downey. She was my Cheese Girl. Whenever I mentioned needing a cupcake or other sweet, Tina countered with cheese. No matter what the situation was, Tina was quick to offer sarcasm, a virtual hug, a listening ear or whatever she could.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Tina IRL (in real life) but I feel the loss of her just the same. She was my friend. Tina brought people together. Tina was the sun and we are the sunflowers who have benefitted.
“Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also. He attracts and follows.” ~ Jean Paul Richter

Pam Margolis, An Unconventional Librarian


I didn't know Tina as well as some others, but we co-hosted several A to Z challenges together, and I was always struck and inspired by her. Not only by her enthusiasm for blogging and writing, but by her drive for working together, for getting to know people, and for being helpful, not only to those of us who "knew" each other, at least on the internet, but to any stranger who came along with a question, an idea, or a request for assistance. Tina was a wonderful person to work with, and she will be dearly missed.

Matt


I’ll make it no secret I loved and adored Tina. She was more than a friend. She was like a sister. She was the rock of stability. Within the A to Z Team, Tina was the one who held us together. Her wit and whimsy were amazing, and I treasured the long, snarky, no-holds-barred emails from Tina.She told me once that I was as real to her if not more so than any real-world friend, and I felt the same way about her.

I know you’re with the Lord now, Tina, but I am really, really going to miss you. I promise to keep giving my all to the A to Z Team, although I am certainly no super glue. Not like Super Tina. But I will do my best. Schedule Woman would expect no less.

Your online brother, Alex


Dearest Sister, friend and fellow rebel in our blogging world,

We sure had some good times, didn’t we? Both of us on bloggy steroids, only to pick up the phone one day and start exchanging live conversations and texts. Oh, the laughs we had, the tears we shed and the most wonderful friendship we nurtured. We were story tellers, support systems and A - Z gurus…you being the stable one, me hanging on by the seat of my pants, wondering what might (or might not) happen next.

We became so much more, “You are such a good friend. The kind where we just pick up where we were and it’s like we were never apart.” These are some of your last words to me, words every person should read or hear at least once in their life. I too treasure our friendship and know that even the distance between heaven and earth can only increase what we share, a friendship so special, one that I will treasure forever. God bless you, Tina. I too look forward to so much more.

Hugs with a sunflower and cactus.

Teresa


If I can give on word to help Tina Downey be remembered by, it is the word faithful. Over the past years that I knew Tina through the Blogging Community, she was always there to give support to others, regardless of who they were, where they lived, or the circumstances surrounding their lives.

Tina was a true source of inspiration. Her motto, “Life Is Good” was simple yet powerful. Often I would stop by per blog and be reminded even though there were circumstances in my life that were less than pleasant, Life Is Good. I could go forth with a thankful heart and my day had become brighter and filled with hope that life is indeed good and good things awaited me. Thank you Tina for all the positive things you brought to the world.

Stephen Tremp


I met Tina in 2012 when we both co-hosted the A to Z April Blogging Challenge in 2012. By the end of the challenge we weren’t just team mates but friends! She made me feel important. She made me work for my dreams. She also helped me to believe in myself.

Even while she struggled with her own problems, she selflessly helped me. The world didn’t just lose a friend, it lost one of the most beautiful people to have ever lived. And because we met through the A to Z challenge, I wanted to honor her with a list of all the things she was, A through Z.

She was . . . An Angel on Earth, Best friends to everyone she met, Caring, Determined, Encouraging. Funny, Gracious, Helpful, Imaginative, Jubilant, Kind, Loveable and loving, Mindful, Noteworthy, Original, Positive all the time, Quirky in the best way possible, Real, Supportive, Thoughtful, Unconditional, Vibrant, Wise, Xenodochial, Youthful, Zealous.

~ Konstanz Silverbow


Tina was one of those rare people who could ask blunt questions that might be too forward coming from anyone else. She had uncanny timing, almost like a sixth sense, for when people needed her, or needed to talk. She was funny, genuine, and most of all loving. Our friendship really started when she sent me an email with some of those blunt questions, at just the right time, before the Challenge in 2013. I needed support, and it turned out that she was just the right person to provide it. From there and through the craziness of the Challenge, our friendship grew. We discovered that we lived only about 30 minutes apart, and vowed to meet at some point. I am so sad now that we only succeeded at hanging out once, but so grateful that we managed that.

We often joked about me smuggling her some red wine at the hospital. I imagine her sitting up in heaven (which of course is fields of sunflowers) looking down at us all, with a glass of wine in her hand and endlessly quotable movies for her viewing pleasure. She's probably talking god's ear off. She's closer now, so he won't have much of a choice but to listen :)

My dear Tina -
Life is Good, and yours was a good life, my friend.
All my love,
~AJ


Dear Tina, it seems like just yesterday you and I were swapping funny Barbie doll stories while treating many of our daily grinds with a glass, or two, of wine. To know that you are gone has made for a heartbreaking Summer, to say the least. The news hit me like a ton of bricks, leaving days filled with denial, numbness and later, a bit of regret in its wake. Boy have I delayed that trip we talked about for too long, right?! If there is one thing for certain, it's that I will cherish the time we had, the lengthy conversations we engaged in and the experiences we shared with each other. I am also grateful for what you've taught me about honesty, kindness, healing and not being afraid to “let it all hang out.” It has been a pleasure to learn so much about you over the last few years and an honor to have worked with you on Arlee Bird's alphabetical adventure.

I miss the spontaneity of your comment sign-offs, which often made the day. I miss the movie lines you had us guessing from time to time. I miss your superpowers of holding it together through the joys and pains that any day delivered. You embodied great leadership in often being the (only) one who says what needs to be said and does what needs to be done. Just when it seems all things might fall apart without you here, I believe things will be ok because your legacy remains. Most importantly, I want you to know that you've left a positive impression on me and the blogging community at large. We are lucky to have had such a wonderful, compassionate and generous woman in our lives. Thank you for always being yourself and showing us that there are bright sides to life so long as we dare to seek them out. You are one fabulous lady, Tina Downey!
– Sincerely, Nicole Ayers


Tina Downey was like a supernova in my blogging universe. She appeared and shone brightly for a few years until her recent passing. In reading much about her since that sad day when we lost her physical presence, I realize that she was a special human being who has touched so many others throughout her life. I am but one of many who have been touched by her delightful presence in the world. Tina has made the world a better place in her being in it.

After the 2011 A to Z Challenge Tina Downey and Shannon Lawrence started a Post Challenge Challenge Road Trip to encourage others to visit all of the blogs that had been signed up for the A to Z Challenge. Their enthusiasm for A to Z caught my attention so I invited both of them to be a part of the 2012 Challenge. Tina stayed on after that first year and was active for the next two Challenges serving as one of our main motivators and organizers. She kept right at it until her illness prevented her from doing any more. I know A to Z was on her mind through many tough times up until the end.

If the world of bloggers were to be compared to a field of sunflowers, then Tina is the flower who stands taller and brighter than most of the rest. She planted seeds of kindness, caring, and diligence that will hopefully grow within many of us who knew her. She has been an example and an inspiration for us to follow.

The A to Z Challenge has always been special to me, but the good teammates like Tina and all of the others have made A to Z even more special. Tina knew that as well and she gave it her all. And I thank her for that.

Arlee Bird from Tossing it Out, founder of the A to Z Challenge



We are honoring Tina with sunflowers on Monday, September 8 – I hope everyone can join us and splash the Internet with yellow that day.
Sign up here - Sunflowers for Tina.

The family has also set up the Downey Education Fund, which will go toward a college fund for Tina’s two boys. You can donate via PayPal here -

38 comments:

  1. What beautiful tributes to a beautiful lady. She really did touch so many lives and made the world a better place, which is the best thing anyone can do. Tina will be missed!

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  2. These are wonderful tributes. I'm sure she felt the love by all, and that surely helped her through her worst days. She was so lucky to have so many friends.

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  3. Your memories and lovely tributes will keep Tina's spirit alive. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at home and online.

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  4. Such lovely tributes to an amazing lady. I only knew her for a short time, but she made an huge impression that will stay with me for a lifetime.

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  5. Such a heartfelt tribute... perfect.

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  6. Wonderful tributes, you brought me to tears once again.

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  7. Tears are running down my face. This turned out so wonderful. I love what everyone had to say about her.
    Well done, Alex, putting it all together so nicely.
    Heather

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  8. The tribute turned out so well. Tina really impacted a lot of lives.

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  9. Tina is a wonderful person. I am still getting lessons from her even if she is not here anymore.

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  10. Tina made such an impression on the world before she passed away. I hope she would have liked the tribute - she really touched so many of us.

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  11. One and all, what lovely tributes. God Bless!

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  12. This is another strong testament to how much TIna meant to so many of us. Mere words are inadequate to express what we feel in a time like this, but the A to Z Team past and present who have honored Tina here have made a decent attempt at saying what's in our hearts and minds.

    Thank you Alex for putting this all together so well.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  13. September 3rd, 2014

    Oh no!
    This is the first I have heard of this. This can't be true.

    Then I've lost a friend whom I was hoping to meet one day. We shared an interest in Sweden and the Swedish language. I love all of her blog posts about Swedish words. So well observed. She knew what she was talking about.

    I'm sorry I can't say much more. I'm so upset.

    Anna

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  14. What a great tribute! All her associates
    joined together to say a word about her.

    Yes, "She was such a lovable personality."

    All those who have encountered with
    her will surely say this in one voice.

    Indeed a great loss to the A to Z Blog Challenge
    as well as IWSG and other blogging friends.

    May Sep. 8 be a great day.

    Our condolences to the bereaved family members.
    And to the close associates of her in this blogsphere.

    I had a good rapport with this loving personality.
    I just posted a tribute in this regard today in my page
    as my this month's installment at IWSG page.

    May you all have a great time ahead.

    Best Regards

    ~ Philip Ariel

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  15. wow! What an amazing way to honor Tina! Thanks to everyone for stopping by and offering your support. Tina will be dearly missed. But her motto Life Is Good will continue on with us.

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  16. Beautiful tributes, Rest in Peace Tina x

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  17. Tina is sincerely missed. You were loved Tina. Now and forever we will miss you and remember you as well. Thank you all for sharing and honoring her.
    IWSG Co-Host

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  18. Thank you for sharing these beautiful tributes for Tina.

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  19. Beautiful tributes for Tina. She will truly be missed.

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  20. Annnnd crying again....
    <3 to you all.

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  21. What a wonderful tribute. It makes me think that I should pay tribute to those I love and enjoy while I can see them smile in gratitude.

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  22. It's hard to hold back tears, some for the sense of pride and joy in seeing and sharing in the vast amount of love pouring out for Tina, and some tears for the loss. She was a powerhouse, indeed. The tribute says it all, coming full circle from the past, present and future of our A-Z team. Cheers to Tina for shining her light on the world!

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  23. How do you say goodbye to someone you care and love... it's not easy. Best way is too say "goodbye" and never forget them... smile, cry and laugh. We have lost a friend... so I am crying, remembering and in the end a small smile. It was a pleasure to know Tina, my best prayers to those who knew and love her... it's okay to cry!

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  24. I just want to offer my condolences and hugs, along with gratitude for this exquisite tribute, worthy of such an amazing woman.

    I only exchanged a few messages with Tina. In her last email to me, 10 or so days before she passed, she wrote "Here's to getting to know YOU better." I re-read that and realized she hadn't written "Here's to getting to know EACH OTHER better." Tina wanted to know me better. What a special person. I regret that I didn't befriend her earlier. Tina set the bar at an almost unattainable level of selflessness and generosity. Her impact on the world and blogland is so profound, it will live on. Prayers and blessings to you all.

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  25. I didn't correspond with Tina personally, but she sounds like one amazing lady. My condolences.

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  26. What a wonderful tribute to a lovely lady. Tina will be sorely missed by many.

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  27. A beautiful tribute. She brightened the world around her. She will be missed.

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  28. Wonderful tributes to a special person. The A to Z through Arlee Bird has made some very special friendships. either in person or via the internet. I was the first person to sign up on the first Challenge, Also on that first challenge was Alex, we have remained internet friends since, I met Arlee in 2012 in LA and he is a wonderful man as Tina was a wonderful lady. Rest In Peace dear A to Z friend.

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  29. beautiful and special tribute for a wonderful person, a-z will not be the same. RIP Tina you will always be missed

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  30. I wish I had something better to say, but I'm sorry for your loss. This was an eloquent and touching tribute. While I never had the pleasure of meeting her, I'm sad that I won't now.

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  31. What a beautiful collection... great tribute... she will live on in our hearts & souls...
    Rest in peace, Tina.

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  32. And this is only the beginning of honoring Tina. Lovely everyone. Thanks for letting us know of these special moments shared with Tina.

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  33. This is lovely - thank you all for giving us so many precious ways to love Tina and keep her close. She would be thrilled and humbled to know how deeply she impacted so many of us.

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  34. Hi Everyone - what brilliant tributes to Tina .. she certainly was a star .. in her life, for her team in the A-Z, and to all bloggers within the Challenge .. next Monday will be a special time to remember her once again .. I don't think we'll forget her somehow .. Hilary

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  35. I loved reading everyone's tributes to her. Missing her, as we all will be for quite some time to come.

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  36. I'm reading this for the first time as I have only just seen it - such beautiful words. I love that the A to Z badge and overall graphic theme is honouring Tina.

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