I'm not sure that I truly have the words to write this post or give justice to the grief and sadness that so many people from all around the world are feeling right now, but silence would only feed my own sadness.
I wish that I could say that I was closer to Gina -I always hoped to be, but I knew her through comments and e-mails. Her comments, encouragement, and tips were always a great comfort to me and made me feel like more of the tatting community. You see, I have this list in my head of 'tatting celebrities' --people that I admire and am awed by, people I am afraid to approach because I know they are far above my station in Tat Land. Gina was high on that list and it always felt surreal to see her caring about anything I'd have to say.
Some people forget that, or fail to recognize at all, that there are real people at the other end of our computer screens. Gina knew that. I do too. This poem is old and badly written, but I feel like it's appropriate today:
Oh! How quickly my icy heart does melt
Whenever the warmth of friendship is felt!
Finding myself within another's heart,
To my soul, they become a vital part!
With a few words and a simple smile,
a friendship can cross many a mile!
For though you are a name without a face,
Within my heart, you have a special place!
And though we may live on and never meet,
In my heart, you will always have first seat,
For I know that you will always be true,
And that is one reason why I love you!
Our words, unspoken, but typed full-speed,
Contain a voice, though it is only keyed.
And though the tone may be a little off,
At the feelings, no one could ever scoff!
Through wires and words a friendship was born,
And, silently, a sacred pact was sworn,
A pact declaring we shall always be
a part of one another's family!
(10/13/2008; 10 syllables per line; aabb).
Gina was more than just a name without a face --on the contrary, every picture that I've seen of her has made me smile. Her energy and joy --her sparkle, comes through in each and every one and it's contagious! She was more than those pictures too. She was ...Gina. I can't think of a better way to describe her.
Even beyond tatting, she was a continual inspiration to me. It seems like everything she created left me awed --and a wee jealous. *blushes* She was more than just a Tatting Goddess; she was a creative goddess, an artist, a beautiful role model, and a soul to be be admired and remembered throughout the ages. How many people can ever touch as many people in as many different corners of the world as Gina did and will continue to do through her words and works and our memories?
I drooled over so many of her shared creations and thought, 'I could never do that!'. I know Gina would argue with me about that and give me a push to TRY. Well, Gina, I started this year saying that I would learn RPL because I was so in love with your creations and I think I will --and, if I can do it, I know that I will think of you with every motion of the thread and will have you to thank for every smile (and frustration) that comes with learning the craft.
Thank you, Gina, for all that you gave to this world and, most of all, for allowing me to call you a part of mine. You will be missed more than words can say, but remembered longer than you could have imagined. We will all be sharing our memories of you throughout our lives in such admiration and love that your memory will pass from one generation to the next and the next and... You get the point. From your contagious love of art to your contagious smile, there was never any space left to doubt your goddess status --and there never will be!
Rest in Peace, Gina.
My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. She touched so many lives in her time and has truly left a legacy of art, laughter, smiles, tatting, and through and through beauty!
I'm going to go have a good cry now. Love and happy tatting to all.