Updated: Oct 10, 2022
I had the pleasure (and heartbreak) of celebrating the life of my dear friend Tamina last weekend. She was only 54 and lost her fight. I am so very sad that my friend is gone. She was one of my very favourite humans, and one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met when Tamina moved into our small town – I was twelve and she was thirteen. She was beautiful and funny and gregarious and fun and I loved her immediately. And she loved me. She taught me makeup. She taught me how to dance. We drove around town in her old yellow truck, eating far too much junk food, smoking cigarettes (it was the '80s!), and singing at the top of our lungs! I felt protected with Tamina by my side. As many adolescent girls, I had a tough time back then – trying to find my place, fit in, figure out where I belonged... and with whom. I always belonged with Tamina.
The summer of '86, we were inseparable – we worked in the tourist centre together that summer and pointed solely towards Vancouver, just 8 more hours to go to get to Expo '86. September of that year, we both moved to Victoria. I’ll never forget watching from my second story dorm window at UVIC toward the parking lot, waiting for Tamina to arrive. As I had a view from above, I watched as she came careening around the corner in her little blue Pinto, smack into the parking guy in his golf cart – tipping him on his side! The poor guy never saw her coming! When she finally made it upstairs, we were doubled over, laughing... don't worry, no one was hurt. Tamina's ability to make me laugh might have been one of my favourite things about her – for some reason, she only had to exist for me to laugh – there was something about her personality and my sense of humour that just clicked! She made me belly-laugh at literally nothing – do you have those people in your life? I sure hope that you do. I adored her.
Tamina fell in love and moved to Toronto in '97. We both went on to have babies and grow into Moms and wives and women. She got the marriage thing right, me... not so much. I was so happy for her. Tamina was big as life – she laughed loud, cried hard, stood for what she believed in. She loved fiercely and lived on purpose – she did not shrink herself to fit any mold, anywhere. If you didn't love her as she was, too bad for you, you missed out big time!
From the time that I was twelve, I learned beautiful life lessons from my friend Tamina – and now, in her passing, I believe we can all learn a little something from the way she lived her life:
Take the road trip + the vacations
Laugh out (very) loud
Surround yourself with those you love and those who love you; cherish them
Some people are just not for you, and that is okay
Only wear eyeliner and mascara on the top lid
If you don't like something, change it
What others think of you is none of your business
Join the dance troupe, the theatre, the choir, or whatever else lights up your heart – it is never too late and you are never too old
Love and protect your people fiercely
Live a big, bold, beautiful life
Eat the good food, drink the good wine, if that is what you wish to do
Create beautiful, meaningful, memorable experiences
Stand up for yourself and for what you believe in
Do not shrink yourself to fit in - ever!
Surround yourself with music and sing out loud
The motto of my story here is: be more like Tamina. She was a Queen and I'm certain is actually wearing a crown on the other side. I love you dear friend, I will be forever asking myself, "What would Tamina do?" and I will do that - for me, and for you,
lori ann xo