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The Best Smile Ever September 21, 2014

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Yesterday, I attended the best funeral ever. Fonda ‘Tissy’ Miller was remembered by her friends and family in what I can only say was the most meaningful celebration of life I have ever experienced.

I’ve known Tissy for 9 years since she was my daughter’s bus driver at The King’s Academy. She was married and had three young boys. She had the most wonderful smile.


Tissy in the middle, 2008

I didn’t become more than ‘just one of the parents waiting at the bus stop’ until after Tissy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. A neighbor, whose kids also went to King’s, was much closer to her and her family and invited us to a party to rally her for her first round of treatments.

Kathy and I were happy to attend. What we didn’t know was her husband was recently unemployed due to the downturn in the real estate market and Tissy would have to quit her bus driving job because of her treatments.

Kathy and I got to spend some wonderful time with her that afternoon and within that short span came to know the truly wonderful soul behind that most amazing smile.

Tissy endured her treatments and was declared cancer free several months after finishing them. We all were so happy to hear the news and quietly slipped back into our lives. Tissy’s husband had taken over bus driving duties in her absence and now that she was better we welcomed her beautiful smile back at the bus stop.

About a year later we heard the cancer had returned. Tissy had to stop driving and begin the battle once again. It would be a five year fight that she lost last week. Tissy was 40 years old.

The funeral was held at their church—it was overflowing. Every seat filled. Friends lined the outside walls and they stood three deep in the back.

We sang, we watched her wedding video, we listened to family members share their love for her. Her three sons all shared, in their most unique ways ever, their love for their mom. Everyone mentioned her smile.

When the last song began bright beach balls began to appear in the sanctuary—just like at a concert. It was so Tissy. tissy beachballs

Her smile was a bright ball of love which shone on everyone she met.