Monday, March 31, 2008

Memory Book

I would like to create a book of memories to give to Ryan. To make this a book he will cherish I would like to invite each of you who have had good memories with Tonia to share these memories or stories on this blog. Also if Tonia has inspired you in one way or another, then please feel free to share these experiences with us as well. Then we will compile them and make a treasured book for Ryan and the kids to have forever. Photos are also welcome you can send those to kristitownsends@gmail.com and I will make sure to get them added to the book. Please remember to include your full name and relationship to Tonia or how you know her. Feel free to make the post or comment as long or as short as you would like.
I will leave this blog up for as long as we need to collect these stories and statements. I was thinking at least a month so there will be nothing forgotten and if we need more time after that I have no problem giving more time. So share all you would like!
Thank you,
Kristi Townsend

15 comments:

The Gately Family said...

Oh Kristie what a wonderful idea! I have been rereading some old letters from Tonia and was wondering how I could share this with Ryan and kids. This is perfect. Thank you for organizing this gift. What is your time frame?

I'll be in touch.

Tamara Gately

Anonymous said...

4/1/08
To Ryan, Sageryan, Austin, Riley John, Brady and Kayhonia:
You already know what a phenomenal person your wife and mother is. You already know that she fought the bravest of fights to stay here with you, so you already know how much you have been loved.
Your mom touched so many, her eternal smile, her fearless approach to mortal life, her deep undying love for Ryan and her children. I had very few opportunities to enjoy her companionship, but I remember every one of them. I remember the love that I could actually feel when Ryan and Tonia were in the same room. I remember her pride in her beautiful children, it was tangible, it was true and real. I am Ryan's aunt Stephanie, I lived in California most of his life, I'm enough younger than his mother that our lives didn't intermingle much but I have always come away blessed when they did.
It is with sincerest love and prayers for Heavenly Fathers' strength and comfort to surround Ryan and his children in this time of emptiness and loss. The gospel will give you all strength, even if you aren't fully able to appreciate or understand it. I have spent most of my life in a world where the Gospel isn't known and death is ever so frightening to the people I have been surrounded by. We all know that Tonia is in a much better place, that she no longer suffers such anguish and pain and that she's waiting for each of you to come safely back into her arms. This fact will pull you through many of your days remaining here, you won't even really know it some days, but it is always there because she taught you and loved you and it's there in your heart.
With all our love we remember Tonia Eccles and pray for all of you that you will feel her constant love and presence in your days to come.
Aunt Stephanie, Trent, Bree, Skylar, Taelan, Joshua, Kristine, Nathan, Tiffany, Cody and Logan.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ryan and Kids,
I just had to let you know what a wonderful person your wife and mother is, what a good example she was to me and my family. She touched so many lives in so many ways. It was a privledge to be her visiting teacher way back when I was in the 11th ward.I watched her courage and determation with awe. Her testimony of the Restored Gospel and her relationship with Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ shone through. I know that her faith and knowlege susatined her through out her many trials. Her love and devotion for her children and husband were what kept her hanging on. I was amazed at her courage and steadfastness. I think that one of the great lessons that I learned from her was to love our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ and to love each other, no matter what! I know that she loved you so much and that you will miss her. I know that some day when the time is right, you will all be together again. I am thankful that I was able to know her and to call her friend.
All my love,
Cindy Lauritzen

Anonymous said...

Our heartfelt condolences to Ryan and the children. We were so saddened to hear of the accident. Her trials and suffering were so similar to our son, Clay. We know they are both happy and in a better place. Families are eternal and what a comfort this knowledge will bring you in the hard days ahead. Our love to all of you, Mike & Becky Lombard.

Organ Donor Advocate said...

Dear Eccles family,
I found this blog through a google search while searching for Tonia's obituary. I am a complete stranger but learned of Tonia and her brave decision through my work in organ donation. I am leaving this comment as anonymous for fear that my job could be jeopardized for contacting you. I just feel so moved to tell you how touched we as an organization are to have been associated with Tonia, Ryan, her children, parents and other family members we came in contact with at the hospital. It was an honor for us to get to honor her wishes to save the lives of others. Tonia truly is a hero and is someone that I will remember for the rest of my life even though I never met her. Her passing with such courage and strength has moved me beyond words. May the Lord bless each of you with the comfort and knowledge that she is free from the pains of this mortal earth and that you will be reunited again. May you feel of His love and have peace in your lives as you find your way in this new world. You will continue to be in my prayers. I send you all my love.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ryan and family,
Our hearts and prayers are with all of you. Tonia has been such a positive example of faith and strength. Alan and I were remembering being at the temple with you when you got married. We remembered the little house you lived in on the island and spending time with you when you got back from Taiwan. He was deeply shocked as I told him of Tonia's death the other night. Thank you both for having been part of our lives and for the examples you have set to rely on each other as eternal companions. Our love, Alan and Vicky McCombs

Anonymous said...

Dear Eccles Family,

Although we didn't know you well, personally, we knew you through Helen Rose and Jerry Facer (Jon's mom and sister). They talked of your courage and the great example that Tonia set. We visited briefly with her when she was at the U of U hospital and she was such a picture of strength and courage and sweetness. Our lives will forever be touched by her and the example your family has given of "pressing forward in Christ". You are in our prayers. Much love, Jon & Leanna Rose

Gwen said...

My favorite memory of Tonia happened just this last Christmas. I live in Tonia's ward and sing in the ward choir. Apparently, the annual Christmas choir program was always a special Sacrament Meeting for Tonia. This December she was not able to attend, and word got back to us that she was feeling pretty badly about it. So we took the choir program to her that Sunday afternoon, and it was a highlight of my Christmas season, and I think it brightened her spirits too. We all gathered in her upstairs family room with Tonia, Ryan, Brady, Sage, and Kayonia (where the piano was) and sang the program from start to finish. We even included my daughter Star's vocal solo; she happened to be visiting from Las Vegas, spending time with Mom for Christmas. The Spirit in the Eccles home that afternoon was strong, and the love between Tonia and Ryan was apparent. It was an experience I won't forget for a very long time, because it was what Christmas is really all about!
Gwen Brandt

Anonymous said...

To Ryan:
I'm not very good with words. But I want you to know that ever since I heard about Tonia's accident your family has been in our prayers. I truly believe you are a great person with much to give. I know you will hear this 100 times or more. Your loving Heavenly Father is helping you even if you my not feel like he's there. I want you to know how much I appreciate having you as a brother in the gospel. I also want to know how much I appreciated having you as a very fair and excellent manager. You really did value Rochelle, Dave M. and I. THANK YOU!!!! May the days ahead be filled with great memories of Tonia and may all the Lord's blessings be upon you and your children. God Bless, David & Connie Purser

Anonymous said...

HI guys, it's me Aunt Cindy...I just thought you should know that I think grampa Townsend and myself had a big influence on why your mom liked to scare you on occasion LOL!! Grampa always liked to sneak up on us and scare us when we least expected it. Well, some of that wore off on me. Tonia got some of that :) The year the Townsend family went to Alabama is a wonderful memory for me. It was grmpa gramma and 7 kids!!! We drove all the way to Alabama and then continued to Florida and up the east coast then back home to Utah. Anyway we stayed in a rental home while grampa worked for the Army for a month I think it was. The rental was huge and "empty". I bet you can guess...I scared your mom so bad during that time. I made her believe that there was a ghost named George living in the house with us. She was so gullible back then, she truly believed me!! I felt no guilt as a kid, but later in life I felt so bad for scaring her and because she looked up to me. As the oldest sister, I should have...aw who's kidding, I enjoyed every minute!! She was so much fun as a sister, in fact, for those that grew up with her you know how much of a flirt she was, and from what I hear, never stopped, LOL!! I would bring my boyfriend home and she would flirt like crazy with him. It was innocent, but was still annoying ha ha!! On a reverent note, she was the wind beneath my wings in every way!! I may be the oldest in the family, but I truly looked up to her!!! She was my inspiration!! I love my sister with all my heart!!
Love, Aunt Cindy

Anonymous said...

The first time i met Tonia and Ryan was shortly after the brought Sage home and came to Monroe, to visit family. Since I am a close friend to the family, I have recalled many more times that I have had a chance to set and visit with them and their children. The last time I visit with Tonia was about four years ago up Hyrum Lake that is also the first time I got to me Kayonia. Tonia was never a fraid to make talk with anyone or to ask you how you are doing. Tonia was a great mother here on earth and will still be showing her kindness through her children. Tonia was a great example to all women, as a mother, wife, sister, and friend. I really wish I could have visit with her more. As for Ryan he is a great father, loving husband, and a great man that any man should look up to. When times got hard he never walked away. Ryan you are an increditable man. I know with the faith and love that Tonia and you shared could have never been mistaken for less. Ryan for as much as I know you all, I would like to let you know that yourself and Tonia are some great role models in my life. I belive as being a single mom that there is nothing in my life that I can't ever deal with. Thank you. My heart is with you and your children and family.
Elizabeth Geer (Liz)
Monroe, Utah

Anonymous said...

I'll lend you for a little time
A child of Mine," He said,
"For you to love the while she lives, And mourn for when she's dead. It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,But will you, till I call her back,Take care of her for Me? She'll bring her charms to gladden you, And should her stay be brief, You'll have her lovely memories As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I've looked this wide world over
In My search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you;
Now will you give her all your love, Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call
And take her back again?"

I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, The risk of bitter grief we'll run. We'll shelter her with tenderness, We'll love her while we may, And for the happiness we've known, Forever grateful stay. But should the angels call for her Much sooner than we planned, We'll brave the bitter grief that comes And try to understand.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Ted said...

Our time on Earth is not measured by the number of years we live but by the impact we have on those touched by our earthly presence. Most people would have to live hundreds of years to measure up to Tonia's impact. My already strong respect and admiration of Tonia grew even stronger as I witnessed the huge show of respect for Tonia during her funeral services. She will truly be missed but her unmistakable impact will live on in a family and community that dearly loved her.

Although I selfishly wish I could have spent more time with Tonia, I feel lucky to have known her for the past 10 years. Tonia's strength in both mind and body was unquestionable. Unfortunately, I was too late to see Tonia's legendary body strength (possibly fortunate because she would have beat me in arm wrestling!) But I did see Tonia's phenomenal strength in will as she raised five children and dealt with a disease that ravaged a once mighty body. Tammie and I loved Tonia very much and we saw that love reflected back by Tonia on countless occasions. I was blessed by her presence and she clearly lives on in my heart and soul.
Ted Crawford

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