Thursday, August 21, 2008

In memory of our beloved Tonia

Dear Ryan,
In thinking of Tonia’s childhood memories, we realized the we had her for the first 19 years of her life and you shared her with us for the last 19 years.
It seems almost impossible to sum up our memories of the precious 19 years that now seem to have flown by.Family life was sure busy during those growing up years but when we reflect on Tonia it’s one of pleasant memories and deep appreciation for a daughter who was always so eager to please and had a strong desire to do right. We never remember Tonia ever being “grounded”.She was one of those teenagers most every parent would want. She was not a
“normal” teenager. She never felt a need to rebel. We never had to worry about what she was doing because we knew it would be the right thing.
We do remember one time that she broke a home rule and that was no double riding on a bicycle. Well, she rode double on Tammie’s bicycle one time and fell off and was taken to the hospital with a concussion.She was the most comical of all our children when it came to falling asleep and had to be carried to her bed. She would be stiff as a board in Chuck’s arms as he tried to “finagle” her down the hall way … turning corners trying to get her into her bed. She loved sleeping with stuffed animals. Like the other kids, Tonia loved being asked her “bestest and worsetest” before going to sleep and would remind us if we ever happened to forget. Tonia was very shy during her first few years of elementary school. She had a hard time making friends because of her shyness. But…WOW…that sure changed when she was older. She loved making friends and had a special place in her heart and looked out for those that didn’t have many friends and made them feel special and liked.
Some school subjects did not come easy to her. Especially math! But, she worked hard and succeeded in making good grades. She always did her best in what ever she put her mind to.What stands out most in our minds about Tonia is her love for talking. She LOVED to talk and talk she did. We wondered many times if her tongue or throat ever got tired. Long after all her siblings would be asleep on any one of the many trips we took…you would always find Tonia wide eyed and talking about everything and anything. I remember being so tired on one of the trips with hassling 7 kids and it was late and we were still trying to reach our destination and here Tonia was, just talking up a storm. I remember looking at her and wondering how she did it and asked her to stop talking and try and go to sleep.Because of Chuck’s work, we were able to travel to many fun and interesting places, It was a neat experience for the entire family. One of the most memorable ones being the trip to Alabama when Tonia was 12 years old. Since that was a three month stay we were able to visit many Florida Beaches, Disney World, Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, Washington D.C., Palmyra and the Sacred Grove, Niagara Falls and many places in Alabama and Georgia. Also, because of business trips, we were able to visit many places around the country like Canada and Mexico where we all enjoyed having fun while learning and experiencing.
Love Mom and Dad