Posted by: kathyhugs | February 11, 2010


It has been 31 months since Tonia died. It doesn’t seem possible that so much time, or so little time has passed.  Our lives have changed in so many ways that looking back almost feels as if I am looking at another lifetime. An alternate reality.
I feel as if I am finally ready to face the sweet memories. I think before I had put up a wall in order to protect my heart from the details of a possible trial. It hurt to look at any photos of Tonia. I did look at them but they hurt my heart as well as comforted me. I am not sure how both emotions could happen at once but they did.  Now I can look at these pictures with a smile and remember….

We call this picture Tonia and the look. She was practicing for her time as a teenager! Only a few years later at 2 1/2 years old, she locked herself in her bedroom. When I asked her why she said, with her hands on her hips,  “Mother I need my privacy”!

Tonia was my flower girl when Rick and I were married. This is one of my favorite pictures. She was so cute and sweet. Dancing around everywhere. The excitement was almost overwhelming.

Tonia at the Indiana Dunes State Park with her Great grandmother, Baba.

Sean & Tonia loved to spend time on their Grandfather’s boat. Co-captains for the day!

God has helped me to heal so much over the last few weeks. The bad dreams are almost gone. The mornings when I wake up crying have completely gone away. Instead I have been left with such a peaceful feeling of hope for the future. I know that I will still feel thepain of not having Tonia here with us and I will have times that I cry but I also have a warmth and a cuddly feeling from remembering. This is such a gift. I am putting together a book of memories and pictures. Those funny little stories that remind me of the many different moods of Tonia are priceless. If you have any stories that you want to share please let me know. I want Sean to be able to share them with his children one day so they can know who their Aunt Tonia was. This will be a gift to hold on to during those times when my grief stabs me in the heart unexpectedly. I know I will always have those moments. They are a part of me forever. This is just one of the ways that I have been changed.

There are so many other changes. My love for the two men in my life has deepened even more after witnessing their strength and love. Sean has grown and matured into such a Godly man. He is being molded by God for a future that is just now starting to unfold. His heart has become so tender and so open to others. I am so proud of him!  Rick has always been my shelter in a storm. God has given him such a quiet strength and a calmness of spirit. Our marriage has become strong and we have become closer since Tonia’s death. We have learned to communicate better even during the arguments that all couples have! There are times when we are talking that I see a look in his eyes that reminds me that he is hurting inside and that I might need to probe a little bit. Then we have the sweetest talks. We have struggled but we have come through this valley together, intact, better, wiser,  and stronger because of our faith in God and our willingness to work at our marriage.
Memories: a heart-full of love that never goes away. They become sweeter with time!  God bless!

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