T is for Fire

Posted by Kim on Sunday Mar 7, 2021 Under Uncategorized

Tonia, the flame –

Tonia didn’t just live life, she burned through life. And everyone in her path was changed. She left her mark upon their heart. She had a fiery passion and a full range of emotion to complement it. She laughed hard, cried hard, and loved deeply.

A beautiful force wild and free.

Tonia, the beauty –

Tonia was captivating. She loved dress-up and make-up, but she had natural smoldering beauty. She’d enter a room and it was instantly warmer, instantly brighter. She radiated personality and charm. When she talked and laughed, she glowed. To be in her presence was to be entranced. Her beauty in life was so big she couldn’t contain it.

It spread like wildfire.

Tonia, the storyteller –

Tonia would tell stories and all I could do was to hang on every word and laugh. I’d laugh until my face was soaked with tears and I couldn’t catch my breath. It seemed as though my laughter was fuel to her fire. She’d be watching me – and as soon as I could breathe, she’d add another layer to the story. Through my blurry vision I’d try to focus on her only to find she’d be laughing as hard as me, but persisted to tell her story. And ever so animated, she’d hit every detail with purpose and had the intonation to match. From gangster ducks to spiders under bowls, she kept me laughing. That’s what Tonia did for me…she kept me in a full on combustion of laughter. And I had a laugh only Tonia could ignite. I miss that laugh. It’s lost inside me now. Time with Tonia left my stomach muscles sore, but my heart so full.

And she burned even brighter.

Tonia, the gamer –

Oh, the nights gaming! I had not ever been a gamer, but playing with Tonia made me want to play. I couldn’t wait to clean up the kitchen after dinner and head over to the office for some Overwatch time. She would send me silly gifs, usually including a cute animal, asking where I was or how much longer. I looked forward to joining and hearing her in my headset. Her happy, clear, beautiful voice. Tonia played a character named Mercy, the healer for our team. She’s an angel that flies around and attaches a beam of light to each player to support them and keep them alive. Her greatest asset is her ability to boost teammates. Ironically, Tonia played this character in life as well, always, always, always boosting others. (I played the tank. It was my job to protect her and the team, but she always managed to save me…in many ways.)

See, gaming wasn’t just about the game. No, it was about our experience together. Every night we would find so much to talk and laugh about. Anything and everything really. Somebody would say something and it would spark a song in Tonia’s head and she would sing. She had songs for the names of each map. She had songs for everything. It was so catching that we would end up singing our own words rather than talking, making up songs as we went. Just set our talk to a rhythm and we would sing. It lit us up! There we were singing and gaming. Singing and gaming.

Tonia would talk in funny voices too and she had many! She would say silly things, do silly things, and even when stuff went wrong and we messed up in the game, she would find the humor in it. (“Did I get anything?…You got Deva…I got Dever????”) I can still hear her even without my headset on. She turned the evening into an event and I had front row seats. I would laugh so hard I would cry and then I couldn’t see the screen to play the game! It was all blurry. (Funny, I only ever had blurry vision when I was with Tonia – Toniavision.) I miss my blurry eyes. They are dark now. I spent most all of those games absolutely straining my eyes to see the screen, but with a song in my heart.

And she burned even brighter.

Tonia, the girl –

So beautiful she made me feel beautiful.

So funny, she made me feel funny.

So happy, she made me feel happy.

Tonia was so fierce in life that it was uncontrollable and she let it spread. When I would laugh, it made her laugh. It stirred her and she fed off this power she had. She wanted to unleash more happiness everywhere. And she didn’t just do this for me. No, she did it for everyone she met. There were no guards up with Tonia, you just melted into her silliness. She was the real deal. Even the guy who poured her gravel called her after leaving her house to chat some more. People couldn’t get enough of Tonia. She threw her complete attention on whoever crossed her path and made them feel like the most important person on Earth. She left little embers wherever she went.

And she burned even brighter.

Tonia, the daughter/sister/aunt/friend –

Tonia (Tonzer) loved her friends and family more than anything else. She wholeheartedly wanted to be close to them and surrounded by them always. That was most important to her. Donna (Sisser) became her neighbor and they spent days and nights together. I talked about them so much in the same sentence together (Donna & Tonia, Donna & Tonia, Donna & Tonia) that they organically became “Donia” to me…as if they were one. Sisters and best friends. Back in the day Tonia spent the summers with Grant (Grunky) at his condo and worked at his office. I still remember playing around and taking fun photos in the office and eating at Miyabi every Friday night. Over the years Grant and Tonia still talked nearly every single day. Sister/brother and best friends. Her nieces and nephews stayed with her. Hung out with her. And to be her friend was to have the most loyal and devoted friend ever. Tonia loved those close to her fervently and the bond was powerful and endearing. Her love so pure and rich that we grew from it.

And we burned even brighter.

Tonia, the memory –

I love her so dearly. For the life of me, I cannot believe she is gone. She was the baby sister I never had. She is one of the rare people that made me feel truly good about myself. She’s easily the coolest person I’ve ever known and surely ever will. There’s a million more things that come to mind when I think of Tonia. I could never possibly write them all down. This is just a small flicker of who she was and what she meant to me.

I miss the laugh. I miss the blurry vision.

I miss her flame.

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GoPro Goes to School – Part 2

Posted by Kim on Thursday Aug 6, 2015 Under Uncategorized


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GoPro Goes to School – Part 1

Posted by Kim on Thursday Jul 23, 2015 Under Uncategorized

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A Life Well Lived

Posted by Kim on Saturday Jul 23, 2011 Under Uncategorized

More than my pet…my baby girl.

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Chairs and I-Pop

Posted by Kim on Sunday Jul 10, 2011 Under Uncategorized

New becomes old and life goes on.


when you find new ways to drink your ol’ fave drink the I-Pop.  (That’s what you call it.)

New becomes old and life goes on.


when you find some ol’ chairs on the side of the road and clean them up and find them a little spot in the house, like they’ve always been there.

New becomes old and life goes on.


it doesn’t.

Not with you.  You mix things up.   Keep things fresh and fun.

Make ol’ ordinary things different.  Polished in a way.  Ever changing.  Exciting.  New.

New becomes Tru.


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What I’ve Been Up to Lately…

Posted by Kim on Thursday Jun 30, 2011 Under Uncategorized

Eating hard boiled eggs

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Got Mulch?

Posted by Kim on Thursday Jun 23, 2011 Under Uncategorized

You’re so busy and love to help with everything.  You don’t play around and stuff gets done!

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Trains, Trucks, and Love…Just Like That

Posted by Kim on Tuesday Jun 7, 2011 Under Uncategorized

Love is a strange and beautiful thing.  Love can surprise us.  Just like that.

We often have no control over what our heart falls in love with and no explanation for why.  We just do.  Just like that, it’s in us.  Singing.  Whispering happiness to the very soul of who we are.

I Love you.  Sometimes those words are said out of habit.  Sometimes out of expectation or desperation.  But every time those 3 little words fall from my lips to your ears, it’s the purest, most honest and meaningful thing I’ve ever said.  I say it and I say it.  Just as I breath in and out.  “I love you, Tru.”  That’s it.  Yet, boy does it mean a lot.

During your bath tonight, I said it.  “I love you, Tru.” Just like that. Without hesitation…for the first time ever…you looked at me and said…”I love you, mama.”  Just like that.  For a whole second, or hour, everything froze.  I exploded inside.  Just like that.



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Rain or Shine, Day or Night

Posted by Kim on Monday May 9, 2011 Under Uncategorized

Today as we rode around the neighborhood on the golf car and your little head was rested on my shoulder as you peacefully drifted off to sleep, I thought about how I feel about being your mom-mom (that’s what you’re calling me these days).  And know what I realized?  Today, Mother’s Day, is absolutely no different to me than any other day of the year.  Every day is Mother’s Day to me.  Every time I look at you my heart beats a little bit faster.  Every time I look at you I feel like I’ve just gone to Vegas and hit the jackpot.  Played the lottery and won.  Rubbed a magic lantern and a genie granted me all my wishes.  You are my golden ticket.

Tru, I love being your mom more than anything!  I tell you a billion times a day “I love you”, but it still isn’t enough.

Maybe one more time…I love you!

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Saturday, 2:30 PM – Playground Perspective

Posted by Kim on Sunday Mar 6, 2011 Under Uncategorized

I’ve been going to this playground for days and days.  Years and years.  It’s the playground at my school.  I’ve only ever seen it through the eyes of a teacher.  Until today.  I saw it through the eyes of your mom and it was a totally different place.  A new world.  Like somewhere I was visiting for the very first time.

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