I knew that my son was loved and respected by many but I was amazed at how many people came to see Tony one more time at his visitation and funeral to say their good byes. I realized that even I as his mother did not fully realize the many hearts that my son had touched in his relativity short life. It was so amazing hearing everyone's Tony stories, and they all had one to share. The one common thread that everyone shared was that Tony always had a smile on his face regardless of the pain he might be in that day and they all shared that every-time they saw Tony he asked them how they were doing. It made my heart smile. More than one person said as you got to know Tony you never saw the wheelchair you just saw a bigger than life Tony.
Tony's life was not an easy one, he was in constant pain, in his later years he was plagued with kidney stones; which took his life. Tony had the strongest will and biggest heart of anyone I know. He was my inspiration, anytime I was having a pity party I would think of him and what effort it took for him just to get out of bed everyday, then I would pick myself up and get on with life.
Tony loved his family and always put their well being first, he also loved his God and regardless of how badly he was feeling he was always in church on Sunday morning. He always made sure he got there early to eat a donut or two or three and talk with the members of his church family before church began.
I can't imagine life without my son, I can't imagine not seeing that big beautiful smile on his face on a daily bases, I can't imagine hearing my phone ring and not hearing his voice on the other end but what I can image is how wonderful he feels being able to walk in heaven, feeling the grass for the first time under his feet, maybe getting a ball game going on with Mark Trimble and the boys. Most of all I can imagine how happy he was to see his beautiful niece Margaret Lilly and have her to hold his hand and walk him through heaven.
Tony's journey here on earth is done (Tony was one of the very few people that can truly say "I DID IT MY WAY"). His beautiful life in Heaven has just begun, he will run those bases and his home run will be hit. My life will be so empty without him, I will hold on to the fact that one day when I leave this world I will be greeted with Tony walking to me saying (his favorite saying to me), how u doin you sexy thing. LOL!!
Until that day comes I will continue to reach out to physically
challenged children through Tony's foundation, providing information and promoting Tony's scholarship program.
For more information on our scholarship program follow the link to: Scholarship Information