They met on the first day of Heather’s freshman year. We had just moved to the neighborhood to attend this specific program that came highly recommended. Everyone that first week was being very kind and helpful as we were all trying to get used to the idea that Heather was in High School.(Every mother wonders…”When did this happen?” I must have blinked.)
One of the paraeducators stood out right away. And within a few weeks she overheard me asking Veronica, the teacher, if she knew of anyone who might like to work some after-school hours with Heather. A few days later Toni found a way to walk me out after I dropped Heather off, and told me she was very interested in the after-school position.
Toni has this no bullshit toughish love about her that is priceless and frankly leaves us all a bit speachless.
At this point in the story most would say the rest is history. Toni is the best person for Heather and for our family, and she has been part of our family for Heather’s entire journey through high school. Her dream is to open an adult day care center for people just like Heather, students who graduate and then need a meaningful place to be during the day. So Toni is building an individual pilot program with Heather come this fall. Toni’s drive and ability will make her dream come true, and it will be a dream come true for us, too.
I would say that Heather and Toni fell in love, although Heather doesn’t have the words to tell us that. But Heather is very at home, relaxed, and safe with Toni. Yet, if anyone can challenge Heather to do something new it’s Toni. Yes, the zoo was Toni’s idea.
So we are greatful, blessed, loved…Words fail sometimes. Toni, you are simply a gift to us and we love you very much.
Are there people in your life who are gifts, and help you function way above average? Shout it out here.