Tonia Payne, my friend passed away September 9th. She had a massive heart attack caused by an embolism and was taken to the hospital on Flight for Life out of our valley on the 9th. She had been in the hospital a couple of weeks before having her gall bladder out. Unfortunately she had blood clots form in her lungs. The doctors sent her home with blood thinning meds hoping the blood clots would break up and dissolve, as they needed to do more surgery as she ended up with pancretitis. She was doing really well, and then her husband and son in law noticed that Tonia wasn't making any sense with her words. Then her son in law heard Tonia making some strange noises and they knew something serious was wrong, thus the ambulance was called. The EMT's tried to revive her before they put her on the Flight for Life helicopter, and we all prayed that all would be well. Later when Cal arrived at the hospital and was surrounded by some friends, the doctor came out and told them that Tonia had passed away. My Granddaughter Kristen was one of the EMT's who took care of Tonia and she came over to see me yesterday September 16th and gave me the above information. I am updating this part today September 17th as I had the facts wrong.
Tonia was a dear friend of mine for over 40 years. Our families grew up together and my daughters took dancing lessons from her. She had a dance studio next to her home, and she taught many girls and some boys dance over the years, and put on many dance recitals. She also had exercise classes for her friends and we had many good times together in these classes.
We kind of resembled each other and I can remember being at the market with my head down looking at produce and one of her daughters came up to me thinking I was her. We were flattered to think that we looked like each other, to the point where her own daughter thought I was her. We did some fun things together with our families and the one I remember the most was packing our lunches and hiking up the wash behind my house in Overton and going to some caves, eating our lunch there and letting the kids play for a while before the hike back. My daughter Sherry and her youngest daughter Tonianne were best of friends all through school.
Tonia was an avid reader and after she retired from a dance instructor she was our local librarian for many years. One of her goals in life was to write a book. She finally achieved this goal and also wrote a sequel to the first book. She wrote these books by hand as she didn't know how to use a computer. The books are fictional and took place in Ireland a place she loved to visit and did so several times. They are called "Stairway to the Past" and "Dundrum Castle." The above picture was taken from the cover of "Stairway to the Past."
I have been a little depressed since I found out about her death. I had bought a get well card and was going to give her a few days to recover and then get some flowers and take them over to her home and have a good visit. Instead I will be going to her funeral Monday. I will miss her smiling face and the talks in the middle of the isle at the store, or at the post office, etc. She wrote in my book, "To Donna, my Friend forever, I'm glad you like my story." I will miss you Tonia, and someday we will see each other again and have much to talk about.