Hey guys, my name is Bobby, and I am the luckiest guy on the planet! I get to spend my years with my wife, best friend, lover, partner, mother of my children, cuddle buddy, and everything in between. Can you guess who that is? You guessed it, that’s Tonya, the creator of this awesome blog. I want to share with you all a bit of our story and how I know without a doubt that God sent me an Angel.
Let me take ya way back to 1999 when this all began.....
Tonya’s dad worked for the Illinois Department of Corrections in Southern Illinois and was transferred to Northern Illinois to be the Warden of a prison in my hometown. My step dad also worked at this prison. When Tonya’s dad moved to town, he was alone because school was still in session and Tonya & her sister were finishing up the school year & Tonya was getting ready to graduate from High School. Once school was out, Tonya, her mom and sister would move up to their new house. Her dad (Mark) and my step dad (Donnie) quickly became really good friends. We had Mark over for dinners and hung out, it seemed all the time. After getting to know Mark, he showed us pictures of his family and I was absolutely taken back after seeing a picture of Tonya. I was like WOWZA, that’s your daughter? Is she moving here?! Like, when?! Mark said that she would be in town in a couple of weeks and that we would all get together for a cookout. I was like, gotta get that on the calendar!
Well, let me fast forward a bit to save time, we met, she had a boyfriend, I had a girlfriend, but we had this connection that was unexplainable. We hung out all the time with our parents, watched movies together with our younger sisters like we were just this big happy family. Our families seriously hung out every weekend.
Here is where it takes a turn, not so much in my favor, after living in Northern Illinois for just 6-7 months, she decided to move back to Southern Illinois to be with her boyfriend and she was gone. I was devastated! I knew she would visit occasionally, but that wasn’t what I wanted. After a few weeks of moping around, I moved on with my life with my girlfriend. As you can imagine, the whole time Tonya lived in Galesburg, my girlfriend and I’s relationship went south. She was so happy to see Tonya go because then that meant I was back to spending time with her. However, that was short lived because I was a senior, prepping for graduation, excelling in golf, and busy trying to figure out what college/university I was going to attend. I had also decided that I wanted to go off to college a free man, which meant we would soon be calling it quits anyway. I landed at Lincoln College in Lincoln, IL with a golf scholarship and spent my next 2 years there. I completely went against what I had said I wouldn’t do the whole summer, and that was started dating another girl. A girl that I had had a crush on since junior high. We dated until the fall of 2001. She broke up with me because she said I traveled too much with golf & was never around to spend time with her.
Okay, so here is where God comes in….
I was devastated AGAIN, the girl I had a crush on since junior high broke up with me, the girl (Tonya) who never left my mind was gone and we had no contact. I had tried multiple times to see her when I was in Southern Illinois with golf, but she never responded because she was being the good girlfriend to her boyfriend and not wanting to see or talk to me. Well, the same exact same night that my girlfriend broke up with me, Tonya broke up with her boyfriend. CRAZY, right?!
My buddies were wanting to cheer me up, so we were going to party and celebrate the freedom! No more girls to complicate my life, I would now be able to focus all of my attention on golf. About 45 minutes after we got everything set up in my dorm room to party, I get this weird phone call to my cell phone. I didn’t recognize the number, but answered anyway. On the other end of the line was this girl, she started talking to me & said…“Do you know who this is?” I said, “I have no clue!” She says, “Well, I just got off the phone with my mom and she said I had better call you, because you just got dumped and maybe the two of us can sob together.” At this point I am was so confused....she still hasn’t told me her name or fessed up any other information.
Finally, she tells me, “This is Tonya.” I was jumping around my room like I had just hit the biggest hole in one in my life! My buddies (all 12 of them) were playing video games, eating pizza, and partaking in a little “Miller time” if you will. I told them “Boys, this is going to take awhile, you might want to move the party and I’ll catch up with you later.”
They looked at me like I was crazy but obliged, and moved the party. We talked for hours, if my memory serves me correctly, we talked from like 8:30/9pm to like 3am. This went on every night for the next coming weeks. We made the decision to try a long distance relationship with her living in Southern Illinois and me living in Central Illinois about 3 hours apart. I still had golf to play, and lots of travel involved. She was working lots of hours and going to school as well. I would sneak to see her every chance I had and she did the same. Her mom knew we were sneaking, but her dad, nor my parents knew we had been spending time together. Our families got together after Christmas in Southern Illinois and it was all based around us getting to hang out and see each other for “the first time” but that wasn’t at all true. We acted so excited to see each other in front of our parents to put on a show. It was hilarious!!!!
Our parents absolutely loved the fact that we were together. My mom often said this was the happiest she had ever seen me and Tonya’s parents said the same about Tonya.
I graduated from Lincoln College in May 2002 and moved to Southern Illinois to be with Tonya and attend SIU- Carbondale for my remaining 2 years. Our lives have never been the same since that night we started talking on the phone!
We have been together for a total of 10 years, 6 ½ of which we've been married.
We have 2 gorgeous boys- Parker and Griffin who keep us both very, very busy!
This is where it gets mushy….yeah, I get a little emotional when I talk about her.
Tonya is the person that, when you meet her, you know exactly what she is all about. She is Godly, loving, caring, compassionate, empathetic, funny, loves to laugh, and gives life her all. She means everything to me. She is more than just a spouse, friend, cuddle buddy, partner, mom, etc… She is a Proverbs 31 woman.
I am certain God sent me an Angel.
God has our best interest at heart....
The plan for my life has not been text book with my dad passing when I was just 13, two grandparents passing, and four great grandparents passing by the age of 16. My mom married my step dad-which truly made all this possible because he worked at the prison that started this whole thing.
I’ve often have said that, if God would have sat me down and said
“Son, this is what your life is going to look like…”
I would’ve said, “ I’ll take it.”
Thank you Tonya for allowing me to share part of our story with your readers.