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27th November 2019

Tony Without Teeth – With Love x

Yesterday, Tony Without Teeth decided to surprise all of we who loved her and take her angel wings and fly on to heaven. With only 48 hours of her discomfort, she took off: giving her fan club little time to respond  – and leaving we, her family, with broken hearts – but do you know what? She did what was best for her?

When a truly formidable lady, gets into her 80th year (plus – but don’t tell her I said that!) , she has every right to do things her way. She gave me a shock on Sunday, listening to how poorly she sounded but with the love and care of Mike, her youngest son and our wonderful Baby Bro , then the care of Tony D. , one of my husbands oldest friends, she was taken to hospital for care and, we pray, spent the last 48 hours, as comfortably as she could….

So where are we tonight? Well, there is a hole in the universe of human life which can never be filled. Joanie was a formidable lady whose life was filled with family, opinions, love, work and determination: like so many normal mums/daughters/nannas – and mothers in law. Keep us all right and be there for us all – as she was.

There is an energy so precious in every life – and so much so in Joan’s – that makes me need to mark it today. She was a normal, beautiful, young and loving girl who fell in love. Tom, her husband and father of Tony and Mike, was a hard working, down to earth and steady man – and through them, both Lisa and I have the most amazing partners – and Charlotte and Tom, their grandparents.

Joan, AKA Tony Without Teeth, was scary! Tony and I haven’t been married too long – only 32 years this Christmas and together 36, but it was early days for Joan to accept me- or so I thought!

Her’s was an ordinary life in the way that ladies of her generation had ordinary lives: hard work/good housekeeping/bringing up children and being a great friend – but being there for the people who mattered : so an ordinary life, loving the people who cared in an extra ordinary way…

For each of us, life brings challenges. Being a woman/wife/mother/daughter  isn’t easy though in Joan’s time, the life of service was so very much harder than now….there were no people to call on to help other than family locally so they just got on with it.

What amazed me about my mother in law, was the way in which she accepted and rolled with the changes of the years and the generations. Don’t get me wrong: she was so right about the do’s and don’ts of bringing children up for Mike, Tonys brother- but she was equally right with me when I cried the losses of Tony/My babies over the years. Her focus was straight forward and good..  None to make you laugh, none to make you cry, was her motto ….

Tony Without Teeth may have been an ordinary lady” in the terms of everyday life but OMG she was extraordinary in the way she loved her family/friends – and her view of the world was so black and white – and right – it was amazing!

Joan was a lady who loved and was loved, so very much. Every life has a story. It’s easy to try to make is simple but it isn’t. She gave and shared a whole lot of love during her life – and that energy will live on.

I’m reminded of the reading that was given at Wicked Williams funeral : other than Tony’s Dad, Bill was a great love in Joans life. The words of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, verses 4-10, remain with me…….

…..and at the end of the day, there is love. And OMG Tony Without Teeth, we love you xxx


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