In Loving Memory of
Toni Holly Allen-Bewley
13th March 1990 - 1st December 2013
So Grateful to Have Known
Written by Crystal DeLay
August 29, 2003
I look at my life today
and am so grateful to have known
such a beautifully created, strong-willed soul
I look at yesterday
and am so thankful to have seen
the utmost joy she brought to a wonderful family
A smile could bring a smile
a tear could bring a tear
to create memorable moments
that last beyond her years
And I ask……
What did God see in us
that we should be so blessed
to receive the gift of her joy, her bliss and happiness?
And now I can only imagine
the skies they must be ringing
For heaven to receive this beautiful gift
the angels must be singing
With outstretched arms he’ll welcome her
she’ll gladly run to the father
He’ll gently speak and say to her
“welcome home my daughter”
She’ll speak back to him with excitement
Her words in perfect rhyme
Hand in hand they’ll walk forever
Not bound to our known time
While here on Earth we tread the path
where things do not stay the same
with the sweetest reward she has received
I’m thankful for inevitable change
Lord, we feel honored for the chance
and all it turned out to be
for not everyone had the opportunity
her life they did not see
It’s clear her mission was temporary
she was that angel in disguise
sent to bring that special something
to each one of our lives
And for that special something
be grateful to have known
such a beautifully created, strong-willed soul
Toni's family would like us to share their memories of Toni. The following was written by her brother Julian
and was read at Toni's funeral...
Tee, Queen V, Chicken, Aunty Tee Tee, the kid, Tone, Moody Madam and Turkey…or to use my little sister’s proper name,
Toni Holly Allen-Bewley, was born on the March 13th 1990 in the Wrexham Maelor hospital in North Wales.
Four months later, Alanna and I saw Toni for the first time. One look at her, and we knew from that point on,
we had a beautiful new baby sister.
Toni’s condition was very serious. And the doctors only gave her only a few months to live. But live she did.
Toni was determined to prove them wrong. Something she went on to do for the rest of her life.
Toni was an extraordinary girl.
Remarkable. Someone who never failed to make you smile. Someone who got pleasure
from your happiness. Totally unassuming. She never pre-judged anyone, ever.
She was the first person to ask if you were ok, despite the fact she was very poorly. Truly inspirational.
It seems like only a few years ago that Toni was whipping around the place as a toddler in her first wheel-chair. A red star-car.
Whacking into my ankles and chuckling away.
Then it was Munchkins the day nursery where she loved to be around other children. And off to mainstream schools,
where Toni attended the VP School, then Ysgsol Morgan in St Asaph
and finally on to Denbigh High.
Toni trail-blazed through school as real goody-goody, and loved it.
She made loads of friends and had tons of fun.
I remember a time when the fire service visited Toni’s primary school. Thinking that Toni was probably the safest bet
to hold the fire hose on the front row while the class posed for a picture,
she twisted the nozzle and turned the hose on the firemen soaking the lot of them and having everyone in stitches. Brilliant.
Of the many teachers that helped Toni during her schooling, Judy Stapleton and Sheila Jones were particularly special.
Mrs. Jones providing Toni’s one to one assistance from the time she was 4 right through to 17.
Inspired by Franie’s diligent teaching (our grandmother), Toni achieved the seemingly impossible and learned to read and write as a child. And she dearly loved spending time at Franie’s house after school, having her dinner, doing her homework, feeding the cats and winning her chocolate bar incentives. And boy oh boy food was some incentive for Toni!
Whether it was eating it, cooking it, discussing it, watching it or baking it, food played a very important role in Toni’s life.
There was the legendary incident at the Chinese restaurant in Rhyl. Tone went to an all you can eat buffet with the Girl Guides and ate so much they still talk about it to this day…9 years on! They practically gave her a medal of achievement afterwards. In fact, she ate so much that the school called me from the office to collect her in the afternoon saying she was suffering from a hangover from the crispy duck.
That was Toni. Loved nothing better than a good night out with dresses, dancing and bling. She went to proms and many concerts and events over the years and was an avid fan of Westlife,
the Olympics and the Paralympics - especially Chris Hoy whom she thought was gorgeous.
Toni’s carers were good friends of hers. They’ll testify about her love of weddings too. With Toni being a bridesmaid three times:
at Nicola-Jane and Rick’s wedding and at her sister Alanna and Mark’s
and my wedding to Faye.
She must have seen our wedding DVD thousands of times along with hundreds of episodes of the wedding channel and anything else bride related.
Toni as bridesmaid at her brother Julian's wedding to Faye.
The love Toni showed us extended to Aunty duties. She was a wonderful Godmother to all of her nieces and nephews: Alanna and Mark’s children Seren, Nia and Jack, and also to Faye and my little boy Ralph.
Toni achieved more in her short life than most people ever dream of:
- She met royalty on numerous occasions and kissed more than one prince, in meeting Princes Harry and William
- Was a speaker for the Barnados charity on equality and disability rights issues
- Went to Girl Guides accomplishing her Baden Powell Challenge Award
- She spoke at the House of Commons on disability rights
- Took part in all the musical productions in her high school, including Return to the Forbidden Planet, Westside Story
and a very memorable Les Miserables
- Was part of this very church choir up until she became ventilator dependent
- Played the cornet in Rhyl’s Marching Brass band. Under the tutelage of Geoff.
Memorably performing a duet with him at Alanna’s wedding.
Made even more memorable when she burst into tears with joy at the end of the performance!
- She sat on the council of governors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
- She spoke at the Welsh Assembly government in Cardiff
- Was a speaker at the Royal College of Nursing
- Toni assisted with student-nurse training at Edge Hill University
- Competed for Wales Junior Boccia team
- She swam 200m unassisted as a child
- Won the WellChild of the year bravery award in 2008
- Won the Shine Young Achiever Award as recently as last month
- And met hundreds of celebrities over the years…
Toni had over 60 operations in her life. Yet she never asked “why me?” – And never once complained.
Over the years, there’s no doubt that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital played a significant role in helping Toni to maintain her quality of life, and our thanks must go out to Andrew Selby and all the staff involved there. Likewise Graham Flint at Queen Elisabeth hospital Birmingham and the team at Walton. Last but most definitely not least, Nick Hart and his team
at the Lane Fox unit, St Thomas’s hospital, London who were with us at the end and were magnificent.
Toni would want me to say this because Mum and Dad you had an unbelievable relationship with Toni. Best friends, soulmates.
You watched over her for 23 years and never left her side,
now you can take some comfort knowing that you’ve got an angel looking out you for the rest of your lives.
How will you all remember Toni?
Inspirational. Generous. Caring. Beautiful. Funny. Unassuming. Loving. Brave.
Well, here’s how she’d want you to remember her…
A smiling cake-baking party-animal. A fun fashionista. A wedding lover with pink glittery nails who dances in sparkly dresses and drinks champagne, whilst sat in the back of the grandest of pink limos.
A man-eater, devoted to tartan, with a zest for life who loves a punt on the horses and all things Vegas. A loving daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunty, godmother, granddaughter and friend
who was determined to have fun, no matter what, and to make people smile.
Toni was a great believer in escapism and something called guided imagery. During the worst times in hospital, she used to imagine that she was a butterfly called Betty going on wild and fun escapades.
Las Vegas, Ascot races, The Olympics, Egyptian pyramids, shopping exploits in Paris and many more…she’d visit them all in her sleep.
Well, one of Toni’s school friends wrote something incredibly apt yesterday. He said:
“I will always love Toni. Maybe now we can think of her as that beautiful butterfly, flying high above,
and looking down on us all whilst having her own real adventures.
Something tells me she’ll always be with us. Rest in peace Toni. You turkey.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
See you kid.
The dedication on Toni's Shine Star reads:
Toni Allen-Bewley 13th March 1990 - 1st December 2013
Toni was the proud winner of the Shine Young Achiever Award 2013. She lived life to the fullest, was always smiling and truly inspirational, teaching many about courage, strength and bravery.
She achieved all she set out to do in the 23 years of her life and will never be forgotten.
This wonderful gift for Angel Toni is from my friend Janet.
These are nine special gifts to Angel Toni from my friend Marie.
You can visit her website for her son Rob here ~ Rob Northrop's Site.
This beautiful Christmas gift for Angel Toni is from Linda and her Angel Tina
Take To A Star
I look to the stars tonight
There I saw your smile...
your face was written among
all the stars in the sky!!
So when I feel alone, I will
look for your smile among the stars.
Toni sitting proudly in her dad's MG.
Toni was also a fan of dressing up for Halloween, obviously!
The Christmas season was another of Toni's favorite times of the year, especially for dressing up!
Another of Toni's accessory for dressing up had to be getting a tattoo!
A friend can hear a tear drop.
This webpage is created In Loving Memory of Toni Holly Allen-Bewleyon August 8, 2014
Last updated: March 9, 2017
© 2014 - 2017
Please visit Maria's Tribute to Christopher