During a momentary pause in the action, I caught up with Toni and asked her what inspires her.
“When I had cancer, it changed everything. My entire perspective shifted and I realized that life is not all about me. Life is about being a better person, and giving what you can to others.”
Toni was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2000. By July 2001 she had completed her treatment and realized that one of the most important gifts we are given is our health.
“Really, the only thing that matters is your health,” she shares with candor. “It doesn’t matter how much money you make or save. If you don’t have your health, you really don’t have anything.”
Tone shares that at one point in her life, she was on the receiving end of charity from generous family members. She said that humbling experience showed her that while it is hard to receive, it is even more important to be generous with your blessings.
“I swore that when I was able, I would pay it forward for someone else. That’s why I am a lifetime participant in the Angel Tree program. I want to help those people who might get forgotten.”
Besides her generous nature, Toni is an inspiring woman. “As a woman, I want to teach girls and other women that you can do anything you want. If you work hard, you can really do anything you set your mind to.”
Toni attributes hard work and determination for her success at Smith’s Food and Drug, where she worked for more than 19 years. She shares that she started at the bottom of the ladder and decided she wanted to be a store director. After she achieved that goal she said to herself, “Now you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. It’s time to stop and enjoy life.”
Purchasing Aspen Grove Nursery was part of that plan, but Toni never really slows down. She moves with amazing speed from one project to the next. The remarkable thing about Toni is that she completes those projects, when many others would leave them undone.
“My advice to women and to everyone is to be your own person. You decide what you want to do, and you work toward that. People’s actions speak louder than their words. You don’t have to tell people how good you are. Just be good.”
Those words of wisdom come directly from a good woman, who does good wherever she goes.