Tonia Marie Root was born in Lansing Michigan. She and her siblings were raised by a single mom in Battle Creek Michigan. They experienced the usual sacrifices that come with a one-parent family, but the one thing that remained constant throughout her young life was love and family. That would prove to be a great training ground for what lay ahead of her. Tonia is a local author who has just released her new book. Tonia is a mother whose little boy was hit by a drunk driver at the age of three and against all odds made a miraculous recovery, despite the grim odds the medical experts gave her. Now Gage is fourteen and is in his seventh season of buddy baseball which he refuses to miss no matter what! Tonia's book, Gage My Beautiful Boy is a truly inspirational must-read non-fiction book. The story was written to inspire and give people hope even when you're told there isn’t any.
Can you tell us a little about your journey leading up to writing your book "Gage My Beautiful Boy?
What lead up to me writing "Gage my beautiful boy" was the journey itself, as I was told my son would never walk, talk, feed himself, or even know me. For me that prognosis was very hard to swallow as a mother, with a very healthy beautiful boy at birth, to be told something so terrible was devastating. It was about a year and a half after the accident, and I was seeing small signs that the prognosis was not how this would be, and then one day, my beautiful boy actually looked at me and said momma, It was the happiest day ever, I couldn't believe what i heard. So then I knew he in fact did know who I am. It was and still has been a baby step to get where we are today, but he is walking (after multiple surgeries and reconstruction on his arms and legs) he is talking, feeding himself and knows who everyone is. It has been a hard journey to deal with seeing him struggle and go thru so much, but we are a team, we held it together, overcame the impossible, and just knew that our story would inspire a lot of people and give people with no hope strength and determination to give it all they have to beat unbeatable odds....
Why was it important for you to make a book about Gage's story?
I knew writing Gage's story would open eyes, no matter what a person is going through with a child or any love one, encouragement and inspiration is key to getting through a lot of lives hurtles, and the story lets people know we all have inner strength in us, look for it and you will see. For me the best outcome of writing Gage's story was, it turned out to be very therapeutic for me, reliving the events when I started writing the story were the hardest part, but it ended up being a way for me to vent, I never got any mental help through all of this, I truly believe writing his story and how it effected me and our family, was the therapy I needed, just to cry it out and tell the world.
Does Gage remember anything about his traumatic experience?
Gage always asked questions about his condition, and Id tell him what I thought he could handle, one day Gage said momma I'm sorry in his soft voice, and I said for what baby, and he told me I tried to hang on to the car. I just held him and told him its okay baby, its not your fault, momma is so sorry. It about ripped my heart out.
Now that he is older (14) he does ask a lot of questions and I do try to give him honest answers, I'm just careful not to scare or freak him out. But I believe Gage knows now what happened and he tries to except the things (medically) he has to go through, as he knows it is what gets him better. He really is an amazing beautiful boy.
What is the key theme and/or message in your book?
The book is about my life before the accident, being pregnant for Gage's little sister, what led up to the accident, and real life through the years, how I learned to deal with the pain of this tragic thing happening to my baby, How Me and Gage over came the impossible, how our family, as a close family, together got ourselves and Gage through so many life challenges. My message is never give up, find the real power in yourself and use it, As i did as a mother and Gage truly did to get where he is at. You only have one life, take what it brings you good or bad and make it beautiful.
Can you share with us something about the book that isn't in the blurb?
As I look back on this long journey, and I know I put every inch of myself in the progress of Gage, and the progress and determination he has had is remarkable, along with my husband and our daughter. I have read every word of my book several times, and what I can take away with our story, is how proud I am of Gage and my family for us all being such a strong force together. And now that my book is done, I can see it making a lot of others that read it, maybe look at things in a better light, no matter how ugly it seems.
What was the process for coming up with the cover?
The cover of the book, my husband took a beautiful picture of our back yard one day and over the lake was a beautiful rainbow, looking at a rainbow after a horrible rain storm, makes the day seem so much more beautiful, so I used that picture, and the Blue butterfly on the G in Gage's name is for the blue butterfly he tried to catch at the time of his accident. To me it just makes since.
Is there something that you hope readers will take away from the book?
Me and Gage were talking about me writing his story, he told me he wants people to know if they get hurt, don't give up, because they can get better too. Myself I hope to inspire people that are in a bad place, to pick their
head up and do what you can to make it better, No matter what if you know you gave any situation you may have in life your all, and truly know you gave all you had, in most cases it can only get better, if not just knowing you did your best makes you come out feeling great. Don't take a day in your life with a grain of salt, as no one is promised tomorrow, live, love, and always do your best if its something you believe in and you will always come out smiling in the end.
For more information on Tonia and her story please visit:
Tonia, is a mother who's little boy was hit by a drunk driver at the age of three and against all odds made a miraculous recover, despite the grim odds the medical experts gave her.
Tonia's new book, Gage My Beautiful Boy, is a truly inspiring must read non-fiction book. The story was written to inspire and give people hope even when your told there isn’t any.