- Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
My dad. He’s been the most influential man in my life. He’s always a guiding force behind me, even when I mistake him guiding me with being pushy. He’s raised me since I was 9 months old, and even to this day, I know he still sees me as “his little girl.”
- What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
Happiest, was my birthday this year. Saddest, is a tie; the day I put my sweet baby Harley to sleep and had to bury her, and the day that I moved out of my ex’s apartment.
- Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
Again, my dad. He’s taught me so many lessons. From how to change the oil in my car, to how to properly clean a grill. How to power wash a house, mow the lawn, practically make anything I can think of with wood, put in a sprinkler system… how to learn to let stuff roll off my shoulders, be a stronger person. Love my dad.
- Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
Probably my best friend, Christine. She just gets me. She stands beside me and just supports me. When everyone is on my case, she’s the only one who just lets me cry and stands right beside me.
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
I learned that you never really know how to rebuild, unless you’ve been broken. You never truly love until you’ve had your heart ripped out. I’ve learned that love hurts, even when you think it’s meant to be. First impressions are not always true. Never judge a book by its cover. Nothing lasts forever. People will hurt you, even when they don’t intend on it. You will hurt people, even if you don’t mean to. Only the good die young. Losing a dog is like losing your best friend.
- What is your earliest memory?
I remember being so small. I was probably two or three, and I remember my dad filming me. Doing everything. Brushing my teeth, opening gifts, walking, talking, eating, sleeping… he documented my life. I remember my dad always following me around with a camera, telling me, “Wave for the camera babe!”
- What are the funniest or most embarrassing stories your family tells about you?
Probably the fact that I have huge hips, and one day during a game of baseball, when my sister was running towards first base (I was the First Baseman), I threw my hip in my sister’s direction, and she ended up slamming into my hip, and landing on the ground, with the wind knocked out of her. While everyone was checking up on her, I was dying on the ground laughing. Yeah, I’m a little competitive. Haha.
- If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be?
I like remember snuggling under the covers with my baby Harley. She snored in her sleep. It was the cutest thing ever. She just loved climbing under the covers with me and sleeping… it got to the point where I couldn’t sleep without her for a very long time. Haha.
- What are you proudest of in your life?
Getting my first “big girl job.”
- When in life have you felt most alone?
The night I moved back into my dad’s house.
- How has your life been different from what you’d imagined?
Definitely. So much changes every year. It’s crazy.
- How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered, as I lived. With an open heart and open mind. A sweet girl, with a huge heart with a ton of love for everyone I knew.
Yes and no. I am who I am, because of what I did in my past.
- What does your future hold?
I really can’t say. A job, a family…
- Is there any message you want to give to or anything you want to say to your great-great-great grandchildren when they listen to this?
Sure. Don’t be stupid. Read often, make lots of friends, laugh as much as you can. Stay active in your community, give back as often as you can. When your heart breaks, let it repair itself. Don’t make promises, you can’t ever keep. Wear Suntan lotion! Make mistakes — make lots of them. Don’t be afraid to screw up. Try, and when you fail, try again. Kiss with everything you have, love like you’ll never love again, and dream like there’s no tomorrow. Sing, dance in the pouring rain, rescue a dog or cat or both. Never turn a blind eye. And no matter where you go in life, never forget where you come from.
With my dad in Northfield. Then we moved to Egg Harbor Township, where I lived the majority of my life.
- What was your childhood like?
It was rough, but that’s the trend now-a-days. I grew up with brothers and sisters and a stepmom and dad…
- Who were your favorite relatives?
My grandmother and my grandfather. My cousins. Specially my guy cousins.
- Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
Tons! Most of them involve my dad when he was younger, or my grandmother being ridiculous.
- How did you and grandma/grandpa meet?
That’s probably my favorite love story ever. My grandmother was walking up the street with her friends, and my grandfather was walking up the other side of the street with his friends. My grandfather took one look at my grandmother and said to his friends, “See that girl? That’s the girl I’m going to marry one day.” And two weeks later… they did. 67 years later, and they’re still together. Still so in love with each other. Still so happy. <3
- What were your parents like?
My mom was a cute blonde. She’s rebellious, reckless, and stubborn. My dad is a brunette. Over the top, crazy, and yet… grounded.
My mother’s mother, is much like my mother. My dad’s mother, is — almost like my best friend. Strong minded, very literal, and tough, but she has a great heart. My dad’s dad is very much like my grandmother.
- What are your dreams for your children?
That they’ll never have to want for anything. That they’ll never feel pain or have to experience a hardship. That they’ll know more love and understanding than I can ever imagine. That they’ll experience more of the world and accomplish every dream they ever have.
- When and where were you born?
1989 and I was born in Atlantic City Medical.
- How was your relationship with your parents?
My dad and I butt heads a lot, but I love him. My mom and I, don’t ever speak. I actually haven’t talked to her since I was 18.
- Did you get into trouble? What was the worst thing you did?
I have gotten into trouble but stupid things. Like not doing homework, or being late to school but nothing worse than that though.
- Do you have any siblings? What were they like growing up?
I have 8. 4 sisters and 4 brothers. It’s funny. When I was growing up, I was incredibly close with my sisters and now that we’re grown, I’m closer with my brothers.
Oh my gosh I was such a nerd. I had wavy blonde hair, braces, and a book glued to my hand.
- How would you describe yourself as a child? Were you happy?
I was your typical average child I guess. In general, I was okay.
- What is your best memory of childhood? Worst?
I have a lot of good ones that involve my dad. Usually it was our weekend getaways, camping. I have a few bad ones too, mostly ones that involve my mom.
- Did you have a nickname? How’d you get it?
I had a few. Roni, which stuck, is basically just my name — shortened. I was also called Ron, Ver, Ica, Ronica, VM, Short Stuff, Elf…
- Who were your best friends? What were they like?
In high school it was Georgianna and Kimberly. Such sweet girls. In college it was Justina and Tiffany. Great girls, who played Volleyball with me. In undergrad, it was Tanya and Ryan. Both of which I communicate with on a weekly basis. Actually, come to think about it… I talk to all of my friends from school.
- How would you describe a perfect day when you were young?
A day out camping in the middle of the woods, riding quads, and having a bon fire with my dad and his friends.
Grade school – no. High school — yes. College — definitely. Except finals. They sucked.
- What kind of student were you?
High school and college I was a straight A Student. Yup, nerd status.
- What would you do for fun?
I was athletic in high school and college. I played volleyball, softball, tennis, and rowed crew. I also acted in school plays, and managed both the boy’s soccer team and the boy’s wrestling team.
- How would your classmates remember you?
The quiet, sweet girl. That’s probably about it. Even though I played sports, I still kept to myself.
- Are you still friends with anyone from that time in your life?
Lots! I still hang out with my high school friends all the time.
- What are your best memories of grade school/high school/college/graduate school? Worst memories?
Graduation was the saddest. I remember breaking down the whole day. My happiest was probably the start of my senior year.
- Was there a teacher or teachers who had a particularly strong influence on your life? Tell me about them.
Oh tons! I’m actually friends with so many of my teachers outside of school. I still stop by every once in a while to see them.
- Do you have a love of your life?
I absolutely do.
- When did you first fall in love?
The first time was last summer.
- Can you tell me about your first kiss?
I was 16, it was summertime. I met a guy when I was on vacation with my family. It was 4th of July weekend. I was at the pool and this guy came up to me and we talked and hung out and he asked me to this dance. I went with him, and that’s when it happened.
- What was your first serious relationship?
I had one in high school.
- Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes. I think it can happen whenever we least suspect it.
- Do you ever think about previous lovers?
I have thought about my ex.
- What lessons have you learned from your relationships?
Don’t rush into things. Love is a powerful tool. It can either build you up, or tear you down. Trust your instincts. If something feels too good to be true… then it is. Never give up on yourself. Just because someone doesn’t love you, it doesn’t mean that no one loves you.