"Hello, my name is Amy Torres and I will be sharing beautiful memories of my amazing daughter, Tiffney Torres."
What is your story?
"In April of 1993 my husband and I were blessed beyond measure with the birth of our daughter, Tiffney Renee’ Torres. The bond between her and I was instant and remained strong, until the end. Tiffney was our miracle baby. She literally saved my life. You see, unbeknownst to my doctors, I had ovarian cancer while I was pregnant with her. This type of cancer is known as the silent killer for women but because I had Tiff, the cancer was found and my life was spared.
She saved me; I wish I could have saved her.
Tiff was always full of joy and laughter, her smile was infectious! She had a special way of bringing people together and including them. She was always looking out for others. Growing up without siblings, Tiff was super excited to have God siblings. Christopher, Celina, and Mariana. She became a big sister to all of them and enjoyed every minute of it. Tiff loved them with all of her heart. She enjoyed spending time with them, looking out for them, and loving them.
For me, Tiff was always my sidekick. I loved every minute of it and I wish I could turn back time to when we were playing board games, going for walks, or shopping together.
From a young age, Tiff enjoyed creating and helping in the kitchen. She would pull a chair over and “help” out in any way she could. This usually resulted in messes and many wonderful memories. Her love for creating sweet treats grew and she decided to attend pastry school in 2016. She did really well. Tiff caught on quickly and enjoyed what she was doing. She went on to open her own home bakery, The Sugar Savage. The name was very fitting, as she was both sweet and a little savage. Tiff always shared her recipes with me while we worked together in our kitchen.
In April of 2018, our lives were completely shaken up. Our daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine
cancer. The doctors filled us with hope and we (foolishly) never doubted that she would eventually get
better. Tiffney’s pain quickly became unbearable and she had to be admitted to the hospital for nearly a month to get her pain under control as well as receive her first chemo.
Tiff (while still being brave, strong, and having a sense of humor) had to have a complete hysterectomy in order to help save her life. This resulted in her dreams of having children being crushed. After the operation, Tiff finished her chemo. That same day she rang the bell and said to me, “This doesn’t feel like it’s over." I still did not see that she may not get better, I couldn’t.
Next came pre-radiation scans, and our world was about to be shaken again. The scans showed that the cancer had spread to her liver. That was just before Christmas in 2018. At this point, Tiff was waiting for approval of an experimental treatment and her file was being shared across the United States. Meanwhile, I did not want to notice that Tiff was looking really swallowed-yet she stayed strong and did not complain.
She was back in the hospital mid January in 2019. We were told that they were going to get her pain under control. In the following weeks' time stood still yet moved so fast my head was spinning. In the hospital Tiffney’s health was quickly declining, her liver was bleeding into her stomach, and she was in an enormous amount of pain.
We were hit with the words that no parent ever wants to hear, "The doctors are out of options" and we were going to lose Tiff.
All they could do was make her comfortable. Family and friends came to see her and say their good byes, I was still praying for a miracle. However, every day she was getting worse. Within a few days her Godmother, my best friend, had an unbelievably difficult conversation with Tiffney. She asked her about her finial wishes.
There came a day, I believe February 2, 2019, that was the last time Tiff was alert and speaking to us. After that, she was sleeping most of the time. Once she was moved to hospice I needed her to wake up; I wanted to talk to her one last time.
Tiff held on until Armando and I told her it was ok, that we would be ok. Within minutes of us telling her that, she was gone. She was concerned about us and brave to the very end.
As a parent, I feel an enormous amount of guilt. I told her she was going to kick cancers ass and I couldn’t save her.
I sent Tiff a message to her phone after she passed that said:
There are times I don’t want to believe you’re gone and then reality slaps me and the pain of your absence hits me to my very core. As the days and weeks go by it is so difficult for me (and your daddy) to handle or understand. Why didn’t God heal you? Why did he take you from us?
Your were my best friend. I miss our talks, movie time, cooking with you, your funny text messages, your hugs, the way you loved me, I miss everything about you.
My biggest blessing is the honor of being your momma. Who am I without you? 😢 I am trying to be strong for you my princess, you fought so hard but I’m tired y te extraño mucho mi reina. Espero que los ángeles entiendan la bendecidos son de estar en tu presencia.
I love you and I miss you my princess.
Descansa en paz my sweet girl.
I remember a couple of days after she passed away, we were looking for a dress that Tiff wanted to be laid to rest in. I had a few minutes alone, and I was thinking, “what I am going to do without her?" Out of nowhere, I began to think of The Sugar Savage and the time Tiff and I spent in the kitchen. That moment was when I decided to carry on her business as her legacy which has also been a type of therapy for me. I somehow feel closer to her when I am baking and carrying out her dream. A portion of all sales have also been set aside for a scholarship in Tiffney’s name.
In life I held and guided Tiff, now she holds and guides me."
In one word, how would you describe/define your experience? Why?
"Blessed-We are incredibly blessed to have had the honor of being Tiffney’s parents, for that, we will be forever grateful."
What would you compare your experience to? And/or what analogy would define your experience?
"Unconditional love: Tiffney’s heart was full of love from the time she was a baby to the end. That was the type of love I experienced from Tiff, unconditional. No matter what. She loved me like no one else ever will."
What advice would you give yourself or someone else experiencing something similar?
"Open your heart fully to your child, enjoy and cherish every moment as though it could be your last. Try to take time every day to go over something positive, let those memories seep into your soul, because memories may be all you have left of your child."
Hear the song inspired by Amy's story: Available Everywhere 11.6.20