There's a sad update to the story of a family we met last week, a family who defined perseverance. As a community grieves the loss of mom Tia Hale, a close friend has come forward to say she knows someone was placed in her life for a reason.

The story of the great friendship between Erica Rhodes and Tia Hale starts at Apollo Middle, seventh grade. 

"I forgot to get a poster and asked Tia if I could have one of her posters," Erica remembered. "From there, it was history. We went to TSU together. We were roommates."

Erica and Tia were each other's maid of honor. They became neighbors, and especially on their girls trips, Tia could bring the best out of Erica. 

"The fun side!" laughed Erica. "She always encouraged me to have fun and dance! She's an occupational therapist. I'm a special education teacher, so we came together again at metro public schools."

You might remember we met Tia on Thursday. Her family was smiling even though they've been through it all. Tia's little girl Ever has sickle cell anemia. Her husband Courtney had his work hit by the tornado. Tia herself went through a heart transplant last year. 

"A lot of times our strength is the model we need to be for her," Tia told us on Thursday, referring to her little girl.

Tuesday, Tia went through complications with her heart and passed away. 

"She just was dancing with me, not even a few weeks ago," said Erica. "She was just a good, good person. It's just unfortunate."

Tia's church home was at The Infinity Fellowship with Reverend Jeff Carr.

"If you could walk in a world with gratitude, it not only transformers you, it transforms everyone you meet," said Carr. "That's the lasting legacy she's given us."

Erica said that's so true of that friend she was meant to meet in a little seventh grade classroom at Apollo Middle. 

"She's our queen of hearts forever," she said.

Courtney Hale sent this message to News4;

"Ever and I want to thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and kind words about our dear Tia. While the time will come when we are ready to respond individually, for now we appreciate the respect and privacy you've shown us as we grieve.

We will celebrate through the Tia Barbour-Hale Legacy Parade, which takes place on Saturday, May 23rd from 10am to 1pm at Lake Providence Baptist Church (5891 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN, 37211).

Many have asked how you can both support our family and celebrate Tia's legacy. We are so appreciative of your willingness, and as a family we have decided to honor her in the following ways. In lieu of flowers and cards, please support these funds:

Tia Barbour-Hale OGOT Legacy Fund

If you knew Tia, the fierce support she showed her family and friends was something that extended to her patients as well. She was a dedicated Occupational Therapist, and to honor her commitment to the profession, we have partnered with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to create the Tia Barbour-Hale Legacy Fund. Tia’s Legacy Fund will create Occupational Therapist positions within Metro Nashville Public Schools. Tax-deductible contributions to Tia’s Legacy Fund can be submitted at the following website: www.cfmt.org/TiaHaleLegacy

 

Ever Grey Hale Trust Fund

As a mother, Tia was dedicated to our daughter’s development and progression. To ensure that our daughter’s future is secured, we are establishing the Ever Grey Hale Trust Fund. Contributions to this fund will be utilized for Ever's future needs, be it schooling, healthcare or entrepreneurial endeavors. Contributions to Ever’s Trust Fund can be submitted through CashApp: $EverGreyHale

 

We love and appreciate you all, but most importantly, we love Tia and she loved us. Thank you for thinking of our family, and please keep us in your prayers."

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