"I'm never giving up," Tammy said. "I'm not going to stop until the day I die. I'm going to be looking for Ashleigh's killer for the rest of my life."
For Tammy, writing part of a new book on grief and unsolved murder was therapeutic. But it also brought back the pain of October 6th, 2009. A man, with a bandana covering his face, broke into their home, killed Ashleigh and got away.
"He had a choice until the minute he pulled that trigger and did this to her," Tammy said. "He had a choice to walk away and not do it. But he did it and ripped my heart right out of my chest. I literally wanted to die and join my daughter."
She found the strength to live without her daughter, for her husband and sons. But Thanksgiving is always hard. It was the first major holiday after Ashleigh's death.
"I had people telling me I had to celebrate Thanksgiving for my sons," Tammy said. "I didn't want to. Then someone recommended I light a candle at the dinner table for Ashleigh. So now, that's what I do. We light a candle for her every year. She's here with us."
A Christmas tree of angels is also up in Ashleigh's honor, along with dozens of photos.
"I love looking at the pictures," Tammy said. "It helps me because it makes me remember. There was a time I worried that I was going to forget what she looks like, how she sounded when she talked. It was a crippling fear."
Tammy knows now she can never forget. Her daughter will always be a part of her. And this Thanksgiving, she's counting that as her greatest blessing.
The book Tammy contributed to, "Grief Diaries: Project Cold Case," is available on Amazon right now. It will be in more than 40,000 bookstores nationwide within the next month.