STRANGERS know Tanilla as the poor toddler who was murdered by her step-father, but her real dad knows she was so much more.
When their thoughts turn to Tanilla's final miserable months, Adrian and Brooke find comfort in remembering the ever-smiling animal lover who stayed with them on what would be her final Christmas.
After being allowed to spend her second birthday in Ballina, Tanilla returned in Christmas, 2010.
Memories of splashing around the beach and taking her to farms to see animals are held dear.
"She absolutely loved horses," Ms Bowen said
"If she could just look at them, she was happy."
What makes the horrendous crimes committed against Tanilla all the more difficult for Ms Bowen to understand - is that she was not a "problem child".
She said Tanilla "never wanted for anything", loved helping out and sitting in the front of the trolley on shopping trips.
While the warm moments were sadly well outnumbered by the awful, Ms Bowen still finds it therapeutic to talk about the good times.
"There is no making it better - the pain will never go away," Ms Bowen said.
"But for that time she was happy and she knew she was loved."
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