Who Knew Cows Had Wings?
Last Sunday, my niece Vanessa stepped out of her front door and collapsed from a brain aneurysm. She was 16. They pronounced her brain dead on Tuesday. Life support allowed her to donate her organs on Wednesday. The week was a blur of tears, hugs & debilitating sadness. My daughters are the same ages as my nieces - 16 and 18. I call them my Fantastic Four. Losing Vanessa so suddenly left us unable to breathe. Every picture is the four of them. Every memory is the four of them. Now.. there are only three.
The Evansville, IN community came together for her. The sign over the expressway read "We R Vanessa Strong!!" Her school made "Vanessa's Avengers" t-shirts and both the home team (Harrison High) and the away team (Castle) wore her shirts at the game Friday. So much love. So many people loved her. She was our firecracker. Always smiling. Always making silly faces. We dreaded her service on Saturday. How do you say goodbye? How can this really be happening?
Her service was Saturday. The viewing started at 08:30 and ran until the service started at 1:30. We were all exhausted. This week had drained us. We were tired. Hungry. Sad. We needed to get away from the church for a minute. So much sadness. So many tears. We know she wouldn't want us to be so sad but how could we smile? Our hearts were broken. We ran up to Chick-fil-A to grab a bite and then go back. We sat down to eat - barely even noticing our food. Then the Cow came. He wouldn't leave us alone. Jumping over the booth to sit with us, he brightened our day. We smiled. He brought us hats and kept coming back. We smiled more. I snapped this picture. It was so good to smile and I just knew right then..that Vanessa was there with us. That crazy cow was acting just like my niece did - working hard to put a smile on everyone's face. Thank you for being such an angel Cow. For a moment, you brought her back to us.
Above: Daughters Tori (16) and Ali (16). Niece Christina(18) & her boyfriend Zach, Cow, & Niece's bff Alie