Jessica Rekos was buried today.
Those five words have no right to be a part of our lives. They simply should not exist together in the same sentence.
Jessica’s Christmas present was going to be a pair of cowboy boots, a hat and a promise that she would have her own horse when she turned ten.
In just four more years. Four years of laughter, of little girl’s smiles and charms, of dreams and happiness and then one day Jessica would walk out to the barn and see her very own horse.
Her parents talked about how she adored horses, read about them all the time, drew pictures, loved riding them, loved being around them. That’s what captured my attention Saturday afternoon, that small part of a news story that captured a nation in disbelief.
There is no understanding, no ability to comprehend the depth of destruction done to the families and friends of the victims. The nation weeps with them, but we will never know. Perhaps that’s why I grabbed onto the story of one child, Jessica, and her attachment to horses.
Because I know what that attachment means. I’ve seen it time and again at the ranch, when little girls come walking down the road. There will be a horse, perhaps just one, that hears, then sees, then walks over to her. There will be sounds and words that big people, we adults, cannot hear. We don’t know what is going on, but we don’t need to. We lost that world when we grew up. Some little boys might understand it, but it comes naturally for six year old angels like Jessica,
Jessica, who was going to get cowboy boots and a hat for Christmas.
And a horse of her own in a few more years.
This entire world should be a safe zone for little kids, be they in Syria, Uganda or Newtown, Connecticut. Even if we never agree on anything else, every single adult should pledge that kids are off limits to all forms of harm. Their innocence will fall soon enough, adults are good at making that happen, but at six years of age – no.
That’s the age of rainbows and elves, wide-eyed wonder at snails and minnows, crayons and chalk, cowboy boots and horses.
We received a donation just a few hours ago in memory of Jessica. Lisa from El Paso wanted to do something, and Habitat for Horses is honored to accept the donation in Jessica’s name. Receiving that donation touched me more than you will ever know, Lisa.
We’re going to use that donation for something very special, and I’m personally going to add to it. I don’t know what yet, but it will be for something that would have made Jessica happy. I’m open to suggestions.
Because she deserves something important, something that would have made her laugh, something that honors her love of horses.
Tonight there is a new little angel in Heaven, wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, walking beside a horse, saying special things that only she and the horse understand.
Her earthly name was Jessica Rekos, age six, delivered so gently into the Hands of God.