Jessica Rekos, The Newest Angel

Jessica Rekos
Jessica Rekos

Jessica Rekos

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.

  • Leslie M. Kuretzky

    RIP dear little Angel. RIP to all the Angels and innocent Adults 🙁

    December 19, 2012
  • Beautiful, Jerry. Thanks.

    December 19, 2012
  • Annonymous

    The piece about little Jessica taken far too soon from her family, from the love of the horses and from a life that should have been filled with wonder and merriment, has possibly been the most touching I have read in a very long time. As a life long horse lover myself I have known the unspoken language between a little girl and her horse and take solace knowing she is in Heaven with her hat, her boots and finally…her horse.
    You mentioned that you are open to suggestions, may I make one? If you find your organization building a new barn maybe dedicate it to a beautiful young lady who, along with so many others, left the comfort of their homes for a day filled with the Three R’s, chatting in the cafeteria with friends and recess but instead made a huge impact on a nation.
    Thank you for what your organization does for the horses. The compassion and dedication to saving them is above and beyond anything I have ever seen in the past. My only wish is that all people had the same compassion and empathy for others, perhaps we wouldn’t see reports of our children being killed for the vengeance & lack of basic love of others of one.

    December 19, 2012
  • Rachel

    Thank you for posting this! I have been thinking about this nonstop. Perhaps we can collect donations to rescue a horse in her honor and name him/her Jessie or Rekos? Trying to come up with some ideas.

    December 19, 2012
  • What a beautiful tribute to Jessica and all the other Angels who found their wings on Friday. Maybe somewhere out there, there is a special 10 year old earth angel waiting for a special horse to call her own.

    December 19, 2012
  • Shelly

    This loss has hit close to.home. Just like the author of this article it’s sad all those lives were lost. This little angel Jessica stood out. I also have a daughter of similar age to Jessica who is horse crazy. The bond of a child and horse is something that at times leaves you on awe. We lost our horse Mexico earlier this year and I know Mexico is taking care of her. She has her horse now and she can ride all she wants. Little Jessica know you will forever be in our hearts.

    December 19, 2012
  • Jami L

    Just donated a little bit as well in Jessica’s name. I was that little girl at 6 years old, really touched me to read your story. Thanks very much.

    December 19, 2012
  • Jade

    For an idea, the children who survived are going to need all kinds of therapy. What about hippotherapy? Setting up a fund to help the kids cope that way? Or something along those lines that would directly help the survivors cope and deals with horses?? Just a thought…

    December 19, 2012
  • Jade

    As you have done so often before, your beautiful words, and heartfelt sentiments, bring me to tears. Thank you for putting into words what so many are feeling at this time. Blessed Be, Jerry!

    December 19, 2012
  • Barbara W.

    Jerry, your beautiful tribute to Jessica was hard to read with all the tears in my eyes.

    December 19, 2012
  • Sue

    I too perked up my ears at the sound of Jessica, getting her own horse at 10 and now, never having one on Earth.

    There is another little girl, a survivor of this tragedy, who was carrying a pink pony as she petted the Canine Therapy Golden Retrievers. I hope her parents don’t make her wait for her horse and that they are able to afford one for her.

    December 19, 2012
  • kathy

    thank you, Jerry, for this.

    December 19, 2012
  • ViktoriaKS

    What a precious little girl and so wise, at such a young age, understand the special gift of horses. I can only pray there are as many beautiful horse angels, Jessica ever dreamed of knowing, there to comfort her and be comforted by her, where beautiful Jessica is now. I pray Jessica’s parents find comfort in adopting a horse, and can heal some of the emptiness and grief with a little bit of love for someone Jessica would have loved too.

    December 19, 2012
  • Arlene

    Thank You Jerry !!!!!Here in Ohio they reported on precious little Jessias love for the horses, I am sure the Horse Angels are their with her now to comfort her !!!!!!The innocent Horse Angels know exactly what to do !!!!!!

    December 19, 2012
  • Bob

    Very touching and moving, and sad. My heart is with all the parents who are suffering through their losses. May God sustain them through their grief and heal the broken hearts. Also, let us remember the children who survived who will need support and healing. I think the idea about the new barn, or even a pasture, dedicated to Jessica is a fine idea.

    December 20, 2012
  • kimberly adam

    I agree with Bob… with the property maybe we can dedicate a barn or corral in Jessica’s honor!!!

    December 23, 2012