Family remembered a year after deadly fire

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WEEPING WATER, Neb. (WOWT) - Next month will mark the one year anniversary of a house fire that claimed the lives of 6 people. Their family spoke with our sister station WOWT 6 News about how they are dealing with the tragedy.

Marcia Collins currently takes care of a handful of chickens, chickens that the Speer-Perez girls loved to name and care for, before the fire.

"The two gray ones were lovey and diva." said Marcia as she fed what she has left of her family.

The acreage near Weeping Water was the family's dream.

"I can feel them out here. I can feel their presence."

A dream cut short far too soon.

"They were just so peaceful and they were so happy."

It's a pain Collins never thought she would have to deal with.

"Losing a child is something you'll never ever get over and then grandchildren on top of it. I feel empty, It's the most horrible pain in the world."

The last time she spoke with her daughter Michelle, Marcia was deciding whether to visit her dying mother or to stop by and see the kids.

"She said 'No mom,' she said 'You don't have that much time left with Nana' she said 'Go spend time with Nana. We have plenty of time…that runs through my head a lot"

Now all that remains near the farm house are the storm shelter, and a damaged tree. A tree that's been painted completely pink.

Pink was the girl's favorite color, the family's names are painted in white.

Their names are also carved into a nearby log, a carving that was done by the girls themselves, another rare hold over from a happier time.

"I wanted to see them graduate. I wanted to see them have boyfriends and go to prom and have kids of their own and that's just not going to happen."

While there is so much Collins won't be able to experience with her family she wants others to embrace the time they have with theirs.

"Just hug your kids and cherish them. Family is important and if you don't do it and something happens you never get that time back."