Our Town Cozad: Rhakenna's Wings

Published: Aug. 22, 2019 at 8:40 AM CDT
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A interactive project in Cozad is helping a local mom and dad deal with the unexpected death of their three-year-old daughter, and it's now helping others cope with loss as well.

Jamion and Tasia Aden say their daugther Rhakenna died unexpectedly in her sleep on January 23rd from a seizure disorder. Earlier, Tasia's mother was talking about doing a "wings" project in Cozad. "She saw some wings on walls, and it was a public art project, and she wanted to bring it to Cozad," Tasia said. "She got busy, and things fell through. But this past January our daughter passed away. That's when it kind of sparked the wings project again."

Tasia says the idea gained new life because after Rhakenna's death, her family began finding feathers in random places. "It was unexplainable, like on our kitchen floor," Tasia said. "We also have a picture in our bedroom with a feather that I drew when she was a baby, with Psalm 91:4 on it. That's the verse that talks about refuge. So the feathers are really big to our family, and mom brought up the wings project once again. We decided to try again, and make it a little more about Rhakenna." Tasia says they continue to find feathers randomly. "There are so many stories about this. We were recently shopping for our boys for school. We saw a backpack with 'kittycorns' on them, which are cats with a unicorn horn, and Rhakenna loved them. That brought back memories, as she was supposed to be a preschooler this year. When I went to get the keys out of the ignition to go into the next store, there was a feather on my seat," Tasia said.

Now, wings are being painted on walls around town. Many people are using them to remember their own lost loved ones. "We've got it now so when a loved one passes away, if their family wants to dedicate a set of wings to the project, they can. So it's not just a memorial for Rhakenna, it's a memorial for everybody," Jamion Aden said.

There is a set of wings in town dedicated to Rhakenna. "They are on the wall where the barbershop is located, and it's a very special set. It's the only set in town that you'll see a unicorn halo, and a unicorn horn," Tasia said. "It's all of the things she absolutely loved intertwined together, and it's also child-sized. It's 40-inches tall, because that's how tall she was."

You can dedicate your own wings, or get your picture taken with wings behind you and post them to Facebook. "We are asking if people take pictures, that they use the hashtag 'Rhakenna's Wings'," Tasia said. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to Rhakenna's Wings, and updates are often posted on the page. "The artist for these wings is Karen Neppl, and she is from Grand Island and operates Studio K there," Tasia said.

The next time you are in Cozad, be sure to take note of the wings that you'll find on walls across town.