Hootie Hoo Girl .... always on my mind forever in my heart
(Cranfills Gap, TX)
March 18th, 2010 we lost our “Hootie Hoo girl” to carbon monoxide poisoning in her apartment. Hootie Hoo was Niki’s favorite saying and her way of saying hello or good bye!! We had spent the whole day together for St. Patrick Day and had plans to spend the next day together. Niki was involved with a man we did not care for... on more than one occasion he had disrespected us and Niki. That night he started belittling Niki again and she locked herself in her bathroom because she didn’t want to argue. Her Dad said the bathroom may have been her safe haven from this man. He left but I was afraid he would return later or the next morning and I did not want to be around him. Through the door I told Niki I was going home and would be back the next day but .... I checked to see if I could find something to unlock the bathroom door so I could give her a hug and get her in bed but couldn’t . By this time I believe Niki had fallen asleep ... thinking she would wake up later and go to bed, I told her I loved her and left.
I tried to call her several times on my way home and then the next morning. When I couldn’t get in touch with her we called my brother to go by and check on her .... when he got to her apartment he had to bust down the bathroom door and Niki was gone. When my child needed me to protect her I failed ... I should not have left her and now I live with the pain and guilt of leaving her alone.....and the question if I would have stayed, would she still be here?
Niki is the second of my three girls .... she was not the youngest but everyone called her the “baby”. She’s always been the one to want and give more hugs, and she hugged with her heart, she never hesitated to call mom or dad when she had a problem or needed help.... my other girls have always been a little more private and will not call us for help (I’m thrilled that they will call when they need help with the grandchildren!!).
They are married with children ... Niki was single with no children. My oldest and youngest are a lot alike and very close ... Niki and I a lot alike and very close. She was always calling asking me to come visit, would come home to work with me at our family business or bringing her friends down to visit and spend the week-end and always wanted to take pictures with mom and dad. Niki called or text almost every day..we were not only mom and daughter we were also best friends. So not only do I feel quilt for not protecting my child and missing my daughter more and more every day … I miss my best friend!
Niki loved making people laugh and loved to have fun... she had a heart of gold. She had an idea of keeping blankets in her car so she could hand them to people in need. She planted the seed and we are on a journey to sow that seed. Niki Covers the Cold distributed over 1500 blankets, over 600 coats, lots of toboggans, gloves, and socks!! Niki continues to make people smile as we share her gift of warmth!!
I love my girls with all my heart and respect them for who they are. I believe Niki and I had special bound ~ she respected me not only as her mom but as a person. As much as I hurt and feel guilt for leaving her and as much as I miss our times together I am very thankful for the relationship we “have”. Like all parents who have lost a child, a big part of me died on March 18th, 2010. Lots of love and big hugs to you, Niki.... Hootie Hoo!!