NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Destiny Grace Hardy plays with a sleepy kitten. The companion brings much welcomed laughter, but can never replace what she misses from her grandmother and sisters.
"Cause my grandmother take care of me and my sisters love me," said Destiny.
"Her and the good Lord himself, they keep me together," said Donna Fergerson, Destiny's mother.
Destiny's mom calls on that strength everyday. It arrived the moment she told Destiny about the tragedy. "I was telling her. I broke down in tears and she was like, 'No mommy, don't cry,' " recalled Fergerson. She then looks down to her daughter and said, "You know, they're in a good place, right?" Destiny points upwards. "They're still alive up in heaven," she answered.
Shayanne was approaching 13. She was her mother's Rock of Gibraltar. "Shayanne had become my girly girl, starting to wear makeup and jewelry," commented Fergerson.
The baby, Isabella, 7 years old, was full of spunk. "She was the closest we were ever going to get to a little boy," smiled Fergerson.
The siblings were in a car driven by their grandmother, Susan Hardy. She turned the small compact car into the path of an oncoming log truck. It's speculated the setting sun blinded her vision.
Now, Destiny and her mother sit on a couch and view the last few pictures of their loved ones. "Shay, Bella and me. See me," points out Destiny. Fergerson chokes back tears. The young mother apologizes to her daughter when she cries. She wants to remain strong for her Destiny, so her daughter will be strong.
In truth though, the emotion is a lesson to never take a family for granted. "You know to have 'em in the back seat of the car cutting up. You miss it," shared Fergerson. She talks of how difficult it is to have a quite house that was once filled three active girls. "It's the alone time that's the toughest," said Fergerson.
Fergerson and Destiny's father are divorced, but they share the grateful time they have with their one remaining daughter. Destiny receives a lot of attention from relatives and friends.
The child is bravely healing from multiple injuries after spending a month in a Houston children's hospital. "I broke both elbows, both femurs and my ankle," said Destiny. Only one leg cast remains. She hopes it will be gone soon.
Destiny's short term goal for herself is to walk to her class on the first day of school. Right now, her ambition is to be a teacher and a cowgirl.
"And I'm so blessed she is here, that's for sure," said Fergerson, followed by a big kiss and hug for her daughter.
Destiny Grace is living up to her name.