That was how Arlana Haynes’ mother, Angelica Rose, described her late 6-year-old daughter at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
In the week and a half since the bus crash, we’ve heard a lot about how various agencies and parents responded to the crash, but we haven’t heard about Arlana’s life and her parents’ memories of her.
After the conference, Jacob Reynolds spoke with them and learned more about the Haynes’ ‘sunshine in the rain.’
Her mother and father say their little girl was an excellent reader and told them she loved them all the time.
Since the accident, it’s been hard for them to come to terms with what happened.
Rose says her daughter always had to be the center of attention.
“She had so much love and joy to give, I guess. She liked to dance, she liked to draw, she liked to write numbers and letters just to be doing something. She had drawn me 100 pictures,” said Rose.
Her father, Christopher Haynes, says it’s a quieter world without her.
“She was always drawing pictures. She always drew ‘Daddy, I love you’ or ‘Daddy, you’re nice.’ It’s just one of those things, you keep thinking that she’s going to be knocking at the door or she’s going to come down or you’re going to hear something in her room.,” said Haynes.
Both her mother and father say they’re going to miss her intelligence as well.
“If anyone misspelled her name… a teacher or any kind of adult misspelled her name, she would call them out. She would tell them, ‘that’s not how my name is spelled,’” said Haynes.
“She loved to read. If she didn’t know a word, more than likely, she’d be 99 percent correct if she sounded it out,” said Rose.
As they continue to wait for answers, Angelica has an important lesson for mothers – cherish every moment, especially with your children.
“You never know when it’s going to be the last. I saw her run out the front door to the bus that morning and I never saw her in that condition again,” said Rose.
Her father says she received a special certificate from C.B. Watson Primary School for all the reading she did last year.
The accident happened on her fourth day at Parkwood Elementary, she had just transferred there from C.B. Watson.
The family says they want to thank the entire community for their love and support. They say they couldn’t have made it this far without it.