Faith sustains Santa Fe couple who's daughter died in 1999 bonfire

Published: Nov. 14, 2019 at 5:29 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Standing in what was her only daughter's bedroom, Carolyn Adams is comforted by Miranda's pictures, her collection of angels and a dresser still full of clothes.

"I love being in here and sewing," Carolyn Adams said. "When the grandkids spend the night, they like to wear Miranda t-shirts to bed."

Miranda was working on Aggie Bonfire on November 18, 1999 when it toppled at 2:42 in the morning.

19 hours after stack fell, 19-year-old Miranda was the last pulled from the rubble.

"It wasn't until 9 o'clock that night when we went out to the stack and they told us that she was gone," her voice trailed off.

Kenny Adams added, "It was a very, very long day with the hopes that she was one of the injured somewhere. It didn't turn out that way."

Twenty years have passed, yet Kenny and Carolyn Adams' memories of that day are vivid.

"It's etched permanently in my mind and my heart," Carolyn said while clutching her chest.

Their emotions are still raw.

"The first year, I think I cried every day," Kenny admitted. "Emotions will hit you like a boulder and there's nothing you can do about it."

"To lose a child that for me, that I carried," Carolyn said through tears. "It's just there with you forever."

The couple finds comfort in their deep-rooted friendship with Neva and Larry Hand. Their daughter, Jamie, was the only other woman to die in the collapse.

For 16 years, the two couples shared season tickets to Aggie football games and tailgated in the shadows of the Bonfire Memorial.

"Neva and I always called it our therapy sessions because it was good therapy for both of us," Carolyn said.

The Adams also find strength as volunteers with their church's comfort dog ministry. As a retired K-9 police officer, Kenny is now one of Joy's handlers. The couple travels across the state bringing a little joy to those affected by tragedies.

"The comfort dogs are just a bridge for our ministry," Kenny explained. "It allows that person to make contact, and if they need that extra TLC, we're there for them."

Just as the Aggie family was there for the Adams on their darkest day.

"Our time on this Earth is going to be short and Miranda's was cut a little shorter, but we believe in the Father God almighty, and one day, we'll see her again," Kenny encouraged.