Parents Of Deceased Plaza Towers Students Receive Special Gift

Wednesday, August 7th 2013, 10:24 pm
By: News 9

This week, the parents of the Plaza Towers Elementary School kids who died in the May 20 tornado got a special gift from a woman who understands all too well what they've lost.

The school building is gone and this fence has become a makeshift memorial to remember the seven children who died there. But their presence is felt everywhere around the fence, from the seven crosses placed in their memory, to the multiple bears and crosses etched with their names.

But now the parents have received special paintings of their children to keep at home. On Wednesday News 9 visited with the artist, along with one of the parents who received her gift.

It is the face of childhood innocence captured in a painting. This is 8-year-old Kyle Davis, one of seven Plaza Towers students who died that horrible day in May.

"Just a happy child," said his mother, Mikki Davis. "Just full of life."

Davis received this painting during a special, private presentation Tuesday night. The woman who painted it, and six others, is Kathy Sanders,

"Their images, their faces, I won't ever forget," said Sanders. "I'll take them with me to my grave."

Sanders lost her grandsons, Chase and Colton Smith, in the Murrah Building Bombing. And she too received an oil painting after their death.

"If my house was to catch on fire today, that's the one thing I'd go in and get," said Sanders. "Because I couldn't replace it."

Sanders later turned to painting to ease her grief, and discovered she had a God given talent.

"Just overwhelming what people can do with painting," cried Davis. "And she did an awesome job."

Davis says she was bawling when the very first painting was uncovered, and lost it when she got to the one of Kyle. Davis says she just wishes she could hold Kyle and talk to him again. But she says Sanders captured Kyle's personality in the painting, just by looking at a photograph.

"One of my best friends actually took the picture," said Davis. "And she was there last night. She was just amazed what it looked like with someone painting it."

Davis says she knows that Sanders knows what they are going through.

"I'm blessed that she came into our life and gave us this painting, because it does help us. It does," Davis said.

But Sanders had one more surprise; A picture she painted of Mikki and Kyle together.

Davis cried, and hugged Sanders, and could not stop thanking her. She says she plans to hang that solo painting of Kyle in their dining room area, since Kyle loved to share family dinners. And the painting of the both of them will be going on her desk at work.

Sanders says she had a special connection doing Kyle's painting, since she had visited with his grandfather. Kathy says he told her Kyle's last words were "I love you Grandpa", something that hit home with her, since the last words one of her grandsons said to her were "I love you" too.