Reporting Karen Anderson
SPRINGFIELD (CBS) – “She will always be my angel and my hero,” Juan Guerrero says of his late wife.
Juan woke up Friday morning, the one year anniversary of the tornado that killed his wife Angie, and the first thing he did was kneel down with her ashes.
Juan says he told her, “I am going to be building a new house where you will rest in peace with me all the time. You are going to be there with me. It is going to be our house.”
That new house is being built for the Guerrero’s by Habitat for Humanity.
Juan and his daughters visited the site Friday. “It is something that I appreciate with all of my heart,” Juan explains. “It’s nice to have a place to call my house. And I appreciate every single volunteer, every single company who help Habitat for Humanity help the people in need like me and my family.”
Along with the gratitude, are feelings of sadness.
Juan, Angie and their daughter Ibone, who was 15, were all home at the time the tornado struck. Juan says he and Angie looked out the window and saw the funnel cloud coming their way.
He says it was instinct, and Angie grabbed Ibone, who was asleep and they all ran into the bathroom. Angie lay on top of Ibone, and Juan couldn’t get there in time to cover them both.
Juan remembers, “She screamed once and that was it. I knew she was gone.”
Ibone survived, but had severe injuries to her legs.
Juan says one doctor said she may never walk again, but she has made an amazing recovery.
It’s still too difficult for Ibone and her sister to talk about what happened publicly. Juan speaks for them all, saying Angie is their hero, always.