Robert Wingo decided there was no other way to tell his two young daughters that their mother died. So on Friday night, when he returned home, he told them the truth.
"[My youngest] asked, 'Daddy, what's wrong? Why are you acting so funny?' I said, 'baby, mommy died today. She was in the theater shooting,'" Wingo recalled on Monday.
Robert Wingo and Rebecca Wingo divorced in 2008 but remained close in large part due to their two daughters.
"We lived about four miles apart," he said. "Their school is right in the middle."
Recently, Robert and Rebecca developed the kind of friendship that had made Robert incredibly comfortable to be around his ex-wife.
"Rebecca was the show," Wingo said. "She often gave away her last dollar. She would do anything for anybody."
When they lived in Hawaii, he said, she came upon a feral cat in the jungle and decided to take it home.
"If you talk to people at church, she's the person who sits in the front pew. Nobody but the old ladies do that, but not Rebecca," Wingo said.
Their two daughters are ages 9 and 5. Wingo said their youngest is still having a difficult time processing the news.
"The way she's acting. She thinks there is going to be an end to daddy time and then it's going to be mommy time," he said. "That's what's really tough."
But he said he believes his daughters will continually remind strangers of what and who their mother undoubtedly was.
"They are confident, precocious, engaging little women, and a lot of that is because of what [Rebecca] poured into them," Wingo said.
If you would like to donate to the Wingo Girls' 529 College Savings Plan, you can send a donation to:
Nebraska Educational Savings Trust.
Memo Line: Account Number# 748788940-01
Nebraska Educational Savings Trust
NEST Advisor College Savings Plan
P.O. Box 30277
Omaha, NE 68103-1377
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