SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) — Hailey Jo Cochran’s nightly routine with her dad Jason makes her smarter by the night.
“One, two, three, four,” she said, counting the penny her father leaves for her on the driveway.
Each night, she races out of the house to count the pennies. Usually, she’d leap into her dad’s arms and count them with him, an exercise Jason Cochran was using to improve his daughter’s math and counting skills.
“He had put them out in the driveway and they would find them and count every night, she would rush out to meet him and they’d find them and count them every night,” said Kristen Cochran, Hailey’s mom.
Then, one night, Jason wasn’t there to greet his daughter.
“February 12th changed our lives forever,” Kristen said.
Almost two years ago, Jason was out fishing on a Sunday with a good friend of his. Their boat hit something. Both men died on impact. But it’s the impact Hailey’s father still has on her life that she feels the most.
“They just, seem to keep appearing ever since then. As you can see they just keep appearing,” Kristen said, pointing to the pennies littered throughout her driveway.
With the help of some neighborhood angels, pennies have continued to fill the Cochran’s driveway each night when she returns home from school.
“It just makes every care in the world disappear, just to see how happy she is, just to see one little gesture, that her dad is thinking of her,” Cochran said.
For Hailey Jo, the pennies are the best gift she could receive this holiday season. They remind her that her dad is still watching, still giving and still teaching.