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Local 5-year-old's poignant drawing drives home COVID-19's toll

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Posted at 8:47 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 22:05:22-04

When 5-year-old Kendall Nava walked into the room to show her mom a picture she'd drawn Sunday night, her mom didn't think anything of it.

It wasn't until she saw what Kendall had drawn that the tears came.

"She said it was daddy in the cart, and she was standing right next to him," said Kendall's mom, who didn't want to be identified. "Because it was open casket."

Hector Nava, Kendall's dad and her mom's partner, died July 31 of COVID-19. His family held the 42-year-old refinery worker's rosary on Friday, and buried him on Saturday.

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"Children -- they don't know," she said. "She wants to, every 10 minutes, say something about her dad. It's just a fresh, open wound, I guess."

Before him, his grandmother and aunt -- mother and daughter -- died of the novel coronavirus within two hours of each other, his partner said, and then his mother died about two or three days after him.

"Her Momo, which is Hector's mom -- she will be buried this weekend," Kendall's mom said. "(Kendall's) not very happy with the words 'heaven,' or 'Jesus,' or 'angels.' When I tried to tell her about her dad being an angel, she told me there were no boy angels; there (are) only pink angels."

Kendall's mom said the hardest part of losing Hector is that he won't be able to help his daughter cope with the bad times -- burying their family -- and revel in the good.

"Her father's not going to see her first day of kindergarten," she said.

After seeing the toll coronavirus has taken on her family, she took to social media recently to try and make others understand that the virus isn't a hoax.

"Tell that to my 5 year (old) daughter who will never fully know how wonderful her father was," she wrote. "She was everything to him and he was everything to her. I am so sorry Kendall. I would do anything to take your pain away."