For the second time in her life, Paige Hough had to say goodbye to her sister. This time, it was permanent.
Hough was separated from her sister 10 years ago when her family put 6-year-old Megan Klindt up for adoption. Days after the sisters reconnected this month, Megan was killed when an Iowa school bus caught fire after rolling into a ditch on Tuesday. She was 16.
The driver of the bus, 74-year-old Donald Hendricks, also died in the 7 a.m. fire, The Des Moines Register reported. They were the only people onboard the bus in rural Pottawattamie County near Oakland. Hendricks began to back out of Klindt’s driveway and ended up in a ditch, where the bus caught fire, the Register reported.
“I talked with her the night before,” Hough told KETV. “This is so hard.”
When Megan was adopted, Hough was 16.
“I would always look for her and thought about her,” Hough told KETV. “It was one of the hardest days of my life. Growing up, she wasn't my sister, she was my kid. I helped take care of her, I changed her, I took her to school, I taught her how to write her name, helped her do her homework. She was my life. She is my everything.”
The adoption court ruled that the sisters could reconnect when Megan turned 18. But when a cousin saw Megan at the mall and texted a picture to Hough, she headed to the shopping center.
“I was so nervous,” Hough said. “I just said, ‘Megan’ and she turned around and that was always my fear that she wouldn't know who I was or wouldn't recognize me since she was little.
“She turned around and said, ‘Oh my God,’ we were crying and she hugged me and it was the best thing that ever happened.”
The Klindt family decided to allow Hough to see her sister, KETV reported.
Megan invited Paige to her 16th birthday party Dec. 2.
"”t was like going to lunch with my family every day. There was no missing beats and we all talked. We were so happy,” Hough said. “I won't forget that day.”
Now, Hough must deal with another family tragedy.
“I've had a rough life. I lost my dad at a young age. I lost my grandmother who raised me at a young age,” she told KETV. “Megan was always my happy ending that I waited for."
When Hough turned 20 she got a tattoo on her wrist that had an infinity heart and Megan’s initials.
"It was to help me get through struggles and to motivate me,” Hough told KETV. “ Now it's more of a remembrance tattoo and I didn't think it would get to this point,”