WITHROW, Alta. — The parents of three Alberta girls who suffocated in a truckload of canola say they're overwhelmed by the support they have received from all over the world
Roger and Bonita Bott say they're still in shock over the deaths of their daughters, but are leaning on their faith to get them through.
"As far as missing them and not being able to ever see our kids again, that part is OK, because we are going to see them again,'' the girl's father told reporters Wednesday.
"We don't believe that God did this, but we're believing that he has taken this and he is making something incredible come out of it.''
Catie, who turned 13 last month, and 11-year-old twins Dara and Jana, died last week after being buried in a truck loaded with canola on the family's farm near Withrow.
Authorities say the girls were playing on the truck, but haven't said how they believe the girls became trapped. Adults were able to pull them free, but they couldn't be saved. Two of the girls died at the scene, while a third died the next day in hospital.
The Botts said their daughters were "awesome'' girls who liked to be involved in their church and who enjoyed farm activities.
"They are the best girls in the world,'' their mother said. "They were cool to be with.''
The three were a big help around the farm, doing yardwork and preparing and packing meals — fried chicken, chili and spuds — for harvest.
"They were comfortable with themselves and they were comfortable being around other people,'' their mother said.
The Botts said each of their daughters was quite different, but wonderful in her own way.
Catie, as the oldest child, was a role model to her sisters and younger brother Caleb. She always had her nose in a book, even when she was on horseback.
"She was totally embracing becoming a young woman,'' her father said. "She was consciously working at being mature and responsible.''
Jana was quieter and didn't like conflict. She loved to play the piano and make crafts.
"She had a soft personality,'' her father said. "She was gentle with everyone. She always tried to contribute to her relationships, sometimes at the expense of her own desires. She was a really good friend.''
Dara was a tomboy with a strong personality.
"If there was a job to be done, Dara would be my girl,'' her mother recalled, her voice breaking. "Just the other week I told her that, 'You know, honey, you're going to be a really good mom someday and you're going to really know how to run a household and you are going to do a good job of it.'''
Her father noted that Dara always did things her own way. She was the second twin to be born — so late she had a different birth date from her sister.
"True to the end, she couldn't even pass away with the rest of her sisters. She had to wait until the next day.''
Family friend Dave Brand said $116,000 has been raised for the family on an online funding site. Another $31,000 is coming from cattle donated at an auction.
"We think the reason it has touched so many is this is different. Losing one child is an unspeakable tragedy. Losing three at once, I don't think there's even words to describe it.''
A funeral for the girls is to be held in Red Deer, Alta., on Friday.
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