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Connors' Mother: Tomorrow Is Never Promised

September 24, 2012, 10:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Connors' Mother: Tomorrow Is Never Promised

She was trying to protect a co-worker from her abusive boyfriend when she was gunned down in a Sioux Falls parking lot.  

Police called Amanda Connors a hero for her courageous actions. But none of that matters to her mother, who is still horrified by the shooting.

The emotions are still raw, the pain is still there, but Cathy Connors somehow found strength to talk about her only daughter who was shot and killed because she cared too much.

"She was one in a million..." Cathy read from a card.

Cathy is still opening funeral cards and letters, some from people she's never met.  But it's obvious by the stack on the table, Amanda touched a lot of lives. 

"She's been my favorite hair stylist of all time not just because of her styling skills, but also because of the warm friendship we developed," Cathy read from another card. 

Don Jorgensen: Why did you want to do this interview?
Cathy: I wanted to do this so I could reach out to some of the people and thank them for their support, whether it be memorials or flowers or people who brought groceries to the house.

She says from churches, policemen and others who were on the scene that day, the support has been overwhelming.

Cathy wants people to remember Amanda as a positive person who was a role model for younger girls, but most of all for a woman who brought joy to a lot of people. 

"The hard thing is it'll be two weeks tomorrow and for most people it's already a fading memory; for me it's just beginning," Cathy said.

That healing process began immediately. Cathy attended the very first vigil in front of Cost Cutters only hours after her daughter was gunned down. She's been back several times since.

In the days that followed, the chief of police called Amanda a hero for trying to protect her co-worker.

"Hero is a pretty strong word, but I'm so proud of her, I'm so proud of the person she was, the way she acted that day and I know she was doing what she felt was right because she always did.  We are that kind of people who follow their hearts. I believe that's what she was doing.  She didn't think about putting herself in danger; she was only thinking about doing what was right and I couldn't be more proud of her," Cathy said.

The single mother's eyes light up when she talks about her kids, especially her only daughter.

"What am I going to miss about her? The things we were looking forward to," Cathy said.

Amanda was going to buy a house and get married next year and one day start raising a family of her own.  It was Amanda's boyfriend who first notified Cathy that there was a standoff at Cost Cutters and someone had been shot.

"He knew in his heart and he just kept saying, 'it's bad, it's bad,'" Cathy said.

Cathy's fears were then confirmed minutes later by the local police.

Cathy says every day is a little better. She tries to remember all the good about Amanda and there were a lot. But mixed in with the smattering of smiles are hurtful tears for someone who was taken away from her way too soon.

"Take care of the things today.  Tell the people you're with that you love them that was Amanda's last message to me, 'I'll talk to you tomorrow morning.'  And we didn't get that chance; tomorrow is never promised," Cathy said.

Cathy says she's hoping something good will come from this tragedy.  But right now she doesn't know what that would be. Monday was her first day back on the job as a teacher's aide in Ellsworth, Minnesota.

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