The call from New Mexico State Police came at 4 in the morning, first alerting Nettie Herrera of trouble.
They wouldn't reveal what happened, preferring to tell her in person. But Nettie couldn't wait.
With various scenarios flying through her head, she first called Cassandra, her oldest daughter, who lived nearby.
Two nervous rings felt like an eternity, but eventually a soothing voice picked up on the other end. Cassandra was fine. Nettie was relieved.
One down, one to go.
Cassandra rushed over to Nettie's house and the pair tried to get ahold of Miranda, Nettie's youngest daughter and Cassandra's only sister.
“We called and called and called and called her phone, with no answer,” Nettie said. “We were worried, trying to figure out what to do. So we called Shelley (Budke), and Shelley told us what's going on.”
On Nov. 17, 2011, Miranda Serna was one of four people who died in a single-engine plane crash in the Arkansas hills, along with Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and OSU donors Olin and Paula Branstetter.
Miranda was an assistant coach at OSU, considered a rising star in the women's basketball community and thought of as a tireless worker and big-time recruiter.
Back home in Mora, N.M., she was wildly popular through her community work and charismatic personality.
“We were all devastated,” Nettie said. “She touched so many lives and impacted so many people.”
So Nettie, along with her 11 siblings and other family members, took the eight-hour drive to Stillwater, as a show of support for Miranda.
They attended the prayer readings and memorial service in Gallagher-Iba Arena, fighting back tears for the duration of their stay.
“Then we went home for Thanksgiving and Miranda came home with us,” Nettie said. “And we had the funeral on Saturday.”
But one week of mourning couldn't lift Nettie's unbearable heartache. Not even a lifetime could.
Nettie had lost a daughter and best friend, the little girl she raised into a woman nearing the pinnacle of her profession. And she needed time alone, to digest the tragic news and expedite the healing process.
So one day after that emotional Saturday funeral, Nettie was back in her car, driving the eight-hour trek back to Stillwater.
And for more than a month, from late November into early January, she stayed in Miranda's Stillwater home, by herself, only leaving for necessary errands and occasional Cowgirl basketball games.
“I needed to be over there, by myself, at her house,” Nettie said. “Every moment that I felt weak or felt upset or whatever, being Catholic and practicing my faith. Any moment where I felt that, there was a coin, a medal, all over Miranda's house. And it said, ‘In God we trust.' And I would get back to normal.”
The healing process isn't over — it never will be — but that soothing month in her daughter's home has put Nettie at ease, allowing her to accept what happened.
And nearing the one-year anniversary of the crash, Nettie remains a strong figure around the Mora community, appearing at events honoring and remembering her daughter.
“Yes, I cry. But when people see me, they need to see strength,” Nettie said. “It's been hard, it has been hard. But because of her memories, we are able, I am able, to heal. Visiting her house, even going to the crash site in Arkansas, it was peaceful. Very peaceful.”