In lieu of flowers
I still don't really feel like her passing has sunk in. In school I was feeling sad. I decided to write a poem for winter even though I have tried writing a poem I never could get the hang of it. I don't know what happened but the words just came to me. I want to share it with everyone in hope to heal some broken hearts and bring comfort to all grieving for winter. I named the poem "Tweet" After Winters nickname tweety bird. Love you my friend.
Chips that fill the air, Tweety bird are you there
Your sweet sound in the air, give me comfort anywhere
But that one day when the chirping stopped my heart began to drop
Time came to a halt as my world tore apart
As my life took a tole, I fell down a rabbit hole
The dolphin, just like me, came down and rescued me
Broken that I was you came and made me one
As your birthday nears even though you're not here
I celebrate and keep you close because you’re the one who matters most
In heaven I know you are, flying with your well-earned wings
Still, you left behind something
The hearts you made, the lives you’ve changed
Your legacy shall live on for no one is truly gone
For still I hear your chirping sounds, reminding me you're always around.
In lieu of flowers
When I was about 7, my dad showed me Dolphin Tale and would pull up on the internet the live webcams of Winter. I sit there and watch her for hours! The following year I went to go see Winter and Hope in person at CMA and let me tell you, when I looked into her eyes, you could see the kindness and understanding in them. She made an impact on me and to this day I will never forget her. Now, I'm 15 years old and just rewatched the Dolphin Tale movies and got to wondering what Winter was up to. I looked on the webcams and I couldn't find her in the pools like I typically could. Then, I typed in her name at the search bar at the top of the website, and there was a headline that said "Remembering Winter: 2005-2021". When I read that, my heart broke. I love Winter. She was a true inspiration to all. One day, my kids won't meet Winter like I got to, but I will make sure they know her as the inspiration she truly was and how great of a legacy is that. To be an inspiration.
Taylor G. Shepherd, Houston, Texas
What I learned from Winter is to never give up on things, even when there’s a challenge ahead. Since I have Plantar Fasciitis in my left heel, it’s hard to walk and/or run. But I had her inspiration and I took that inspiration and smacked it in pain’s face saying I can win this Long Jump, I can win that race, I CAN DO IT! And with the help of Winter the Dolphin, I WILL SUCCEED!! And I did. I won first place again for the Standing Long Jump (6’3) and 2nd place for the 50 meter dash with 8 seconds on the spot. But kinda lost the 4 by 100 run, for one of our teammates decided to skip sleep and be a slow runner and when I ran as fast as I could, I could feel my legs tripping, but I still kept going.
Btw I don’t run like a normal human being, the running technique I have is what I call a Gallop, you know, like a horse. I can do other gaits too. But that’s another story for another day.
Anyways, Winter inspired me to just ignore the pain and smack it in the face