This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Diana Herrera who was born in New York on June 19, 1974 and passed away on November 12, 2004 at the age of 30. We will remember her forever.
Vanessa was special from the start. Her Gemini sign says that she should have had two personalities but Vanessa was not complicated she was easy to love. A loving daughter, a great sister, devoted wife, a tender mother and a loyal friend. Everything she did she did with dedication no matter how big or small the task. From playing with her many cousins to the start up of any project at work. Growing up she never gave her parents a problem. She loved her parents and was definitely a “daddy’s girl”.She knew how to get him to move mountains for her but never took advantage of it. As a child she did not want for friends she was surrounded by cousins, we all lived in the same building so you had no choice but to play with them. Her cousins were her first best friends. Nancy & Alexandra were the ones who helped put on shows of Menudo and were her partners in crime. She had many friends from the building, two have been there all of her life, Susan and Jackie, they’ve been there from the tumbles of growing up to the joys of marriage and motherhood. Our parents would only allow for her to go out at night with Alex, little did they know that Alex and Jenni were taking her to places mom and dad would not approve. She always talked about that, how she did not have to worry about anything because she was with her big brother. She loved her big brother and would always tell me that he was the best big brother in the world. I would counter that with he’s the best little brother. We then decided to call him the best big/little brother in the world. She did not consider Jenni a sister-in-law but a sister and would often take Jenni’s side, she appreciated the special relationship that Jenni had formed with her daughters and during her time in the hospital she would thank God always for having Jenni around for the girls. We were so happy when we found out that Matthew was coming, imagine the first boy in a family full of girls. She gave Matthew his first toy, an angel to watch over him; maybe it was a way of telling us that she would watch after him until he was here with us. As a teen we could not understand why she loved to take trips to Ecuador then we found out that she had found true love there. Erwin was her first love and boy did she bring up the telephone bills from the time she met him. Our parents would fume over the bills but she found a way to pay them off, she offered her baby-sitting services for Ashley and Stephanie, she was a very expensive babysitter, but it did not matter she was my little sister. The day she married Erwin was the happiest day of her life, they had beaten the distance between them and love had conquered it all. She always said that Erwin, besides being her husband was her friend, that she was able to share with him everything from their love of sports, especially baseball and especially the YANKEES to their love of staying home with the kids. When they bought their house they were the happiest, they were able to give their girls all they had not had and more. Their house was a home filled with love, laughter and warmth. Speaking of the YANKEES she had a constant battle with Junior about the METS. It was funny just to see them try to get to each other, but it was funnier when she would win the battle. Her kids were everything to her, she taught them to be loving, respectful kids. She believed in being their friend but also taught them to respect their parents. She took pride in teaching them. Andy was able to write her name before she was four. Amanda at a young age knew right from wrong and is an excellent student because of her mother’s prodding to excel in everything you do. Her love extended to her nieces, they both loved to talk to her as a friend. When Ashley was small she would cry to go to her and growing up she would often say that her aunt Vanessa was the best in the world. Don’t think that she was a pushover she knew how to give advice without them realizing she was lecturing them. She accomplished many things at work. She headed the start-up of a project called the COE for the Northeast units. She was quick to learn, took pride in her work and was loved by all her bosses. As a friend she was loyal without phoniness. Her loyalty with co-workers made friends that although they no longer worked together still considered her a friend. There are many memories from our life at work. The jokes we played on Joe, the many Christmas parties with the 146 gang, our agreement that Tony was the best person to call if we should ever get on “Who wants to be a millionaire”, the fun we had with Jorge and his silly car and girlfriend stories, our now infamous rendition of YMCA with Kerrie. The chocolate milk and donut Fridays, the food that Franklyn bought us made by his mother, the eating pizza everyday when she was pregnant with Andrea. New Year's was a tradition to have at our parent's house. It meant that the whole family would be together, that there would be a lot of dancing and fun. And no New Year's party would be complete without dancing the San Juanito. She would be really happy when Alex would not have to work for New Year's because then it would mean that the three of us would be able to have fun together. She was always game for anything; the year we did Karaoke she was the first one to do so. On August 28, 2003 life was not the same. For us there was life before cancer and then life with cancer. The day we found out Vanessa had cancer we met at our parents house to give Dad the news. When we called Vanessa to let her know we were on our way to her house she told me that "she did not want anyone crying in her house, that no one had died". Here was the woman who as a little girl was scared of bugs and would sleep with the TV on because she was scared of the dark, showing us just how brave she was. She faced cancer with strength, dignity and faith. She would smile at every nurse and doctor that would come in the room even if it was to poke her yet again for another test or to give her an update, even when it wasn't good news. Many of times she would help us keep our spirits up - imagine her showing us how to have courage when it should have been the other way around. She would often say that cancer had shown her to be strong, had bought her closer to God, and made her realize how much her family loves her. It had not beaten her and it won't because no matter what the outcome she had realized that she had true blessings. We would thank her for not giving into fear and she would say, "I can't, I have two reasons to fight with everything I got", those reasons were Amanda and Andrea. And she fought to the end for those girls and did it with grace. A couple of weeks before she passed, Alex and I were talking with her and we were telling her how this had changed us. How we try to be better people and how we have realized that family is everything. I don’t think it was the cancer that changed us but the way my little sister had faced cancer. We had learned so much from our little sister, lessons that we’ll never forget, lessons that will help us face the future with the same grace, courage, dignity and faith that she had. She was so loved by God that he took her peacefully into his loving arms. Although her time with us was all too brief the memories and lessons she left behind will last until we meet again little sister to have the pizza and soda we loved so much.
Mom / Amanda Herrera (Daughter)
Since this is more of a celebration of my mothers life, I’d like to start out by saying that I am the person I am today because of her. Although I was really young when we lost her, I learned so much from her from the short time we had. Her strength ...
For Momma / Andrea Herrera (Daughter)
Hello. I apologize in advance for how utterly terrible I am at public speaking, but this is such an important occasion that I'm willing to come up and stutter and embarrass myself for it. Anyways, as you all probably know, I only got to spend four ye...
hello love / Andie Herrera (Daughter)
hi mama! Another year goes on today and it's gotten a little easier I guess but I still miss you terribly. I went to visit you today with the family and just sat by you. It was very cold but I felt comforted seeing little flowers sprouting out right ...
!!!!! / Andie Herrera (Daughter)
hello momma! i haven't been on this site for a while, but now that i'm here i feel all sorts of emotions. mostly pride. i take a lot of pride in being your daughter, you know. you were just on my mind, and i ended up here. i was young when you went t...
Just saying Hello / Stephanie Oquendo (Niece)
Sometimes I sit and regret not being there enough. You were such a great person and I was fortunate to be able to call you Tia. Even though I am terrible at it I try very hard to be like you. I have always wanted to be like my Tia. Such a strong, fa...