Sharon Furr got up before the sun Wednesday at her Chester County farm and took care of her cows for the first time in two weeks.
Then she took care of her parents, who lost a daughter and a granddaughter in a horrible car crash.
The last two weeks had been so difficult, so hard for this family in trips back and forth to a Charlotte courthouse for the trial of a driver whose car smashed into Sharon's sister's car and killed both the sister and the sister's 2-year-old daughter.
The trial, finally, ended Tuesday.
Thirteen-year-old Hunter Holt from Clover, was a passenger in the speeding car that smashed into Cynthia Furr and her 2-year-old daughter, McAllister. Holt also died.
Furr sat next to Holt's two sisters each day during the trial, trying to be a big sister to them, too.
"All of us were united by sorrow," Furr said. "They are a humble, generous, gracious family. The girls are heartbroken, a lot like our family."
The verdict of involuntary manslaughter - not the murder conviction prosecutors had sought - and the sentence of about 4 1/2 years imposed on Tyler Stasko eases no pain. None, at all.
Hunter Holt never saw age 14. McAllister Price never saw 3.
Cynthia Furr never saw another Winthrop student, longing to learn, eyes wide with wonder at the literature she told teenagers and young adults was a key to unlocking a door into a life without limits. She never saw her sister Sharon, or parents, Joe and Jean, again on that farm where the dreams sprung from the ground like oats and sunflowers.
"Nothing will bring back the loves of our lives," Sharon Furr said, before trudging out to tend to those cows. "The sentence - no, not enough. Nothing brings them back."
The sentence of four-plus years for three lives hurt so many who ever knew Cynthia Furr.
"From my perspective, the verdict of 'involuntary manslaughter' is too light," said Steven Case, Furr's former student at Winthrop. "But I know that Dr. Furr was a believer in second chances, so maybe this kid will turn his life around and contribute something to society.
"I find it difficult to put into words what (Furr) meant to me, but I wouldn't be where I am if it hadn't been for her. She was a very hard professor, but I learned so much from her. She was a ball of fire, and there's really no other way to put that. When she came into a room, she radiated energy - it was palpable. She was brilliant.
"She could take any situation and make it a 'teachable moment.' And she was so devoted to her family and to God."
Those who knew and loved Furr refuse to let her legacy be courtrooms and pictures of a crash scene and bodies mangled so badly that jurors saw photos kept in sealed envelopes.
After Cynthia Furr and her daughter died in April 2009 in that horrible crash, two scholarships were set up.
Sharon Furr and her family set up the CindyMackie Foundation to award scholarships/grants each year to students in English and the arts. The deadline is Dec. 30 for this year's recipients.
"It is not too late for this year, and never too late in the years that will follow," Sharon Furr said.
Winthrop, where Cynthia Furr began teaching in 2002 after years teaching in high school, started a scholarship for an English student who wanted to go into teaching. This year, the second year of the scholarship, a student named Stephanie Bartlett received $1,000 toward her tuition.
Bartlett, now a senior, didn't show up at Winthrop as a freshman wanting to become an English teacher. She wanted to be a veterinarian. But she was assigned Writing 101, Professor Furr, her first day on campus as a wide-eyed 18-year-old from a working class family just like the Furr family.
Her life was changed forever by that professor who loved the written word and the British masters. Bartlett was in Furr's higher-level class in April 2009 that awful day that Furr died.
Bartlett finished up her student teaching this week, and will graduate in May. She will get a master's degree, and she might just do both teaching and veterinary science. Her life's path, at least in part, was paved and cleared by Cynthia Furr, teacher of English.
"Professor Furr inspired me to live life, to go out and spread the joys of life through teaching English, just as she did with students just like me," Bartlett said Wednesday. "Her legacy is the lives she touched while she was alive. My life is one of them."
"Cindy Furr was an inspiration to people," said John Bird, professor with the English department at Winthrop. His friend and her daughter and a 13-year-old kid were killed in a crash that sent another young man to prison and might send the other driver, a woman, to prison, too.
Death hurt Bird in his bones.
Court trials are supposed to be the end, yet it is clear that the trial that ended late Tuesday is just the beginning.
The cows need tending, said Sharon Furr. The students need teaching.
Herald reporter Nicole Smith contributed.
Want to help?
CindyMackie Foundation - The Furr family scholarships are open to students in York, Chester, and Lancaster counties. For details and donation information, go to cindymackiefoundation.org, or call 803-385-6958.
Cindy Furr and Mackie Furr-Price Scholarship - For information on the Winthrop scholarship, write to the Winthrop University Foundation, c/o Cindy Furr and Mackie Furr-Price Scholarship Fund, Winthrop University, Sykes House, 638 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, S.C. 29733; call 803-323-2229 or 803-323-2150; or go to winthropalumni.com.