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Flowers for Layla

March 9, 2010

Mothers all over America are holding their little ones closer tonight.

We’re rocking our babies to sleep even though they’ve been falling asleep on their own for weeks. We’re giving bedtime bottles that we’d practically succeeded in phasing out. We’re skipping tooth brushing altogether, giving extra cookies and pushing bedtime back for an extra half hour of play time.

Because today we’ve been reminded of how fleeting it is. Everyone always tells you that baby and toddler hood flies by, and it does. But some people don’t get their babies as long as they’re supposed to.

For those of you who haven’t heard Layla Grace’s story, you could read it at if the site hadn’t crashed for the second or third time in a week. I’ll try to recount the bones of it. Layla Grace was perfectly healthy at her 15 month Well Baby appointment. A few months later she was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Neuroblastoma (a massive cancerous tumor) in her abdominal cavity. She underwent aggressive and incredibly difficult treatment for months and months which was ultimately unsuccessful. Layla Grace has been dying at home with her parents for the last several weeks and she finally passed this morning. She was 2 years old.

Her family has spent those weeks praying daily for a miracle and asking anyone they could find to pray with them. They never expected it to take so long or to be so painful (she was unable to tolerate strong pain medications). On their blog her Father referred to the drawn out process as “horrific”, begging God, “Not like this”.

Tonight I am joyful for the tiny girl who was in so much pain for such a long time, but isn’t anymore. I pray that she truly rests in peace. I am heartbroken for her parents and two older sisters. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through what they’ve been through, or what they’re facing now; life without her.

I’ve been following their blog and sporadic tweets over the last several weeks. Their Twitter handle, @LaylaGrace now has over 44,000 followers. The Facebook group page has over 7,000 members. There are a lot of charities who want to offer to take my money off my hands so that they can help other children fight her disease. I’m waiting until Layla Grace’s parents weigh in before I send anybody any cash.

In the meantime, my friend Mandy over at Harpers Happenings has a lot of good ideas and today she had a very sweet one. Flowers For Layla.

Flowers For Layla won’t save any lives. It won’t raise any money, it won’t fund any research. I could say we’re doing it because Layla loved flowers (although in a lot of her photos she’s wearing really cute headbands with big fluffy flowers on them) but I have no idea if that’s true or not. I could say we’re doing it to spread awareness, but I doubt our flowers would hold a candle to the interview her Mother did on Ryan Seacrest’s Radio Show last week for just that purpose.

We’re planting flowers because a little girl died. And it’s really sad. And flowers are pretty.

We’d love it if you’d plant some too, and think of the special ones in your life who are fighting their own medical monsters. If it’s too early to plant outdoors where you are, consider potting a bulb indoors for transplant once Spring more fully arrives for you.

Hosted by

If you have a blog or website and you’d like a button, feel free to take one. There are instructions for how to do that over at Mandy’s original post and it’s really easy.

I’ll be watching my daughter sleep if anyone needs me.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. thenextmartha permalink
    March 9, 2010 10:02 pm

    Great idea. You don’t have to force me to plant flowers!

  2. Kristen permalink
    March 9, 2010 10:05 pm

    Believe me, everything changes just. like. that. Hug your babies tight.

    • March 9, 2010 10:17 pm

      Hi Kristen. I know that you of all people know what crazy really is. Thanks for stopping by, you guys are in our prayers all the time.

  3. March 9, 2010 10:22 pm

    So heartbroken for Layla’s family. The planting project is a beautiful memorial for a beautiful little girl. I’ve held my baby even tighter today…

  4. March 9, 2010 10:41 pm

    Thats is a sweet idea..I am heartbroken my girl is two and i can’t imagine my life without her.

  5. March 11, 2010 10:30 am

    Beautiful post, Mae. I did exactly what you said we were all doing Tuesday night.

  6. March 14, 2010 10:56 am

    As soon as the ground thaws, I will plant flowers for Layla. I can’t wait. Her story touched me, and I too am so glad she isn’t suffering anymore but I feel SO heartbroken for her parents.

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