For the past month or so, I've been following the story of a sweet little 2-year-old girl from my hometown. Layla Grace was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a common childhood cancer. I don't know the family, but I followed Layla's story on Facebook and had her in my prayers and thoughts everyday. In fact, Layla managed to gather a rather large following and had a huge prayer circle formed for her. Countless local restaurants and businesses donated portions of their sales to help her family out with the medical fund, and many people have donated on her website laylagrace.org.
On Tuesday, it was announced that she had joined the angels in heaven, and my heart sank. All I could think of was that I wanted to go home, hug my kids and say "I Love You!" I know more than a few tears were shed across the city as the passing of Layla was announced. I can't imagine the grief her parents and family are going through. No parent should ever have to bury their child! Her parents and family are now in my prayers as they go through the grieving process.
As I was walking the greenhouses at work, I came across this white Angel Trumpet and couldn't help but think of Layla, who must be singing and playing to her hearts content with the angels in heaven! I've always loved this plant for its trumpet shaped blooms that hang down from a 7-8 ft canopy. They have a sweet scent that fills the air around them that can only properly be described as heavenly. While I can't just rename a plant, I'll always think of Layla Grace when I see this plant. A gentle reminder to cherish every moment, love openly and freely, and to never give up hope!
Rest in Peace sweet baby girl! Your work here on earth is done.