What is it about the human condition that makes us so vulnerable? So willing to believe or hope or feel something that is really so abstract? As you have read I have been following the story of Layla Grace the past few weeks and since I discovered her website I have been hooked. Not because I like to cry or need to know about the awful cancer she has (neuroblastoma) but something deep inside me poked at my brain and heart everyday and I had to check the Twitter feed or blog to see if there was new news. I tried to "forget" I had ever found the website but I found myself thinking about her and her family all the time. I have known several people that have had cancer and subsequently died and as awful as it was I was able to make some sense of it. I guess because all the people I know that have died because of cancer have been adults.
As I sat at my desk working on Wednesday and I checked Twitter late in the afternoon there was finally an update from Layla Grace. It said she had "gone to play with the angels early that morning." My heart sank and rejoyced at the same time. I was suddenly very distracted from my work-deeply sad that this little girl had not overcome her demons and she left behind her two sisters and parents and a world full of supporters. Glad that she was no longer in pain and her parents didn't have to see her in pain any more.
Her life will be celebrated this Saturday. I know a lot of her followers will go by the wayside and the family will be left to deal with their grief in private. I think I will always think back on Layla Grace. Her story has moved me so much. I hug Sophie a little tighter, let her play a little longer and try not to let the little things get in the way. I made a gift to St. Jude today as part of the WMZQ/Country Cares St. Jude Radiothon and a gift to LaylaGrace.org. Hopefully one day I won't get wound up in such a sad story because there won't be a sad story to tell.
Have fun playing with the angels Layla Grace.