Stairway through sunflowers


Maria lived less than 7 years,

she got brain cancer,

(2000 – 2007).

She lived in Avon Lake, Ohio.

Her memorial is “a sea of sunflowers.”

You may see them located between 

Jaycox Road and 83, along I-90.

On the west side of Cleveland. . .

It says, “Planting Hope for Maria,”

who died due to children’s rare

 brain cancer disease.

2 million sunflowers grow in

a spectacular display,

which is on 50 acres.

~ “Maria’s Field of Hope” ~

The donations go to

 Brain Cancer research.

There are a few parts:

bridges in the field,

tags with names and

Handwritten Love Notes.

By sharing my own

seven year old grandson,

standing amidst the sunflowers,

 the same age as Maria, it may

impact your emotions, as well

 as demonstrate a huge undertaking.

We donated for the sunflower

 seeds, we listened to the band,

Georgia, warming up and here is

the painting where children sick

with cancer are memorialized.

(Not my brother Randy’s artwork).

Part one of three photographs. . .

“Love and Mercy,”

Thankfulness and gratitude.

We are blessed, yet others were

filling out sunflower sheets,

with names of those gone already,

far too soon in most cases.

Children’s names tied

to sunflower stems. . .

“Tears from Heaven.”


Thank you, dear

Eric Clapton

and Brian Wilson.

*  ~ ❀ ~  *


63 responses »

  1. It is always good when something beautiful and hopeful can come from a tragedy. Thank you for sharing.
    I have friends who have had children die–I can’t imagine.
    I love sunflowers, and somehow they seem perfect for such a memorial. Perhaps it’s the way they follow the sun. It’s hopeful.

    • Merril, thanks for such beautiful words to express the positive outcome from the loss of a child.
      I cannot imagine this horrible occurrence either. Sunflowers just seem to bring many smiles from their bright and cheery appearance. I like the addition of hope from their sunny flower rays.

    • Thank you for the word, Peace. It is indeed a beautiful memorial where so many people find comfort.
      Wait till you see the huge acreage brimming with golden flowers, Juan!

    • Sunflowers are indeed fading from frost here but this is not like Facebook, current to the date.
      I was busy when I went to see this, had a heavy 50 hour work week, so that flower field may or may not be as brilliant. While Columbus is in 50’s at 10:00 am (Saturday), Cleveland has reached 65! Lake effects. . .
      Thanks for asking for clarification, Juan. πŸ™‚

    • Sunflower are so cheerful and bright, Dan! This whole field, when you see it, is amazing.
      I wanted to share the details first and then post two more, allowing Maria’s field to shine light into the darkest part of life, a death of a child. I cannot imagine going through this pain but the memorial does seem to ease it. We were witnesses to how it did help those who had gone through the experience.

      • There’s a huge sunflower field, most years, over near were my daughter lives. I have some pictures of just endless rows of flowers and it’s amazing to see.

      • Oh, so glad you have a field where you can see rows of sunflowers, Dan. Thanks for letting me know and I really am happy you get to see this as you call it “amazing” sight!

    • Holly, this is so true. It really does “put things in perspective.” I was feeling “down” this morning. Then I looked at this post, along with the next two, and it made me feel humbled. Thank you for the beautiful way you expressed this. ❀

    • Thank you, Inese. Your prayers mean the world to me. xo
      Tomorrow and the next day you will see the sunflowers. Come back for my 7 year old Micah, too. He had such a big heart and wanted us to read names of people until we said we had to get back to my Mom’s apt to eat dinner.

      • Sweet boy, he has a kind heart indeed. I saw some sunflower carvings on the altar in Mount Melleray Abbey and asked a monk about the symbolism, so he explained me about the sun and sunflowers that they represent the Christ.

    • I am grateful for your adding the comment about sunflowers and the carvings you saw in an Abbey. It makes sense the color and light radiating outward would represent Christ. Thanks for sharing this lovely message from a monk you met there. ❀

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a little girl. I see these acts of compassion and kindness for others and it gives me faith in human kindness and hope for the future. Thanks for the lovely post, Robin ❀

    • This is a wonderful way of viewing humanity in gathering together showing as you said “compassion and kindness,” Diana. This field in remembrance of children, as well as any age. raises money and comforts visitors with bright sunflowers. It does reinforce our belief in goodness! ❀

    • It is something amazing to see. I could hardly not cry, when I saw both the beauty (happy weeping) and so many specific names of young people, children and all ages. Sunflowers are tremendous mood lifters I agree, Jill. πŸ™‚

  3. RIP sweet Maria. So sad. But this is beautiful. And sunflowers are a wonderful way to reflect on the wonders of our world, which is a way of giving thanks for little children like Maria.

  4. Robin, such a touching memorial – I hadn’t read this post before the one today so didn’t realise it was for Children with brain cancer. My son’s friend died suddenly of a brain tumour four years ago – diagnosed on the Monday, passed away on Friday. It was a terrible shock and I still often think of Arran, his love of music, football…

    • Annika, thank you for sharing about dear Arran. My heart goes out to your son, Arran’s family and you. I had a few young students in my preschool pass away from disabilities and health complications. It is so devastating when there are children who die, especially ones you have known and loved. ❀

  5. What a deeply moving and touching piece and what a wonderful place to take your Grandson. Thank you for sharing this. It has sliced my heart and yet lifted it too. ❀️

    • Fiona, believe me, it would be hard not to get teary eyed. So many tags with hand written notes, Micah wandering for about 40 minutes, taking it all in. It does “slice your life” and also gives you a sense of the family’s peace coming to rest. ❀

  6. I can think of nothing as heart-wrenching as the premature death of a child. The mural and your story are fine tributes to the loss we experience with the passing of a loved one, especially a child. – Mike

    • This would be a very sad post should we have met the girl. Having children and greandchildren it touches “home” extra hard. Thank you for the depth of your comments, Mike. I hope you and Florence are well. I noticed a gap since we had “visited” together. ❀

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