A Florida mother of a newborn baby who died just five days after birth has come up with an inventive idea to help keep the memory of her son alive — especially for his big brother.
Ryan Michael Jolley died in October 2013, leaving a hole in the hearts of mom Ashlee Hammac and her 3-year-old son Tucker. Little Tucker got to meet the baby in the hospital but never got a chance to play with his little brother. Until now.
As Hammac considered how to do Ryan’s gravestone, she came up with the idea of putting ina little sandbox. That way, when Tucker and family visit the grave to remember Ryan, he can “play” with his little brother.
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“He always goes out there with me, and sits out there, and sings lullabies, and talks to him just like he was there,” Hammac told People Magazine. “So I wanted it to be special for him too.”
Hammac’s story went viral after she posted a photo of Tucker and Ryan’s sandbox on Facebook. She now honors her late son’s memory through Pages to Memories, a non-profit that donates books and blankets to hospitals so families can connect with their ailing newborns.
Despite his short life, Ryan made a lasting impact on the world. His little heart was donated to save the life of another baby.