Mom Posts a Heart-Wrenching Photo of Her Empty Doorstep On the First Day of School

It’s the week after Labor Day, and for most parents, that means kids dressed in their favorite outfit or school uniform, posing for photos on the front porch before they head off for their first day. But for Lindsay Rhoades of Herndon, Virginia, this week marked a motherhood milestone that she would never see: her daughter Kate’s first day of kindergarten. Kate fought acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and passed away on January 12, 2016, when she was just four.

Photo: Facebook/Prayers for Kate

Just an hour after Kate passed away last January, her mom sat down and penned this amazing, powerful letter to her sweet daughter. As I watched Lindsay read the letter to her daughter whom she can no longer see, touch, hug, or dream dreams for, tears poured down my face. As a mother, I can only imagine the anguish—but I DO understand what she’s lost, because I have kids of my own. I pray you’ll take just a few minutes to watch it, to hear Lindsay’s powerful words and to remember her beautiful girl.

Our dearest darling, Kate by Lindsay RhoadesPlease watch and share this very touching and powerful expression of a mother’s love for her daughter. An hour after 4-year-old Kate Rhoades passed away from cancer her mom Lindsay sat in her bed and wrote this very poignant letter. Lindsay read the letter at Kate’s memorial service which was standing room only. In an effort to share Kate’s story with even more people, she agreed to read the letter again from the same spot that she wrote it a few short weeks ago. Thank you to Lindsay White Rhoades and her husband Mike for allowing us this opportunity to honor Kate and continue her legacy.

Posted by TheTruth365 on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Earlier this week, in Kate’s memory, Lindsay posted this poignant photo of her empty front porch on the first day of school to the Prayers for Kate Facebook page she had set up during Kate’s cancer battle:

She said:

The day after Labor Day means the unofficial start of fall and here, in our county, it marks the first day of school. Kate should be starting kindergarten today. She should have been dropped off this morning with a new backpack full of supplies a cute new outfit on…and a bow in her hair. There should be a first day photo of her proudly smiling on our front porch. A classroom with a teacher excited to learn more about her. A desk with her name.

Childhood cancer took that right away from my little girl. It stole the opportunity of a lifetime of learning, starting right here, today. In a classroom at Dranseville Elementary School with new friends, new books, new people and new hope.
Instead of dropping her off and worrying about her all day, I visited her at the cemetery and miss her beautiful face.
This is childhood cancer. This is my life.
#childhoodcancerawarenessmonth #gogld #morethanfour #untilchildhoodcancerisextinct

Posted by Prayers for Kate on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Lindsay Rhoades told ABC News that she posted the photo to bring attention to September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and because she wants others to see what childhood cancer leaves behind.

“I want people to see my reality,” Rhoades she said. “Kate was robbed of those milestones because of cancer. There’s an entire elementary school of people who will never be blessed to know her.”

Photo: Screen shot, The Truth 365

Rhoades also says that the government has failed children with cancer when it comes to funding research. She says she made a vow to her daughter to change that. The Rhoades hope that you will be inspired by Kate’s story and give to either St. Baldrick’s or Alex’s Lemonade Stand to fund research to knock out childhood cancer.

“I promised her I was going to raise hell,” Rhoades said. “And if one child is saved because of my little girl, I know I’ll hear her say to me, ‘Mommy, I’m proud of you.'”

After watching you read that letter and seeing your back-to-school post, Mrs. Rhoades, I have no doubt that you, and Kate’s legacy, are going to make a HUGE difference. And I KNOW she is proud of you!

Prayers for the Rhoades family — and for an end to childhood cancer.


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.