The Sunflower Boy

7-year-old Wyatt Wilke was looking forward to entering his best sunflower in a competition at the Sunflower Fair in La Porte, Indiana.
"He loved growing his sunflowers," said his mother, Cathleen Wilke. "Every year we talked about coming into La Porte for the Sunflower Fair, but we never got around to it. Wyatt really wanted to be part of the contest."

That's what they had planned -- a day at the fair, to enter his sunflower. He was a healthy, constantly laughing boy -- he loved school, where he was in the second grade, he loved horses, he loved his big brother John, with whom he shared a bedroom. The Wilkes lived in the tiny town of Hamlet, about 15 minutes from La Porte; Wyatt would look out the back window, watching for blue jays and cardinals.

"He planted his sunflowers in our garden," Cathleen Wilke said. "He was so careful with them. A few weeks before the fair, there was a heavy windstorm that knocked his biggest sunflower over. He called to me: 'Mom, it's on the ground -- my flower, it's down.' He was afraid it was ruined. But he managed to save it."

But a bacterial infection struck Wyatt and he died in just a few days. His stunned parents realized the fair had started the same day he died and took Wyatt's sunflower to the competition, just as he had planned. They had never been to the Sunflower Fair before.
They waited together as all the categories were judged. No one around them had any idea.

And then, through the loudspeaker system at the fair, the winner of his category was announced:

"First place. . .Wyatt Wilke."

There is more to the story, but you’d better have your handkerchief ready if you go read it. Link -via Fark

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