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The days drug on that week

Would Friday ever come?

I would spend the night with her

When the school week was done. 

Each day at school we talked about all the fun we would share

All the memories we would make,

What we would do on a dare. 

Friday finally came

The day was finally here 

It was the middle of April 

I remember that quite clear

When her dad arrived at school that day my friend asked, “Well?”

Her dad responded, “You know how it is. This week is always hell. “

I looked at my friend puzzled.

What on earth was she hiding?

But I saw the tears welling in her eyes and in me she began confiding. 

She said, “I had a sister once one I never knew. I have only heard stories of her because pictures are very few. “

She said,” Have you ever heard the name Timothy McVeigh?  

Did anyone ever tell you about the Murrah Building being blown away?”

My eyes widened as I asked, “What does that have to do with you?  How did he hurt your sister?  What exactly did he do?”

And so my friend continued

Her story that brought my pity

She told me all about

The bombing in Oklahoma City

She told me where her mother worked

And how it was ten blocks away

But the Murrah Building had childcare, a place for her baby to stay.

She said her mother told of how her own building shook

How they thought it was thought it was thunder and ran to the window for a look.

The skies outside were clear

There wasn’t a cloud in sight

But when a puff of smoke rose through the air

They knew something wasn’t right.

Her mother wasn’t worried yet

Construction was nothing new

But as she looked out at the sky

Black smoke covered the blue.

A co-worker came and told her

Their own building was being cleared

A bombing had just occurred

It was terrorists they feared.

Her mother ran ten blocks

To find her little one

But as she arrived at the mangled mess

All hope she had was gone.

Her mother waited there and prayed

She asked anyone who cared

She explained her daughter was inside

She told them she would be scared.

Then out of the rubble and debris

A hero stood so bold

A firefighter cradling her baby girl

Whose story would never unfold.

The worst domestic attack they said

168 had died

But none of those facts mattered to her

Those weren’t the tears she cried.

An amateur photo was taken

Baylee was memorialized 

The firefighter and the baby

Had won a Pulitzer Prize.

But her mother wanted more

Her daughter was not that day

How could she let America know

The day before was Baylee’s birthday?

Her precious girl was so much more

A baby learning to walk

A smile that could light up the room

 A child learning to talk.

As we pulled into the driveway

Her father said to me,

“You see Taryn every year we won’t forget Baylee.”

That night I was included

In something more than me

I helped the family packaged the seeds

That soon became Baylee’s tree.



  1. Happy Birthday Sweet Angel Baylee!
    What an incredible story, witnessed through the eyes of an innocent child, never to be forgotten! I cannot begin put into words how deeply touched I am by Taryn’s poem. So many thoughts running through my mind and tears down my face! I’m sure we all remember that horrible day and the picture of precious Baylee in the firefighter’s arms, an impression on our minds forever! Taryn thank you for choosing to share your heart and your experience in this poem. What a gift! You found a beautiful way to honor the family and keep your memories alive for others to know! Little Baylee will continue to touch many hearts through your words from those special moments you shared with her family. I am so very proud of you Taryn and kudos to you Michelle and Chris for raising such an amazing daughter.
    Like they say, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!”

    ****Sending Baylee Birthday Blessings and prayers to the family!
    Now how can I help fill our world with "Baylee's Trees?"


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