This is Lynne Dale, Summer’s mom. As an administrator of the Team Summer Facebook page, I get to see the number of people who click on or see every post. For example, the one that started “Never doubt the power of the human heart,” was seen by 3,378 people. Another entitled “Surgery is over!”, 5200 people. Mind-boggling numbers.

But the tally on one post stopped me in my tracks. It was entitled, “Please say a prayer for Summer.” It was seen by 17,063 people. Easily 10 times that of an average post. I was fascinated by this. Why that post?

Then last week, a work colleague, who told me she prays for Summer every night, actually sent me her prayer. Wrote the whole thing out. Exactly as she says it either out loud or silently (I don’t know which). The prayer did not use the words I would, or even the thoughts, necessarily, but the intensity and sincerity of it floored me. I was so moved that she had written it all down, and humbled that she would take the time to pray for my daughter.

Then the next day, before I could write her back, she wrote me another email apologizing for the first. She said she was afraid that she had overstepped her bounds. I wrote back to her immediately, assuring her that I had been very touched by her email and had read it twice.

But I understood her fear. People can be as polarized about their religion as they can their politics. How could she know how I would react to her email, or if I had found something in it to offend me? What I did think was that she was incredibly brave to speak from the heart like that. How could I be offended by honesty and love?

So these two things – the 17,063 people reading a blog entitled “Please say a prayer for Summer” and the actual prayer for Summer a colleague sent – got me thinking. Countless people have told me they pray for Summer every day. What do they say? What are these prayers? Many of my friends who do not pray have told me that they are sending us good thoughts. What are the good thoughts? However you voice your care and love for Summer, through a belief in God, in nature, in human nature, in science, in love, in whatever, I would love to hear.

Please understand that I’m not asking you to post responses, and I will delete public posts that respond to this request. The last thing I want is for or Team Summer Facebook page to become a place where people proselytize or make people of different faiths or no faith feel uncomfortable. This is a private request made by me only. Not Summer’s family or even Summer herself. Me.

So if you would feel comfortable sharing your favorite prayer,  passage, reading or poem with me, please message me privately on Facebook or email me at I would be so grateful.

Thank you all for your steadfast support. It means the world to us.


Carla Sweetwood says:

Lynne, beautifully written…no matter how you pray or send good thoughts Summer and her team are at the top of mind!

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