A Mother’s Story of Loss (and how you can help)

Lilliana was a brave, creative, imaginative, and thoughtful little girl.  I used to call her my little engineer.

Always curious and always wanting to learn, which are great motivators to get your children to school.  Most parents want their children to have access to education, no matter how big or small their children are.  We strive and work so hard for our children to succeed, but we don’t realize we’re sending them to school with a false sense of security.

Lilliana paid with her life on a cold Friday morning.  January 20th, 2017.

It’s been over one year, ten months, one week and two days since I heard Lilliana’s voice say, “Good morning, mommy”… since I’ve heard baby girl giggles permeate around me while Lilliana played with her twin sister, Tieranie… since Lilliana sat with her brother, Jayden, while he read her a book.

Lilliana may have been three years old, but she had plans for that day.  We were supposed to go bowling and she was excited to try for the first time.

She didn’t get to do that.

On January 20th, Lilliana’s day didn’t last long, but it started off typical.

We woke up, made breakfast, and headed for school.  We took Jayden to school, then after, I took the girls to St. Albert the Great — Wayne Metro Head Start.

Lilliana and I took Tieranie to her classroom, then after, I walked Lilliana to her class.  I never would have guessed that would be the last day or time I’d be able to tell Lilliana that I loved her.

Lilliana was playing in the gymnasium.  Sitting on the floor, Lilliana was playing with a ball when a 350-pound recalled table that was supposed to be removed in 2007 fell.

The safety mat snaps no longer worked.  The mat had fallen and was lying on the floor since winter break, leaving no padding when the 350-pound, solid wood and steel table fell, dead-weight, crushing my three-year old little girl.

My daughter, Lilliana, was dead before she was even conceived.

My life is shattered.  Everything has changed since that day, in every inconceivable way.  I lost my little girl, my heart, a third of my family (present and future).  My home is quiet.  I’ve watched my children change.  Jayden will look at photos and his facial expression changes and he’ll look down.

Jayden decided who would be Lilliana and who would be Tieranie.  I’ve seen Tieranie take our picture frames and set them next to her for comfort as she eats, plays, watches TV or even when she falls asleep.

Children shouldn’t have to grow up too soon… not like that.  Not ever.

These tables are still in numerous schools and buildings that provide education.  Not only do a lot of our schools and educational facilities in Michigan have these tables, but most of them aren’t aware of the potential dangers they pose.  Jayden’s middle school has these tables.

These tables are so old, the executive direction of education could not even identify the manufacturer’s name.  I’m still waiting to find out when they’ll be removed.

For whatever reason, it’s unacceptable.

No parent should have to send three children to school and only have two walk out alive.  No parent, after the fact, should have to worry if their children will survive their day in school.

I live with that every day.  I still have to send my son Jayden and daughter Tieranie to school.

Multiple systems failed Lilliana and my family.  These same systems are still in place as we send our children to school, and while I speak here today.  Lilliana’s death is not unique to the state of Michigan.  Within the last 25 years there has been at least 11 deaths on the east coast.  One in Ohio where Jarod’s law was enacted and later repealed in 2009.

In the past decade, Lilliana was the second child to die in the state of Michigan due to these tables.  One child too many… by something so preventable.

Experts say that you can bolt a piece of wood or metal across the table while in the up position that would lock them down permanently, costing 25 dollars in materials per table.

Lilliana should be five years old now.  She should be in kindergarten.  Lilliana has missed two birthdays, two Halloweens, two Thanksgivings, and nearly two Christmases, and countless more.

Lilliana can never be the person should could have been.  She’ll never grow up, never go to prom, never graduate, never go to college.  It was all ripped away by the same institutions that were supposed to help provide it for her.

Lilliana should be alive today.  My baby should be happy and healthy and not a law.

Lilliana was a little girl… my little girl.

Today, I am Lilliana’s advocate.  I’m asking you today to help prevent another catastrophic tragedy for another family.  I’m here to plead with you to help make the change to protect our most vulnerable…


To protect our children from more school related deaths or serious injury, otherwise, Lilliana’s death will be in vain.

I appreciate you reading my testimony today, even though my words are insufficient to describe what Lilliana’s death has done to my family.

184 thoughts on “A Mother’s Story of Loss (and how you can help)”

  1. I am so sorry for u and your family:( this should not have happened to u God bless you for using your tragedy to try and save other children


  2. Thats bs period! & my heart feels for you deeply that you have to go through this. God rest your little babies soul! Pass that law that should most certainly already be there. Smh.


  3. It certainly gives us all something to think about when sending littlest people to school being a son or daughter or our grandchild I know there are no words that can ease your families tragic lost I hope this gets passed it law and these dangerous tables are dealt with so no one else has to suffer a loss as you have my deepest sympathy for your family.


  4. I’m sooo sorry for the loss of your precious angel.. May God wrap you all up in his loving arms and provide some peace and comfort! 🙏🏼


  5. School is suppose to be a safe place. Where as parents we trust leaving our children. I am very sorry for your loss. My prayers to you.


  6. I’m so very sorry for your loss it killed me with my miscarriage of twins but your loss is much greater cause it was a living beautiful child my heart brakes for you! My two baby’s ages 2 1/2 n and almost 6 months was taken by CPS here in Michigan for no reason if there is anything I can do to help let me know momma again terribly sorry for your loss you n family are in my prayers


  7. Sorry for your loss of your little Angel Lillian!! Pray for you and her siblings!! I pray they do something so this will never happen again.


  8. I hope you get every table taken down that should have been taken down years ago. I am so sorry for your loss. Your correct are kids should be safe in school and a table is not one thing we should be having to worry about. I wish you and your family the best and I hope lillianaslaw strives and saves more children but it’s sad we have to fight to protect are children when the schools should be when they are in their care. God bless hun.


  9. This is so very sad😢. Her death and several others could have / can be, prevented! The least schools can do, is anual safety checks. This should be a priority! since it’s not.
    Safety checks on all furniture, appliences or anything over 40 lbs should be updated, and tested for safety issues in all public places,should be a LAW!


  10. I will pray they they do the right thing for all of our children. And I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your dedication to OUR children as well. 💜


  11. As a mother myself this makes my heart hurt. I am sorry for your family’s loss and hope this gets passed and there is a change.


  12. I am so very sorry for your lost sending prayers and love your way thank you for bringing awareness to us


  13. How do you sign the petition? So sorry for your loss and the changes in your family. Your poor broken hearted kids, I feel so badly for all of you.


  14. I am 57 year old they had this table in the lunchroom when I was small never like them. I can only imaged your pain as parents and your children hurt as brother and her twin lost her other half send best friend May God give you all strength I will sign petion to protected children in the school systems across America.


  15. I am so sorry for your loss! No parent should ever have to go through something so awful…when it could have easily been prevented. I will pray for your family!


  16. I am so sorry about your loss. I remember when I heard this story I was devastated, and distraught. When my co worker Sam shared the news with me I couldn’t do anything but feel her pain. Then the pain as a Mother sat in for me as I have children the same age that are also twins. We need to keep our children safe. So, I’m with you 100% on this.


  17. I am so saddened or terribly sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter. This could of been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken! 💔


  18. I’m so srry hun. We’ve got to make schools safer cause no parent should be scared of if their child is gonna be safe in school. We all need to work together to make schools safer.


  19. I’m so sorry for your loss. They should have known better and been up to code with all of their things. I really hope the school gets what they deserve. It’s so hard losing a child. You’re in my thoughts and prayers


  20. I am so sorry you lost your beautiful little girl… My prayers are with you and your family and all my Love as well..


  21. Sorry she lost her little girl in something that could have been prevented. Dad a twin has to grow up wondering what her sister would be like like her brother wondering about his sister. Such a tragedy. Let’s help put a stop to this


  22. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful little girl. No mother should ever have to bear that pain. My heart aches for you. So much love & prayers to you & your family. I hope this law gets passed 💗


  23. I’m so sorry for what happened to your baby girl! Prayers for you all! And goodness they need to get rid of all those tables!!!


  24. There are no words for me to express how sad I feel for your loss. These inspections should be absolutely mandatory. Why risk another child’s life due to negligence? Prayers are with you and your family!!


  25. Please protect the future of our world & protect other families from this same heartache. This should have NEVER HAPPENED! The actions that have not been taken, its COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! I’m in tears for this family, just from reading what this family went through, what they continue to go through, & the pain that they will feel for the rest of their lives. They already feel this pain, there’s nothing now that can be done to extinguish that but they SHOULD NOT have to feel the anguish that I know they must still be feeling due to the inaction of the powers that be. Please take the proper actions that need to be done so no other family has to endure such tragedy.


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