A mother in mourning shared a heartbreaking image of her daughter’s ashes bucked into her car seat just months after her baby girl died from cancer.
"It was very muscle memory," said Washington mom Sarah Walton, whose daughter was just 4 years old when succumbed to the disease. "It was just natural for me to do that. It was a safe place for her to be."
She explained her youngest daughter, Ellie Walton, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor when she was just 4 months old. Since that moment, their lives have been marked with hospital visits and chemotherapy.
"She had at least four appointments a week, so we were always on the go somewhere,” Walton told InsideEdition.com. "Every day brought new challenges and new blessings. Day-to-day life was usually appointments, with family time at the end of the day."
Two months ago, Ellie lost her battle against brain cancer.
"I didn’t want to put her in my lap because if I had to stop fast or something, there goes my life," Walton explained. "It was a realization that she wasn’t there, and I was just buckling her in one last time, so it was really emotional for me."
As she never hesitated to take a picture of her daughter, she snapped a photo of the scene.
"To me, it was just another day. It was her," she said. "I’ve always taken pictures of her. That’s still her, and even now, she’s just in a different form, so it was my way of being like, 'Here’s my baby.'"
Also in the photograph were Ellie’s signature sunglasses, which she always wore for light sensitivity from her brain tumor. Walton explained her daughter used to wear them upside down, and insisted that was the proper way to wear them.
“It was just her thing,” she remembered fondly.
Walton said she shared the photo with her Facebook community because she has always turned there for support, but hopes other mothers going through similar circumstances know they are not alone.
“One minute you turn away and it’s gone,” Walton said. “Her name is still living on. It’s still her legacy.”