Family and friends plant flowers to remember Emma Sweet

COLUMBUS, Ind. — When Mom wasn’t looking, flower lover Emma Sweet sometimes picked the Easter lilies in her family’s blooming bed.

“She would give them to anybody and everybody,” said her mother Linsey Sweet. Emma was such a giving child that she sometimes would even try to give away her toys.”

Mom laughed about her 2-year-old that she said also was tough enough to “rule the roost at home” as the only girl in a family of four youngsters.

“Those boys would do anything she asked of them,” Sweet said.

Today, family and friends are simply asking people to continue to remember the late Emma, a kid who loved all things Disney, especially after a family visit to Disney World last year, and the TV show “Baby Shark.” Toward keeping her joyful and impish memory alive, parents, children and friends of Lil’ Stars Daycare, 2308 Pearl St. in Columbus, planted flowers Sunday in Emma’s honor in a new, expansive, raised flower box, complete with an attached bench, built by Cory Huck. His wife, Katy Huck, a day care mother, proposed the idea of the planting.

The Hucks’ daughter Collette, was a good friend of Emma’s.

“I was shocked by the idea (of the planting) in a very good way,” Sweet said.

“We wanted to just do something to focus on the good and the positive amid all of this,” Katy Huck said.

Searchers found the child Nov. 28 the date that the coroner lists as her death in the East Fork White River, following a multi-day search for her by local law enforcement, firefighters and local residents. The child had been with her father Jeremy Sweet before the two were reported missing Thanksgiving morning. The father was found by duck hunters in his submerged truck in the river the day after Thanksgiving.

The mother acknowledged that Bartholomew County residents, and even people across the country, have showered the family with love and kindness amid tremendous heartache. One Missouri man whose young brother died tragically created an artsy plaque for Emma, with her birthdate and date she died. That may be included in the day care’s flower box.

“The community has been so very supportive,” said Melodee Hand, Emma’s grandmother who operates the day care where Emma attended. “People just came out of the woodwork to help.”

For the complete story, see Tuesday’s Republic.