Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Deep in My Heart

There are things that I hide deep inside of my heart concerning my sweet Ashley Kate that I speak of to no one else. Not even Dave. I have tried to share with him some of these things, but he does reside in the land of daisies and rainbows and his mind does not allow him to go there. In a way I wish that I could live in this land along with him and that my mind would not allow me to see the things that I see while taking care of my beautiful baby. Tonight as I tuck her to bed these things scream at me as I watch her struggle. There are days when things are worse than others and today just seems to be one of those days.

After my Ashley was born and we were told of the many possible struggles she may have to face in her lifetime I found myself seeking God more than I ever had before. I prayed earnestly that His will be done and accomplished in my little one's life and as the medical community continued to "hit" us with the possible diagnosis' she could be labeled with my prayer became this," Allow her to give and receive love. Let her be happy." That was it. Nothing more. In our own naive way I believe there was a time in her life that we thought she would be fine. All she required was for us to love her. To tell the truth, she is fine. She is happy and she is loved, but as her mommy I am very aware of more and more disabilities and differences that my Ashley has and others do not.

Tonight I go to bed with a heavy heart. A heavy heart that is so full of thanksgiving for her life and her victories,but also burdened with the knowledge that I must continue to seek and find answers that give my sweet baby the best possible life she can have. As I prepare to climb into bed next to my Allie who lives a life filled with health and I snuggle up next to the daughter who can walk, run, jump, climb,speak, sing, communicate, and anything else her little heart desires my heart breaks and my tears fall for my other daughter, my youngest daughter, my sweet Ashley Kate who may never do any of these things. How I wish for her to have the same opportunities that I had always taken for granted in my other children's lives.

It is now my job to not only help her survive, but to live the most fulfilling life possible. I believe in the deepest part of my heart that He has a plan for her, I just have to help her seek it and find it so that she may fulfill not my dreams for her life but His. Deep in my heart I know what I know I am just to afraid to put it out there for the world to see, to label, to judge. They will find out all to soon and so for now I keep these things hidden inside and pray that if it be His will that they might pass over her rather than come to pass in her. Regardless of the outcome she is my daughter, the one I longed for, the one I prayed for, and the one I would give my life for so that she might keep hers. Nothing else matters except for this one thing, she resides deep in my heart and it is there that she will always be.


At 9:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the things that you say about the things yet to come with Ashely because I feel and wonder those things about my beautiful son. Just keep her in your heart as you are doing such a wonderful job at and know that whatever God does in her life, it is his divine will and he has a higher purpose. No, it isn't always easy, as you already know too well, but it is the higher road, for you, your family and most of all, Ashley. You're family will be the most wonderful for her and you will give her everything she needs to have the life that she deserves. Continuing to lift you up.

At 9:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know of your burden but I do know of the burden of disabilities and the judgement from others. Along with prayers and God's guidance. I pray you get in touch with your Early Intervention team at the local school districts. They help make big difference with physical, speech, and occupational therapy. They will help teach you and your family how to make Ashley progress with you helping her.I know with God's guidance they will come into your life at the right time and make such a big difference. I know she is not up to having alot of exposure now but often the process of getting started takes awhile. God bless and take care

At 10:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so open about these things. So much of what you write is on the mind of every parent, whether the child is healthy or not. We often fear the worst and we let our minds go there. Our Lord tells us "Be Not Afraid" and I find this is the best advice I can give anyone. It is not my advice, but God's.

I am a mom, too, and I have certainly had a heavy heart many a time like you do. I have a child with a chronic illness. I find so much love and support and the courage to move on when I read your blog, and in particular, when I read a raw post like this one. It shows I am not alone in this fight to be able to live in the land of rainbows. I am trying to live like Dave does, but I cannot, not everyday anyway. Night is always the hardest for me.

May we all wake to a beautiful morning! Praying with Christian love. Love, Pam

At 11:31 PM , Anonymous Janiece Baldwin said...

Trish, With all the struggles little Ashley has had to go through in her short lifetime is enough to bring up questions that you wish you didn't have to think about. I don't think there is a mother around that would not do the same thing. It's just borne in us as mothers. We want the very best life with all our hearts for our children and while we are so delighted when all goes well in one but the other has tougher challenges it brings all sorts of questions to our mind. When you are earnestly praying for God's divine will in Ashley's life, that is the prayer of a mother who knows that He is in control. We have to pray for His perfect guidance, His perfect way, His perfect peace and His perfect mercy to get us to a point that we will accept His ways. We have to ask Him to lighten our heavey hearts and give us the wisdom to make the right choices and decisions.
I know that God has been your source of strength since the day you and Dave got Ashley.
I think today has been one of those days when it all seems to come down a little harder. I can't imagine why. It surely couldn't have anything to do with "overload", you think??

I'm so sorry you have not been able to find a contractor that can come in and do the work in the bathrooms and get it completed so that you can get back into your own home.

At 3:44 AM , Anonymous marva mcrae said...

Still praying in Alabama! Sending love and hugs to the great big state of Texas for you guys!

At 6:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trish, thank you for your honesty. Even though my children's struggles are very different from Ashley's, your faith and thankful heart give me courage and strength to trust God for His best and His will in their lives. Things we never thought we'd face (and still pray for deliverance from) help keep us in prayer, and His strength is sufficient, His grace measured out as we need it, His love overwhelming.

At 7:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trish~ No matter what happens with Ashley Kate in her future I agree with you about God having a plan for her. I pray that she will seek it and accomplish many things that others just can't! My heart aches for your family and Ashley every single day! I know that is what keeps all of you on the top of my prayer list every morning! (((hugs))) ~ Chandria ~

At 7:20 AM , Anonymous Grandma said...

Ashley is a most precious gift from God and no matter what - I will always love her! She is beautiful, she is strong, she is wonderful, she is precious, she is marvelous, she is awesome, she is courageous, she is amazing, she is......and she is loved by so many; those who have the priviledge of holding and touching her and those who have never seen her. She is an outstanding work of our Father and He has a devine plan and purpose for her life. I thank Him constantly for who Ashley is through Him and for Him. Only He knows what her future will be, but we know she is and WILL BE LOVED no matter what. Grandma

At 7:35 AM , Blogger M-j said...

God does have a plan for Ashley.
As a mother of two children with disabilities, it was very difficult to believe that my beautiful, happy children would face a lifetime of obstacles. At first I hated labels, I did not want anything to do with them. Then I realized that labels can sometimes be a blessing. Labels get services that our children need. Labels help us find support groups and friends going through the same thing. Labels do not define my children but they do help us figure out what may be in their best interests. If you can accept the label as a tool to help your child it makes things a little easier to manage. I do my best to look beyond the labels and view my children as people. It is nearly impossible not to compare them to each other and other children (especially the "normal" ones) but I still try not to. They are unique and beautiful in God's eyes no matter what the label says.
God will show you the path. When Ashley is healed she will finally begin to be able to progress. She has had such a rough start but is fighting with grace!
I am praying for you and your family. God will provide.

At 8:17 AM , Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

I'm praying for you today, Trish.

At 8:58 AM , Blogger Cheryl said...

I had the same questions when our little boy came in to our lives. He had been the victim of some pretty bad abuse and it had injured his brain. We didn't know what the future would bring - but we knew that we would love him.

I have come to realize that God gives each of us what we need to do what He wants with our life. There is not one of us that doesn't have areas where we are lacking.

It's harder when its thing we take so for granted in life - like walking and talking - our momma hearts can't help but break for them.

But I have learned that God knows. The things I value in life are not always the most important.

May you be encouraged today Trish.

At 9:58 AM , Anonymous Nikki said...

I'm praying for an extra measure of grace for you today.

At 11:31 AM , Blogger Karen said...

Trish, you have a precious heart. Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing all of this with us. Praying for God's grace, Karen

At 1:04 PM , Anonymous christy said...

this post is sheer poetry!! it is the truth of any mother's is the concern and wonder of a trusting that trusts(as difficult as that is at times) the heavenly Father with all she has. one that grieves at the sight of worldly that rejoices at the sight of a perfect heart inside that imbodiment of imperfection. one that is truly honesty....even though she dare not speak the thoughts out loud....she is truly honesty. each of us can only imagine how deep those thoughts and questions run...but we stand in humble gratitude for having been exposed to such honesty...and vulnerability. poetry....your heart...your words....your honesty...poetry.
you are not alone in any part of the depths of your heart OR your thoughts. you are not alone.
thank you again for sharing your world with us. you are a blessing!
still praying--

At 1:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trish-I understand what you are talking about. I really do. I have a son who is autistic. He will never be "normal" and I too, hold those "thoughts" in the back of my mind that I share with no one, but the Lord. He knows. Honey, can she get help yet from some different kinds of therapists? Such as physical, occupational, speech, etc? I pray that someday she can utilize those services.

Know you are doing a fabulous job as her Mommy. You give all the glory to God for her victories and praise Him even in the tough times. You are amazing!

I know God placed Ashley in your care knowing the kind of parenting and love she would get from you folks.

I am praying as usual for you and your precious baby! I love you!


At 9:18 AM , Anonymous amanda said...

I just wanted you know to know I've got your blog on my bloglines so I can read every update. But I skip over it some days because it makes me sad. And I'm sorry that it's hard for me to even read your post---when you are actually going through it and can't skip over a day. The Bible talks about "bearing one another's burdens". And thru your blog, you've put your burdens out there...and there are so many people who are praying and loving and carrying your burdens. I'm going to be one of those people, too. I am praying God's greatest blessing on your heart. God is close to the broken hearted. (Psalm 34:18) And of course, continued healing and restoration of Ashley's body. It's not too hard for Him!

At 8:27 PM , Anonymous amanda said...

I've been thinking and praying about you all day. I blogged about you today.


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