A fight worth fighting
Wow, I am actually sitting in a hotel room inside the great state of TEXAS! We actually crossed the state line around 11:30 this morning. This is so unreal. I have been reminding myself throughout the day that this really is happening. We really are on our way home and we really are all going to be together very, very soon.
During the journey home I spent a lot of time thinking. As I replayed the many events in her life, the struggles, the obstacles, the fight I realized that a victory can not come without a fight. You must first be in the fight to enjoy the victory and although my Ashley is still fighting against many things I can't help but find joy in the many victories she has experienced so far. There have been days and nights when I was not sure if the fight would end in victory or defeat, but during those times I clearly remember that she was not left to fight alone. He has been there during each and every part of the fight.
Today I had the privelage( and I mean it when I say it is a privelage that I will no longer take for granted) of watching my son Blake and our beloved Tarheels play baseball. Oh, how I enjoyed the sights and the sounds of the ballpark. It was so wonderful to know that my Blake could look out at the crowd and know that I was there. Ash and I had made it. She had won part of her fight and she was going to come home. Although the Tarheels did not do as well as we would have liked my Blake loved every minute of it, and I loved being there to talk to him about it after each game. I asked Blake if he was disappointed about the score and he replied, "Mom, I never think about the score I am just there to play the game." I told him how proud I was of the way he had played and that I loved the "heart" that he shows while he is playing. This was his reply, "Mom, the Tarheels have a lot of heart but I think that Ashley has a whole lot more heart than all of us. She is still here, and she is still fighting even though it has been really hard for her. She just wanted to come home so she kept on going even when she got tired. If anyone has heart it is her." We continued to talk about the games, the plays, the mistakes, and the lessons learned out there on the field. We talked about how there will always be something to be learned and he shared with me how he likes to listen to coach talk because he always picks up something new about the game. Even though we were talking about baseball my mind continued to think about the lessons we have learned through Ashley's journey. It really has been incredible to watch, to live, to experience. At one point I asked Blake if he felt like this time in our lives had made us stronger or if had made him feel like we were falling apart and the passion in his voice when he answered made me proud of the way we had traveled so far. He was convinced that, "our family is stronger than we have ever been." Have I ever told you how much I love this kid? I really do.
Ashley's face lit up the moment she saw her Blake and her Daddy. She hasn't stopped smiling since we came in tonight. She and Nan have enjoyed a quiet, restful day in the hotel while Dave and I watched Blake play ball. I can't wait for her to see Allie tomorrow. It just feels so good to see her so happy! As I type my Blake and my Ashley are sitting next to me on the couch and he is allowing her to "rip" his face off. She is sooooo happy to be holding him.
Tomorrow we will go back to the ballpark for tournament play. I hope the Tarheels we all know and love decide to show up and give it a go. Today was one of those days you just really want to leave behind and move on. Oh, yeah I wanted to tell you that Blake said his favorite part about seeing Ash today was looking down at her and seeing how chubby her thighs are now. That really made him happy to see that she is growing, and it really made me happy to know that one of his burdens have been lifted.
The road home is long, but we are almost there. Well, Ash and I won't actually get to go home for awhile because of the remodel that is going on, but at least we will be back in our home town. Allison will arrive sometime tomorrow and then the 5 of us will be back together again to fight this cancer as a team. Remember the experience of the victory can't be felt without going through the fight. We are determined to keep on fighting.
Thank you so much for checking on us today. Once I make it home I will continue posting my Ashley's story on a daily basis. The way that I get to share His story while telling hers is my favorite part of this journal. He continues to do great things in this little pickle's life. Good night from the great state of TEXAS. Trish