Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Turning The Page

Tomorrow will be exactly one year to the day that I sat inside a doctor's office and listened to these words,"In my opinion she has about 3-6 months to live. You take her home. Feed her real food. Food you feed the older children. If she can handle it and begins to grow, then she has a chance to survive. If she can't, then you have the answer you need. Without a transplant she will not make it." Short and to the point. No emotion. Very little compassion, but honest. The doctor knew Ashley's condition well. It had become her life's work. She had a daughter who did survive. A beautiful 16 year old daughter who had attended the school dance wearing a spaghetti strapped dress that showed her central line scar. Sure she was tiny and petite, but she was alive and happy. She told me again, "You will know by the end of the week. Good luck."

I left that visit feeling numb. Defeated but still a little hopeful. Does that make any sense? I didn't think my tiny Ashley's bowel could digest chicken, potatoes, vegetables, etc., but I had never tried. Maybe, just maybe it would work? I called Dave and feel apart. I sobbed as I tried to explain to him what the goal was. My mother in law was driving, Ashley was sleeping, and I was crying. I could hear him struggling on the other end of the phone. He was trying not to cry, but I know him and I could hear the strain in his voice and I knew the pain in his heart. At the end of our conversation he said, "By the way, Happy Birthday." Oh, yeah it was my birthday. On my 32nd birthday they told me my tiniest child, my gift from God, the one I had prayed for, would die in a few months. The pain that you feel, the lump in your throat, the sickness in the pit of you stomach, there are NO words to explain how much it hurts.

During that week we tried. We tried. We tried. It didn't work. My Ashley became so ill and so weak from the food she was trying to digest. By the 3rd day we had stopped. It was stealing her from us. She could not smile. She could not play. She could not live. Her body was not capable of handling these foods. Those are the nights that my nightmares began and they did not stop until God intervened. They lasted for almost 5 months. I hated to close my eyes because where I went was horrifying. I would wake in a panic, in a sweat, and grab my baby out of her crib to hear her breathe, to listen to her heart beat, to touch her face and know she was still there. Thank you God for working and working quickly! Thank you for her gift. Thank you for your plan.

Tomorrow I will turn the page. I will not erase the page, just turn it and start a new chapter. I have been on this page for a whole year. The page has a lot to say. A lot of joys, a lot of hurts, a lot of battles, a lot of victories, a lot of frightening moments, a lot of peaceful moments, a lot of growth, a lot of lessons, a lot of purpose. I will wake tomorrow and gladly begin a new year in my life. A year that holds the possibilities not promises of many days to come with my Ashley.

Thank you for taking the time to read this page in her story. I KNOW it hasn't always been easy, but I pray that it was worth it to you. I pray that you have seen His hand at work. I pray that you have seen how much He loves you. I pray that you have seen firsthand the miracle He has performed in life of my sweet Ashley Kate.


At 11:50 AM , Blogger Sherri said...

Happy Birthday, Trish! :) I hope this one is better than the last one and that they just keep getting better with each passing year.

At 12:23 PM , Anonymous Grandma said...

I have seen and still see every day the miracle that our sweet Ashley is. God is so good and merciful and faithful. I'm so thankful He chose her for such an awesome task of leading others to Him in such a mighty way and bringing others back to Him and bringing yet others closer to Him through her story. She is indeed a MIRACLE and He is to be glorified through it all. What an awesome God we know and love! I'm continually praying for Ashley and each member of the family; that His perfect will will come to pass with each day of our lives. May we all strive to lean more on Him and give ourselves more to Him through we way we live our lives. Thank you Jesus for your healing power!

At 12:58 PM , Blogger Aunt Boo said...

Happy Birthday Trish,

I have been reading your blog for at least 6 months now and I have cried and cheered along with everyone else. I am so glad that a new year is starting for you. I pray that it will be a year full of A LOT more happy and a little less sad. I know that you could use an extra dose of happy some days, I know I could.


At 1:34 PM , Blogger Carey said...

I cant imagine what that day was like for you. I pray all days like that one are gone forever.
Happy Birthday to you!

At 2:29 PM , Blogger monica said...

happy birthday, trish. what a difference a year can make! what a blessing. i wish you many many more wonderful years! so glad to hear that ashley is doing so much better! we miss you guys!

sending love and prayers!
monica & gavin

At 5:35 PM , Blogger Sheryl said...

Happy Birthday, Trish! What a memorable year you have had! You, Ashley, and your whole family have come so far in 12 months. I'm excited about what God has in store for you in the coming year.

At 7:55 PM , Blogger jtcosby said...

Happy Birthday tomorrow Trish! I just have to tell're 6 months older than me...tee hee! :) I am praying for you! Love Tamara

At 9:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trish - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Praise God! What can I say to you? Except thank you and we pray for you and your sweet family and think of you often. I showed my girls (I have three) the pictures of little Ashley and they said "Oh, a baby. How sweet. How precious"...I couldn't have said it better myself. You are all so beautiful - outwardly but more importantly inwardly. I pray a blessing and hedge of protection around each of you! Have a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sunshine

At 10:02 PM , Blogger Alicia said...

Happy Birthday, Trish. Praise the Lord for his steadfast love.

At 10:09 PM , Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Happy Birthday Trish! What an amazing year you've had. I pray God's greatest blessings on you as you begin this new year, and that His mercies are new each day. I pray that you continue to grow in His grace, to take on more and more of His character, and to experience more joy that you ever have before. You are a blessing and have an incredible ministry in the words you post; may God richly bless you this year!!

At 11:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! I am so glad that we found you. May God shower you with the blessings that you have shared with all of us. Colleen


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