Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



The dates are set. The flights have been approved(Thank you God for working out the details and answering prayers). The appointments are on the calendar. Tests and scans are scheduled. So... whats the problem? After receiving all the details today I have tried to put my finger on what is making me feel as if I wish we didn't have to go.

When I think of Omaha I think of "the call" which gave us hope. I think of intimidation which is what I felt the moment I stepped through the doors with our tiny baby girl. I think of the empty feelings that washed over us as they took her from our arms and walked her down the hall. I think of surrender which is all their was left to do at that moment. A complete surrender to His will. Because we knew it was only if it were His will that she would be brought back to us. I think of our donor family. I was so broken for them as Ash spent that night in surgery because I knew their arms were empty. I think of anticipation. Anticipating what the moment would feel like as we looked at her for the first time in ICU. I think of the relief that we felt as we were reunited with her. I think of emptiness. This is how I would describe the way it feels to pour your heart before the Lord, holding nothing back as you plead that what you want just might be according to His will for her. I was so empty by the end of the first day. I think of struggles and miracles and hurdles and miracles and operations and miracles. It was like a never ending cycle. We had no idea what each moment of each day would hold. I think of the power of prayer. I think of support. It came from all over the world. I think of friendships that developed in the hallways, in the elevators, in the cafeteria, in the waiting rooms, in the bathrooms of all places! I think of growth. I grew each day with each and every experience. I think of pain. My heart hurt more than I ever knew was possible. I think of grief. I felt it like never before as we said good bye to so many precious children. I think of strength. I saw it in the faces of my friends as they left the halls of that hospital without their babies. To my precious friends, I think of your children so often and I will forever be changed by them. I think of joy. Our sweet Ashley faced each day with the spirit that He created in her. I think of admiration. I felt it for this tiny bundle of baby girl whom I rocked day after day. I think of longing to take her home to her daddy, her brother, and her sister. I think of the mountains she climbed and overcame and then I think of the valleys she fell into. I think of loneliness. Extreme loneliness that comes from being separated from your best friend, your partner, your spouse. I think of surprises. They came almost daily in the mail for our sweet Ashley. I think of home cooked meals and the thoughtfulness of the ones who provided them. Thank you for bringing them!

When I think of Omaha I think about God. The lessons He taught me. The miracles He gave to us. The gift He allowed to be given to our Ashley.

So tell me why do I hesitate to return? I don't want to go back just yet. I don't want her to be put to sleep again. I know we have to go. I know we need to know if the tumors are all gone. The answer awaits us in Omaha. I know they need to see her, but I have tried to swallow this lump in my throat all day long. I have tried to hold back the tears that keep stinging my eyes. I have tried to put my finger on what is wrong with me. Scary things happened in Omaha, but miracles were performed there too. God was still God in Omaha and I am sure He will go with us when we return.

Ash is finally sleeping! Shes still not feeling her best, but I can tell she is getting better. Thank you for your continued prayers for her. Each day she smiles a little more and those smiles are keeping me going. I am praying for sleep. We haven't gotten much of it this week and it is definitely slowing me down. I feel myself dragging from one room to the other. Dave is still at the office and the older kids are getting ready for bed. I know I should stay up and do laundry, but I think I will lay down and close my eyes too. Good night and God bless you. Trish

P.S. Thanks so much for the Christmas Card ideas. Allie is so excited about taking on that project. Her art work doesn't have a price. She said, "I can't tell people what to pay for it. That would be wrong!" If you would like one just let me know. She would love for you to have it
Just knowing you asked about it brought the biggest smile to her face. Thank you for that!


At 10:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness, Allie sounds like such a sweetheart!

Oh, and girl, I think you'd be crazy not to have a little hesitation about Omaha! I know I would! Yes, there were miracles, but they were mixed with a lot of heartache and unknowns. To walk toward that possibility again must be frightening for your human heart. And THAT, my friend, is where your faith steps in... where God reminds you of His faithfulness and sovereignty.

I will be praying for you as the dates approach, but especially for the healing of Ashley's body!!

At 10:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it might be necessary to get e-bay involved with Allie's pictures. What an opportunity for a fundraiser and an opportunity for Allie to see how God can use her, too.
We'll keep praying for peace for you and continued healing for Ashley.

At 11:07 PM , Blogger Paulette said...

It wouldn't be wrong to set a price for the artwork because it is for Ashley, however I do feel the same way in dealing with my art. I have had offers before for the sculptures I do and they were to personal to sell.
If I had a wonderful cause like yours with little Ashley I would pray about it and get some Ideas from different sources and when you are comfortable you could sell it for fundraising for Ashley. I will do some research for you if you would like to give you some idea's of size and price, then you could decide from there? This is a wonderful Idea to use the talent that God gave you for Ashley as well as yourself!
I will also say that Ashleys journey is a part of you as well and the cards really could depict that. I am glad you will work on that, if you need any idea's let me know!
From one artist to another I am proud of you! I would LOVE a card that you have created in honor of baby Ashley! I have an Ashley too who is a miracle at birth and had many health problems. She was in the hospital the first 3 months of her life. God is good and my Ashley is now a healthy and beautiful adult. I am praying for that for your Ashley as well.
I am praying for you and your precious family Allie!

At 11:43 PM , Anonymous Janiece Baldwin said...

Trish, It is understandable that you have mixed emotions about going back to Omaha. As you have said, so many emotions. I pray for our Father to give you peace and that He will give you the courage to face the events that will take place there. I pray right now that He would continue to keep His hand on little Ashley.

Allie I think your painting is beautiful and it serves as a reminder of the "Waves of Grace" that have surrounded you, Blake, Ashley, and your mom and dad.
If you decide to make it available I would love to have one.

Much love~~~~

At 12:24 AM , Anonymous Brenda said...

Our Omaha experience wasn't even the most minuscule fraction of what you went through. Not even close. But I have to tell you that when we saw the surgeon earlier this week and got a thumbs up and a "Looks amazingly great!" from the P.A. and the go-ahead to get back to life as it was... it was just great.

They'll look at her and you'll so enjoy their reactions as they see how far she's come and marvel at how healthy she looks today. Prayerfully, the tumors will be gone and you'll walk out of the hospital with a huge sense of relief. Surely, your trip will bring a small bit of closure. I know you won't ever feel complete closure because some elements of her situation will always have to be there... but every hurdle that gets her farther away from her darkest days will lighten your load.

I know you'll be holding your breath until you walk out of the hospital with your visit behind you, and just pray that walk is filled with the release that comes with fabulous news. After all you've been through, all of you deserve it!

At 8:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trish, Ive been following Ashleys story for a long time it is amazing to me on how the Lord has worked so many miracles in your familys life. God is good all the time andall the time God is good. I have a transplant kid of my own and to see how the Lord has blessed us and her . Iam just so thankful to God. To watch you and Dave walk by faith is encouraging to me and my family. May the grace of God continue to be with you and sweet Ashley.

At 11:58 AM , Blogger Krista said...

Trish, I can tell you that different programs do the Christmas card things drawn by children (St. Jude may be one) They charge anywhere from $5-$10 depending on the number of cards to a set. I want a set most definitely, that is a great fundraiser for Ashley-You could display a package in Dave's ofc and I would be happy to find some places to display some as well. Just let me know what little ARtist wants to do.. Praying for your Peace and Ashley's miracle.

At 12:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trish is back....the post is just beautifully written. You made my heart smile as I read what was on your heart today. May God continue to bless you and touch sweet baby Ashley! Terry

At 6:38 PM , Blogger cindy/barron said...

Hi Trish, when Allison can get us a picture painted we would like to get it, could u let us know through my email


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