Here we are, Ash and I spending another silent night in Omaha, Nebraska. It's hard to believe we have another holiday season approaching and the two of us are away from home again. At least we have her tree here with us. It's more than Blake and Al have at home. The house sits empty of any signs of the season. This makes my heart so, so sad. If only I could have a day or two at home. Just long enough to make some magic happen for them then my heart would feel better. I know its not near as important to Dave or Blake or Al, but its important to me because its just something I have always done for them. Its just not the same without having that opportunity. Blake and Allie and I have such fun going through the decorations together. I love listening to Blake and Allie remembering each and every story that goes along with each and every ornament they hang on their trees. I love watching the excitement in their eyes as they re-discover those sentimental treasures that only make an appearance once a year. I love the smell of Yankee Candles burning on the mantel and the sound of Christmas carols playing throughout the house. I love sitting across from the tree late in the evening when all of the lights have been turned down and just enjoying the peaceful feeling the glow of the tree gives to my heart.
Ashley and I sit and rock across from her tree here in our hotel room. Everything on her tree is beautiful. It is all silver,white, and pink(except for our pickle ornaments that hang on the branches reminding us of people all across the country who have prayed for our baby gherkin. They do hang from pink ribbons.) Each ornament on her tree represents a day, an event, a person, or a memory from her life. The first ornament Dave and I bought for her hangs on the tree. There are ornaments that were chosen for her by her grandmothers. There are ornaments that remind us of our tiny friends who have gone on to Heaven. There are ornaments that hold photographs of Blake, Allie, and Ashley. There is a silver angel ornament created by James Avery(my favorite jeweler) that reminds us of the life of her organ donor. There is a beautiful church ornament that represents our faith. There is a princess carriage ornament that holds a photograph of our tiny princess. There is the sweetest gingerbread house that makes me smile each time I see it because my Ashley Kate is just as sweet. We have an angel ornament given to Ash by her sweet friend Caroline that hangs on her tree. There are the tiniest pink and purple candy canes hanging from the branches. Glittery snowflakes that sparkle when the lights twinkle. Pink gauzy ribbons attached to the branches that have no ornaments hanging from them.
When I look at the tree I remember her first Christmas and the events that surrounded the day while she was in the NICU in Dallas. When I look at the tree I remember her second Christmas that was spent in the PICU here in Omaha and the difficult day that immediately followed. When I look at the tree as we approach her third Christmas I wonder where we will spend it. I wonder if God will grant another miracle and take us home for Christmas. When I look at the tree I remember the many miracles that God has already performed in Ashely Kate's life and I humbly pray for another.
I'm nervous about tomorrow. I desperately wish for Ash to be allowed to go home. I so badly want to here them say she is in an ok place and safe enough to return to our home. I am afraid if they don't then I won't be able to hold back the tears. No matter what happens I know that it will eventually be alright. Even if I am disappointed I know that God will have something special in mind for our family.