Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


A little Something I learned

Last Friday as I walked through the door of our little yellow house a sense of excitement ran through me. Everything that I miss, that I long for, that I love was supposed to waiting just on the other side. The rooms were so inviting and so familiar. It felt good to be back there, but only for a moment. As the day continued into the evening and then into the next day I learned a little something from that little yellow house. The walls of that house are not what makes it home. The things inside of that little yellow house don't make it feel like home. Its bigger than that. Its different than that. Blake and I had a long discussion about it Saturday evening as we went to dinner together just the two of us. This is what we figured out.

Our home is not made up of walls, of furniture, of things, or even memories. The thing that makes it home to us are the people who are supposed to be inside of those yellow walls. The people who sit together on that furniture. The people who use and enjoy all the things we have been blessed with. The people who we make our memories with. The people, Dave, Trish, Blake, Allison, and Ashley Kate are our home. No matter where we go, where we are, or what we are doing we are "home" as long as we are together.

As wonderful as it was to sit and talk, play and laugh, rest and relax there with my Blake and my Allie I couldn't help but still feel as though I was missing home. How can that be you may wonder? Last weekend I was still longing for "home". because "home" was not all it was supposed to be. Dave and Ashley were not there and that made me feel as though I had not truly made it home. I shared with Blake how proud I was of him and sister Allison. There job is much, much harder than mine. They walk into our house each and every day and have to face the emptiness that is there because Ashley Kate is not in the middle of the living room floor. There are no blocks to trip on, no toys lighting up, no Blue's Clues blaring, no baby. How difficult it was to see our "home" but not really have it be "home". Blake shared how sad it makes him feel when walks in and doesn't find Ash there. Her crib is piled high with all of her toys and they don't belong stacked there. They should be all over the floor and our baby should be inside that crib throwing them out as fast as he can pick them up. She should be in the middle of our home causing trouble, making noise, and keeping us on our toes. How do they face the emptiness day in and day out? My children are amazing. They are strong and they are acquiring wisdom far beyond their years. How proud I am to see how well they hold themselves together through the most frightening of days in their sister's life.

The night I arrived back at the hospital I was sharing with Dave how different it was to be home without all of us there and he nodded his head that he understood exactly what I meant. He shared with me that the hardest part of his day is when he must go to bed. Ashley Kate's crib is empty. She is not there and there are no ornery attitudes to deal with as he drifts off to sleep. He thought about putting the crib away because of how difficult it was to face each day, but then decided that he would not because that is where she belongs and she is coming back soon. Lying in my bed my first night home with my 10 year old daughter fast asleep on her daddy's side of the bed I found myself longing for those nights when I laid there thanking God that we were all together. I was so grateful. Not a day went by that I was not thankful for I knew how precious our "home" and our time in it was. I miss my husband. I miss his silliness. I miss his face. I miss holding his hand as I fall asleep. I miss how good he smells each time he passes by. I miss the person that he is and I miss being at "home" with him. I miss seeing him cuddle up with our baby and watching her rearrange his face each night. I miss "home".

Our home is not our house. Our home is our family. Our home is where our sweet Ashley Kate belongs and it where I hope to be taking her very soon.

Ash came out of the OR around 9pm and she is now resting in her bed in our room. I am on my way to the little store in the hospital to choose between a frozen burrito or a bag of doritos for dinner. Who knows I may have them both because its been a long, long day and when you at 10pm it doesn't really matter. Thanks for being here today. Your comments are a blessing as I take great encouragement from your words. You are such good "friends" and I love you for it. Goodnight. Trish


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