Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Moments I'm Grateful For

This morning I sit in the dark and reflect on a few of the moments I am so very grateful we have had over the last couple of days. Moments like:

Watching my husband dance with my brother's beautiful baby girl and seeing that the smile on his face was as big as the one on hers. I am so grateful.

The welcoming feeling my sister's home has you step inside of its walls. The smell of yummy candles , the familiar beauty of her style, the people who live inside of it. My second favorite place in this whole world.

Witnessing my son and his lighthearted spirit enjoy each moment of this holiday. What a burden has been lifted off of his young heart. His laughter fills mine to the top and his amazing smile is so genuine.

Kazink. Plain and simple. I love that game.

Walking the isles of Walmart with my 10 year old beauty when we both should have been asleep hours before. I love that girl.

Seeing my 1 year old niece Katelyn getting acquainted with our sweet Ashley. As she talked and interacted with our "baby" my heart was truly blessed. I long to see Ash doing the things she does. Talking, eating, walking, climbing up and down from her chair, calling out for her "Nan" over and over again. So painful, but yet still beautiful to my heart. How grateful I am to know Katelyn is healthy, is beautiful, and is perfect and how grateful I am to know that our Ashley is healthy enough to be home, is beautiful, and in His eyes is perfectly created the way He designed her.

Spending a short drive with my dad. I miss that man, and on more than one occasion lately I have allowed my mind to drift back to the days when I was his little girl and there was nothing I though he could not fix. He was superman and my problems would disappear with one spoken word to him. Life was simple as a child. At that time I had no idea how short those years would be.

Watching my mom take care of Ashley Kate. She loves her so much and next to me probably knows how to care for her better than anyone else in this world. She gave up so much of her life and her time for us over the last three years and now that she no longer lives with us I find myself really missing her. I am so grateful the smile she knows how to put on Ashely's face. I am also grateful for the smile Ash puts on hers.

Time with my sisters. My two most precious friends. God blessed us with each other many years ago and only He knew the bonds of friendship that would develop with these amazing ladies. I love them so very much. Just being around them blesses my heart.

Conversations with my son. Oh, how I missed him over the last week. I could sit and listen to him visit with me forever and never grow tired. This time with him, these 13 years God has given us, has been the best of my entire life. As I listen to him talk my mind drifts back to that toddler I sat with in the play room. Firetrucks and blocks spread all around and his tiny voice telling me, "Pretend this or that mommy, k? Just pretend with me." My heart is so grateful for this child who was born with a baseball cap on his head and couldn't go to the sandbox without it.

My two oldest nephews. Their grown now and living lives of their own. I don't see them often, but when I do they hug me tight just like their dad and it feels so good. These two boys who spent every summer vacation in Texas with Dave and I are now young men and I look at them and wonder how they grew up so quickly. Where did the time go? My heart was grateful to have them with us this holiday. I love you very much Jeff and Jerid.

Snuggling with my beautiful Allison Brooke while sitting on the couch and drinking in the smell of freshly shampooed hair. Allowing her to still be a little girl, like the one I sometimes wish I still were, even though she is grown enough to care about how her hair looks, that she has perfume on, and that her outfits make her look cute. In my eyes she'll always be that little girl in sponge rollers and footy pajamas the night before Thanksgiving.

The twinkle in Ashley Kate's eyes. The smile on her face. The joy in her expression. The laughter that tumbles out of her heart. What a gift Dave and I have been given. Having the opportunity to share her with our family is something we do not take for granted. This holiday has been complete because she is "home" with family and not being cared for by a hospital staff. Our hearts are full. Gratitude spills out of our hearts as much as joy spills from hers. God is good.

My brother in laws. They are the best. Put them in a room with my husband and hold on because its going to be fun. What great men the Lord has blessed us with. Godly, hardworking, compassionate, selfless men who have made mine and my sister's lives complete. I am thankful for them. Our family is surely blessed.

Dave. My heart is grateful. Marriage doesn't get any better than this. He is my best friend and I am so thankful we stuck it out in those early years when life is hard, money is more than tight, and exams are looming. We've grown up together and I believe with all my heart that its because of that growing up with each other that we are so very close. We are committed. To our Father, our family, our patients, our children, and each other. Even when its more than hard its knowing that we made a commitment to live this life together that keeps us going. I'm so thankful our friendship has survived the separations over the last 3 years as Ash has struggled to survive.

2 more days. Thank you God for giving us this long weekend and 2 more days to celebrate this holiday with our family. We have a "very merry unbirthday party" to decorate for this morning and attend this afternoon. I spent hours painting the "china" for it early this morning and days planning it for my niece. I can't wait to surprise her with all of it. The boys have the concert tomorrow afternoon and to say they are excited is an understatement. They have been preparing for it for the last 2 days. We have more games to play, more yummy meals to share, more memories to make, more laughter to spill out. My camera is still warm from all the moments I am capturing and my heart is still warm from the gratitude that is brewing inside of it. I pray your holiday has been precious to your hearts as you've spent time with family. What a gift to us how God designed families. I couldn't imagine life without ours and for them I am truly grateful. Happy Thanksgiving to each of you who have invested in our lives with your time and your prayers. I am thankful to know how much you love our Ashley and thankful to "know" you. Have a blessed day. Trish


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