Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


A little bit of Magic

I'm going to share just a little piece of the magic that our family was blessed to experience this Christmas holiday as we made our escape from real life and stepped into a fairytale. I was truly healing to each and every one of us as we enjoyed playing together for those few days. I will never forget our days spent together at the "castle" and all that made her little eyes sparkle. The funny thing is that when her eyes were sparkling you could see it spread to each of ours as we enjoyed seeing the "world" through her eyes.

We arrived on Christmas Eve and had the privilege of listening to the Christmas story being read by none other than Stephen Curtis Chapman at the candlelight processional at Epcot. It was an incredible experience that sent chills up and down my spine as I sat as still as I could and soaked in the beautiful words of His story and the music of the choirs. As I looked to my left and then to my right my eyes could no longer hold the tears that fell. On my left sat the tiniest, most beautiful pickle. To my right sat our gorgeous Allison Brooke, then their incredible big brother and finally the man that keeps us all going on the days that we think we can no longer do what we have been called to do. The gratitude that welled up in my soul during those moments cannot be described. It was an amazing way to spend Christmas Eve. All together. Finally.

After waking early and peeking into our stockings we spent Christmas Day at the Magic Kingdom for none other than our sweet Ashley. It is basically designed to make the eyes of little ones shine and it did not disappointment. There were a few things that I wanted to be sure and see her experience and then we concentrated on allowing the "3" big kids to do each and everything their hearts desired. The one and only thing I wanted to do was sit back and enjoy watching. My heart could not have been happier. The trip alone was more than I imagined could happen for her just a few weeks ago and so having her with us was the biggest gift I have ever received.

Our first stop for Ashley Kate was the Dumbo ride. This was only one of the two times we transferred her out of her chair the entire time we were there. I quickly learned that her chair was her safe place and it not only comforted her it also protected her tiny body. It was difficult at first for Blake and Allison to adjust to the handicap tag that was placed on her chair, to the wheel chair lifts on the bus, and to the over all looks that came our way as we managed pumps, tubes, masks, meds, etc., but it didn't take long for them to see that this is the way life just happens to be for her at this time and that it doesn't change who she is to us. They were so very protective of her and handled themselves beautifully with others curiosity. They are so grown up and so amazing.

Ashley Kate rode the Dumbo ride and then Cinderella's Carousel(which by the way she hated! I was so shocked, and then figured out she was remembering her riding therapy! She did not love the carousel horse and I have the pictures to prove it, but I don't want you to see her crying. This trip was supposed to be fun. Ha, ha.)

The parades were definitely one of her very favorite things and I just knew they would be. The music, the dancing, the bright colors were all very captivating to her. Dave and Blake did not love Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Parade. We were on the verge of being trampled as those behind us continued to push and push as each person in the crowd attempted to get a better view. I think the boys could have done without this parade and this experience. Thankfully the girls were safely tucked on the very front row behind the rope and Ash was not in the mix of all the mess. I just giggled as I watched the guys get grumpier and grumpier as Ashley became happier and happier. After all the whole Magic Kingdom day was planned around her interests and we were going to enjoy it! As the crowd dispersed so did the grumpiness and all was right again.

The parade ended with a visit from none other than St. Nick. By this time in the afternoon Ashley Kate needed a little nap and the big kids needed a little lunch. We hopped into Pinocchio's Village to cool off and allow her to rest while we ate.

Christmas Day was nothing short of amazing. We had such a wonderful time. Ash loved being there and had so much to look at and enjoy. There is no way I can show you all that she saw and experienced, but trust me when I tell you her daddy and I will not soon forget watching her take it all in.

This was our first time actually taking her out into the real world. It was an experience all in itself. Even though there were many stares and question to face there were also many, many smiles, compliments, and joy in strangers eyes as they watched our tiny little one enjoy the magic on this day.

I can see that this post is going to have to be done in parts. I have been working on it for almost 2 hours now and I'm going to take a little break. As I have attempted to put the slide show together I have figured out it needs to take place in parts also. There are just too many pictures to place in one show. I'm still working on it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home