Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


The Season

This morning Ash and I sit in our room in Nebraska and do our very best to keep our spirits high. Each day I find the calendar slipping closer and closer to Christmas day and the date reminds me that we are not home. We are trying so very hard to be content in this situation. We sit here and listen to carols play all through the day. We drink in the delicious smell of Yankee Candles Christmas Cookie plug in and pretend we are home. We stare at the lights on our little tree(I am so, so thankful for this little piece of magic) and allow the glow to light our room each night. We snuggle in our recliner or lay on our rug underneath the colorful ornaments and watch them sparkle as they dangle above us dropping glitter into our hair. If you imagine hard enough its kind of like sparkly snowflakes falling to the ground. Our skin, our hair, our clothes, our rug, our everything is sparkly from the glitter and it makes me giggle. We will probably be sparkling well into the spring because getting it to wash out of hair has proven to be difficult. Still I feel an emptiness inside of me. Giving this room our best efforts has not proven to take away the loneliness we feel without Blake, Al, and Dave.

Christmas is more than just the day. At least it is to me. Its the whole season. The weeks leading up to that day. Its the experience. The feelings. The smells. The sights. The music. Its having days at home with no where to go and hours to sit together working puzzles, or baking sugar cookies, and wrapping gifts. Its watching Allie search and search for that special something to give to Ashley Kate. Its snuggling under the "longhorn" blanket in Blake's special spot and just waiting for him to come bounding into the room and squeezing in behind me as we settle in to watch a holiday movie. Its having the "magic" inside of our home ready and waiting for Dave as he comes in from a long day at the office. Seeing him settle on the couch in his sweatshirt and flannel pants with a look of pure contentment on his face because he is home and all the people he loves are there.

So this morning my heart is struggling to hold on to the hope that we will be discharged in time to make memories with our children this holiday season. We are inching closer and closer, but are not yet there. Not much was said in rounds this morning. I believe everyone is pulling for us, but still not much can be done if Ash isn't well enough be discharged. I don't believe she will be out of rejection by Monday morning, these things take time, but I do believe with everything in me that we should go on this trip. No regrets. That's our goal. When it comes to raising our children Dave and I have made up our minds to not miss opportunities to make their childhoods special. When they are grown I want to look at them as young people and know that I have no regrets. I want to know that I did my very best to be the very best mom to them I could possible be. Concerning Ashley Kate and her fragile health this conviction is even stronger. She could so easily slip away from us at any time and I refuse to wish I had this or wish I had that with her. I need to know that she was given opportunity to live, to experience, and to enjoy her life.

Another winter storm is on its way to Omaha. Dave is scheduled to arrive around midnight to spend the weekend with us. In a perfect world, we would be granted a discharge on Sunday morning and that would allow us to get a rental car and drive to Oklahoma together to retrieve our car that was abandoned there and pick up the older children. Then I would have the opportunity to pack for our trip on Monday and get ready to travel to Dallas to catch our flight on Tuesday. This would be ideal, but who knows if it will happen or not. They have been talking about a possible discharge on Monday if her goals are met and she is doing well. We would be allowed to take her on the holiday trip and then she and I may have to return to Omaha for a while. No one really knows what will happen over the weekend so they are afraid to commit one way or the other. Currently she still looks amazing and her gut is still in rejection.

I hope you are enjoying the last week of holiday hustle and bustle. I love every single thing about this season and I wish we weren't so isolated from all that is happening on the outside of these walls. Oh, how I wish we were out there in the middle of it all. Enjoy it. It ends way too soon. Have a great day. Trish


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