Putting an End
to what has proven to be one of the hardest and yet one of the best years of her life. Its time to let this year go and all the struggles, heart aches, and hurts that it included for her and for us. Still I want to hold close to my heart the triumphs that came out it, the lessons that were learned from it, and the knowledge of His presence that we were reminded of during it.
We started this year with such hope for our baby gherkin. We were so ready to put an end to her struggle and see just how far she could go, how much she could learn, and all she would accomplish. It didn't take long for us to be reminded once again of her frailty as we faced the prospect of losing her early on in the year. She hung on and fought one of the toughest fights of her little life and once again proved to us that God was not quite finished using her to impact her little corner of the world.
Once home she took off. All the things we had hoped we would see from her began to sprout as her strength renewed and she began to grow. We celebrated much this year. We saw such progress in her development. We found ourselves encouraged that this could actually be the year for her to learn to crawl, to stand, to walk. How excited we were by her accomplishments. What seemed small to some was so big to us. I'll never forget the night we first saw her scoot. It was a mere 2 inches, but had you been present to hear the cheers and celebration inside of our home that night you would have thought it were 2 miles. Each of us had such high hopes. Blake and Allie spent their summer working with her, encouraging her, and cheering her on. We surely believed this would be the year.
It proved not to actually happen for her. Once she became sick in early October she lost most if not all that she had learned and accomplished. As disappointing as it has been to see her decline in those areas she had worked so hard in we still celebrate the fact that she is battling back once again. She is still with us. Living, breathing, playing, laughing.
In the end, as I look back over this year what truly matters to us is what has always mattered where Ashley Kate is concerned. Dave and I prayed for two things for this child. We asked God to allow her to be happy. We asked God that she have the ability to give and receive love. That was our hearts desire. He has answered those two prayers. She lives life with a joy that only He could have given, and she loves. Oh my goodness does she ever love us back. In her eyes, her smile, her touches, her hugs, her "xmo's". She knows what it is to feel love and she knows how to return that love back to us. If she never walks, never talks, never does any thing other than what she does now we will still say that "God is good". For He truly is. He has created this amazing child and He has given her to us to love and to be loved back by her. When I look back over 2008 what shines the brightest is the smile on her face, the twinkle in her eyes, and the giggle from her heart.
Honestly, it has been a blessed year. So here's to 2009. May she learn and grow and love and accomplish all that He has in store for her. In the end nothing else will matter. My prayer for my child tonight is that He make her into exactly what He desires for her to be, and that He place inside of my heart an acceptance of that no matter what it is or isn't.
Happy New Year from our hospital room in Omaha, Nebraska. May the new year return us to our home and reunite the 5 of us once again. Goodnight and God bless you. Trish