Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


One Wish

I cried myself to sleep last night. It happens, sometimes. The emotions that are wrapped up in this life we live are overwhelming at times. The tears can come from anywhere. Somewhere between intense sadness, fear or worry to extreme gratitude or the feeling of sincere happiness. Last night I cried because it hurt. My heart hurt. Again.

As Allie and I drove across town to soccer practice I asked her a question. "If Ash could have one wish granted what do you think she would wish for?" In less than a second she answered, "To just be a normal kid who never got sick." Ouch.

Later in the evening as I sat in the family room Blake came in and sat in his special spot. His baby sister lay sleeping on the rug. I asked him, "If Ash could have one wish granted what do you think she would wish for?" Honestly, in less than a second he answered, "To have all of this gone forever" and he motioned to the IV pole and the bags of fluids and pumps that hung there. Again, Ouch.

As Dave and I settled into our bed I lay there silently for a moment and asked, "Dave, if Ash could have one wish granted what do think she would wish for?" Instantly he answered, "To talk." It hurt. The tears began to fall from my eyes and roll down my cheeks. As I cried I though to myself, "If I could have one wish granted for her it would be that this time in our home would never end. Ever." Eventually I cried until I feel asleep.

A normal kid, a healthy little girl, without any pumps or tubes, who could talk and never have to leave her home again. One wish. Each of our hearts hold on to one for our baby gherkin. We all know what we wish for, but how will we ever know what she would wish for herself?

Yesterday I received a call from the Make a Wish foundation. They would like to grant Ashley Kate a wish. I didn't expect to hear from them. We honestly thought that since she couldn't talk and didn't have the ability to express in an interview what her wish would be that she would not be offered the opportunity. I guess we were wrong.

Unfortunately any of the things we all wish for Ash are a little out of their reach, but as I lay my head down last night I wished with all that is in me that somehow just one of them might come true. Any single one of them.

Tonight I tried to lay down and will myself to sleep. The rest of the house is. I willed my mind to slow down, my heart to quit pounding, and my eyes to close. It didn't happen. I lay there thinking about our wishes, our hopes, our dreams, our desires for our baby and then I realized that perhaps none of these things we wish for are what the Father wishes for her. What do I want more? Such a hard question. Of course I know what the right answer is. I could recite it to you, but is it what my heart wishes? When it comes down to it I do want His best for my daughter, but how do I stop the tears from coming and console my aching heart when I realize it might not be what I'd wish for her? I'm 31/2 years into her life and it hurts just as deeply today as it did the day she entered my heart and the moment I realized that His best wasn't going to be what I thought it should be.

I watched her today. I watched her struggle to stand up. I watched her snuggle under her quilt for a nap. I watched her color a picture with Allie. I watched her reach her tiny hands up to her daddy. I watched her throw a ball. I watched her watching Blake and saw the anticipation on her face as he got closer and closer to her. I watched her rub her sleepy eyes. I watched her fall asleep. One wish? Just one? That I could see her enjoy her life everyday for the rest of mine. That's what I wish.

Make a wish can't grant it, but I know the One who can.


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