Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



This morning Ash had her first appointment at the prosthetic and orthotic clinic. By the end of the year her tiny feet will no longer be wearing little pink mary janes. I hadn't even thought about that. It never crossed my mind, so preparing my heart for the disappointment about this little fact didn't take place. I heard these words, "although her little shoes are awfully cute, she won't be needing them once the braces come in." Huh? I asked, "She won't need to wear any shoes with the braces? Silly me. That's not what he meant. Of course she'll be wearing shoes. They just wont be pink or cute or little or mary janes. Oh.

Please tell me why things like this sting my heart so. Why does something so trivial cause me to catch my breath and fight back tears. I just don't get it. There only shoes. Shoes of all things! In the grand scheme of all her life has held what style of shoe she gets to wear should mean NOTHING to this momma's heart. So why then does it?

As I have thought about this all morning long I have decided it must be the desire that still resides deep down inside of my heart for normalcy for my daughter. In the inner most parts of my heart I still want her not to be different. Not to look different, act different, sound different, or move different than any other four year old out there. I don't want her not to wear cute little mary jane's and I don't want her to wear ankle braces. I don't want her to move around the room in a wheel chair. I don't want my dreams for her to be dead. Call me silly, stupid or selfish if you will, but my mommy's heart wants her to run and skip and hop all over my house in pink mary janes. It just does. That's the honest truth. I can put on a happy face all day long, but inside of me my heart is breaking. Normal is not going to happen. Its just not.

We expect that by the end of 2009 Ash will have her braces and her motorized chair(did I ever share with you that its pink and the seat is monogrammed:). Life will look very different for our little one. She will finally have the support her little legs need to gain the strength it takes to learn to stand and to walk independently. She will also have a new found freedom as she learns to maneuver herself from room to room at her will and no longer be dependant on me to move her from place to place. Its exciting and heart wrenching all wrapped up in one big emotional mess inside of me.

My heart is hopeful. Hopeful that the braces will be the key she's been missing all these years and that they will lead her tiny body up out of that chair. That's my hope for my sweet Ashley. I remain hopeful that she will walk. On her own. Very soon.

Our therapist said to me, " If I told you that she was going to walk at the age of 5 would any of this had mattered to you?" The answer to that is "No." None of the struggle we are going through at this time would matter one little bit just knowing that she was going to be able to walk. 5 or 25? Still it wouldn't matter if only I knew that one day she would. I have to stay focused on that goal. Ashley Kate is going to walk someday and even though it may not be in her pink mary jane's I will still celebrate.


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