Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


So Much More than...Gratitude

There are no words. Truly there are not. My heart holds onto a gratitude that runs so deeply throughout my life that it is more than what can be celebrated on just one day a year. It is so much more than Thanksgiving.

If she has taught me anything it is to be grateful. Before this tiny girl of ours came into our hearts I knew so little about what it meant to be truly grateful. I now wake each day with gratitude on my lips and it is deeply rooted into my heart. I find myself whispering "thank you's" all day long and I know I need to say no more for He knows my thoughts and already sees my heart.

Her every breath makes me thankful. Sometimes I catch myself staring at the rise and fall of her chest. I get lost in the image as I imagine her lungs filling with air without the hum of a ventilator in the background. It is a beautiful thing. Truly beautiful.

As I watch her play throughout the day I humbly whisper thank you as the remembrance of the life that gave her life comes across my heart. One lost, but one gained. How do you grasp such a thing? Can I ever truly understand the magnitude of such loss that brought to our family such gain?

I spent the past week fighting back stinging tears from my eyes as I would glance across the room and see a niece or a nephew, an aunt or an uncle, a grand parent or a treasured friend approach our baby. The joy that flooded my soul was overwhelming. It was so beautiful to listen to them visit with our daughter. For the first time in four years there was no fight to get there, no fear of not being home, no pleading with physicians, no struggle. The only struggle that I had was not allowing myself to shout from the roof top in fear that it might not really happen or that it might slip away from our grasp. So instead of writing or sharing or shouting our feelings for the world to hear I kept them held close to my heart.

This morning we are back home from a week spent with our family and friends anticipating the Christmas holiday as it approaches and trying desperately to contain the excitement we feel about hosting them all here in our home this holiday. All together.

God is so, so good and shows such grace and mercy toward us. I am grateful, and it was a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday for our family. I trust yours was just as meaningful. Looking forward to Christmas and not wishing it to go by too quickly. Happy Holidays and God bless each of you. Trish


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