Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


A Father's Love

It was the first weekend in July of this year. We had found ourselves spending yet another holiday in the hospital with our sweet Ashley. At the time we had no idea how very serious things would get in just a matter of days. We all assumed she was battling dehydration from the left over virus she'd had the previous months.

Ashley Kate cried. A lot. Her body was severely dry and she needed a drink of water. Not wanted a drink, but needed one. It was 3 of the hardest days I think we have ever endured in the hospital. Seems silly to say that, but Ash was conscious, she was aware, and she was suffering from the dehydration. She pleaded, and screamed, and whimpered, and cried for 3 days with no relief. Her tiny voice could be heard down the halls and into the rooms next door. I know this because we have been told by friends who happened to be visiting another patient on one of these days.

Dave and I were at the end. Truly we were. Not allowed to give her even a sip our nerves were shot. Our hearts were breaking. Our Ashley was confused and angry and so very thirsty. So the only thing we knew to do was walk. And walk we did. We walked and walked and walked the grounds of that hospital in an attempt to distract our sweet girl from the constant need for a drink. On the second day of this "walking" it began to rain outside. We were keeping Ashley underneath the covered drive outside the emergency room. Every so often we would push her little toes out from underneath the covered drive and allow the rain drops to fall on them. She began to sign, "rain, rain, more rain" again and again and again. So...we took her out in the rain, and we walked. The rain came down on our heads, our faces, and her tongue. Much to her delight she figured out that the rain was wet, it was water, and if she held out her tongue the drops would eventually quench her desire. What were we supposed to do? Deny her? Not in your life. We allowed our baby to "drink" the rain that afternoon.

The next day was more of the same. The screaming, signing, crying, flailing and fighting for a cup, a drop, a drink. It was the saddest I think we have ever been. Dear friends stopped by for a visit. They didn't stay long. Days later they shared with me the tears that fell from their eyes over her suffering the moment they stepped onto the elevators. It truly was heart wrenching. So...we went walking. Again. Dave and I honestly have never had feet that hurt so bad. Our feet were so sore, but Ash needed to be distracted. So we kept going.

As soon as we stepped outside she began to sign, "rain." To which her daddy replied, "there is no rain today, baby. Its not raining."

Not good enough.

The signs kept coming, "Rain, daddy, please, rain, rain, rain, daddy". He would answer her, "I can't make it rain, Ash. I can't." and she would cry. Shake her head, No, no,no and sign, "rain, daddy, please."

What else could he do? Nothing, right? I mean he can do a lot of things, but rain? He can't make it rain. Or can he?

You see, her daddy outsmarted the weather that Sunday afternoon. Oh, yes he did.

He came upon a sprinkler on the hospital grounds. Connected to that sprinkler was a water hose. As I came out of the doors of that hospital I witnessed my husband loving our daughter. A father's love. There is nothing like it. What I stumbled upon that afternoon was my husbands thumb, covering the end of that hose and holding it up at such an angle that it began to "rain". And "rain" it did that afternoon all over my sweet Ashely's face. Her head was tilted back in her chair and her tongue was stretched out as far as it could reach. Much like in the picture I took of her today.

I can honestly say that I have never loved him more. Nor hurt for her so much, little did I know that the hurt was just beginning that day.

I sat and watched along with my mother in law, my father in law, and my son as my husband gave his all to our Ashley. In her mind there is nothing her daddy can't do for her. In those moments I saw that she was right. If it needs to be done, if it has to happen, if it will comfort her in her time of need, or bring her a moment of joy, then there is nothing that will keep him from providing it. That is how very much she is loved.

A father's love will stop at nothing. NOTHING is to big.

This why I know we are going to be alright. If we can get her home, then she's going to be alright.

How much more does our Heavenly Father love our daughter? I wonder. I really do. It must be an awful lot. It truly must be.


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