Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Next Leg

Today we are beginning the next leg of this journey. Ashley's story is turning a page. A new chapter begins.


Wow. I'll be honest and tell you I had several days the last couple of months that I just didn't know if we would ever take her back to her home. So today is...sweet. A little bitter if I allow my mind to drift off of the good and the unknown drifts in, but I'm concentrating so hard on being grateful for today. Today is enough. Today we take her home. Today.

Ash is a different little girl the one we began the month of June with. She's not the same. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. She of course has a different anatomy. We are all aware her small intestine is no longer. I'm coping with that. As best as we can. Knowing she may or may not receive and survive another transplant. Figuring life out again. A new routine. New meds. New days on the horizon. The mental and emotional parts are the hardest though. Not seeing her eyes filled with a sparkly joy. Not listening to her constant giggle. I believe that as the days progress and her medications begin to wean that she may return to us. I do believe that. Its just not going to be instant. The long and short of it is that Ashley Kate is a very sick little girl. Honestly...that sucks. It just does.

Knowing we have a very difficult road ahead of us makes the homecoming a little less sweet. Knowing it is only temporary is hard. Knowing we have it within our power to make the most of our time is also very sweet. Dave and I could spend our days crying and worrying. Or...we could spend our days smiling, soaking it up, breathing her in, making sure each one counts, creating new memories for our children. That is our goal. I can't promise you that in the quiet hours of the night when the kids are sleeping that tears won't come and that the unsure path of her life won't hurt us. I know that it will happen. But...I can promise you that we are going to stay focused as much as we can on our family and the time we have together. It will be a conscious decision. Blake and Allison know that Ashley may die. We've already had those discussions. We don't need to spend our days focused on what may happen. We want to follow their lead. If they need to talk then we will talk. If they need to just be kids and not talk about it, then that is what we will allow them to do. I think the hardest days of our parenting are looming on the horizon and that is intimidating. It truly is. I pray Dave and I do our job to the best of our ability. I also think that God has given us 3 of the most amazing young people to parent and that He has been equipping each one of them for the parts they will be called on to play. I believe that. I see it in their eyes, in their strengths, in their confidence.

So today Ash is fighting off the symptoms of withdrawal. She is currently on methadone and valuum and fentanyl. She is shaky and nauseated. Its not fun to watch as her body trembles, but I know she can get through this time. I've seen her do it before.

Currently they are working hard to figure out how to get the narcotics released to us. Its a "drug" nightmare trying to go from hospital to outpatient to out of state. They are all controlled substances and there are LOTS of regulations on how it all has to work. Once that is figured out then we will be headed back toward Texas with our gherkin. My kids are going to be THRILLED!

Thank you for your prayers. It may be a quiet weekend from us. Just enjoying our family being together again, watching our kids do what they love(you know that includes a little baseball), and figuring out how to live out this new chapter in our lives.


Please don't mention our homecoming to Blake and Allie. I'm hoping to pull of the surprise and be sitting there with Ashley Kate as they come home tonight. Its going to be awesome if it all comes together. They aren't expecting her today so this could turn out really fun!


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