A few months ago as I sat waiting on the surgeon's to appear from the OR and tell me this sweet girl, with the magical smile, and twinkling eyes had pulled through yet again I shared with a friend how I regretted not snapping pictures of our girl swinging. I cried huge, hot tears tears that wouldn't stop falling as I told her I knew better. I knew better than to let the moments pass and not to capture them. I am the one who decided to live this life as Ashley's mom to the fullest and not allow regret to ever sneak up on me, and yet here she was opened up from her top to her bottom with surgeons hands removing organs and I had regrets. There where no pictures of our Ashley swinging in her playroom. How could I have not taken them. Would I ever see her enjoying her swing again? Would she ever sit under her apple tree and read again? Would she and I ever lay down under its branches and watch the butterflies twirl round and round again? In those moments I truly had no guarantees. There were lots of unknowns and doubts larger than I had ever had before.
We've been home for a few months now and our Ashley has had no interest in her swing. My heart was broken as it filled with regret of the moments I had missed. Until...this afternoon...I Blake called me into the playroom to ask if I had taken Ashley over to her swing. No, I hadn't. She had gotten there all by herself and there she sat pushing it back and forth. As I entered the room a twinkle came to her eye and a smile spread across her face as she signed "swing".
These are just two of the MANY images we captured along with minutes and minutes of her on video swinging. My heart is so full of joy. So full of thanksgiving. Today I have been blessed. Even more so than I could have imagined. The Father gave back to me some of the moments I had missed capturing. As I watched her tiny feet push and push that swing I snapped photograph after photograph.
This afternoon allow me to encourage you. I encourage to not let a moment pass. Take nothing for granted. Your children will be grown before you are ready and the priceless moments of their childhood will have slipped into adulthood. Take time, take a minute to pause, take pictures, take mental notes, take the blessings you are being given every single day and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving. I'll cherish these photographs for a lifetime and even more than that I'll cherish the knowledge that our Father in heaven cared enough about me to not allow me to live with the regret of failing to capture it.
(Rachel, I finally got them and my heart is SMILING. I have a suspicion that they just might make yours smile too. Doesn't she look amazing!!!!)