Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


I don't feel it

I sit here tonight having just said goodnight to Dave as he retired early because of an early visit to the gym in the morning with Blake. We tag teamed as we do most nights Ashley's cares. It takes us both working together for about an hour to get her TPN prepared, IV fluids hung, and Omegaven infusing. We check the ostomy bag, replacing it most nights, and empty her G-tube drainage. Change her diaper and put her into her p.j.s. Braid her hair if its not already so that we can save as much of it as possible and then tuck that precious girl underneath her covers. Kiss her tiny face goodnight and retrieve her dinosaur from whatever place he last lay. We turn on her music, turn off the lights, and tiptoe out of the room. Its quiet in the house except for those carols coming from her room and the crackling of the fire. I'm in the family room all alone and it feels good to sit for awhile and concentrate on being still. I've been going all day and now that the day is ending its time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday just as I did this morning as the day began. I love this time of year. I just absolutely love it.

I don't feel the pressure so many others talk about. I don't feel stressed out because of the holiday. I don't dread one single task. I don't feel it, and I really don't get it. I just enjoy it. All of it. I enjoy the peace of it. Its the time of year that I get to really feel the peace of God in my heart and in my home. It seems so odd to me that even among all the unknowns of our life right now that I can sit still in this room and stare at our Christmas tree and feel this overwhelming sense of peace. There is something about this time of year and all that accompanies it that brings me such joy and happiness. Its calming to my spirit. It gives me perspective in this crazy life I live. Christmas is undeniably my favorite time and how blessed am I that it comes back to me every single year. Its something I look forward to the moment it passes. What could be stressful about any of this?

I'm ready to close my eyes and allow myself to get lost in remembering the moments of today. Time spent playing with Ashley Kate on the floor of her play room. Sitting in the stands watching my son play high school basketball. Listening to Allie talk and talk and talk about all the silly things her and her BFF did tonight while shopping, and the goings on of her day. Hugging Dave tight as we stood in the middle of this room just moments ago and watching him walk toward our room down the hall. Its been a good day in our home. One filled with peace and laughter and activity and dinosaurs and teenage humor and a little drama to go along with the humor and love and living. I'm grateful for today. Grateful for my family. Grateful for the holiday season. Tomorrow morning I will get to do this all again. How is it that I am this blessed? Our tiny girl lay in the next room dreaming of tomorrow and all that it holds for her. It is such a blessed life.

My friends I hope that you are able to really soak in this holiday season and the peace that it can bring to you. It breaks my heart to hear others who are struggling with the pressures and the stresses of the holidays. It just doesn't have to be that way. Truly it doesn't. If ever there were a time to slow down and focus on what is important in this life it is now. Focus on Christ. On what we've been given because of His birth. Focus on those in your life whom you call family. Focus on your children. Allow the peace that He offers to envelop you and yours. It feels so very good to know that Jesus came to this place for us.

Merry Christmas and good night from our family down here in the great state of Texas. Talk to you in the morning. The fire is calling my name.


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