I get emotional when...
...I watch her pedaling her bike down our street faster than her nan can keep up with.
...I listen to the laughter come pouring out of her 15 year old brother as she slashes fruit along side him as they play "fruit ninja".
...I stumble across a text on Allie's phone that said, "The best day of my life was the day we adopted my baby sister."
...I witness her wrestling her daddy each afternoon as he attempts to eat his lunch.
...I see the joy well up in her eyes as we tell her its time to go some where. Anywhere. It doesn't matter to Ash as long as she gets to go with us.
...I dream about the possibility of having a year away from our transplant center. A year that allows her to be every bit of 5 years old that she can be. Its just a dream, but one that I can't get out of my mind.
...I hold that little girl close to my heart each morning when she wakes up.
...I ease drop on the "big girl" conversations Allie has with her each night before bed.
...I peek in on her "sleeping" only to find a 15 year old curled up next to his baby sister in her big girl bed reading stories to her since she just wasn't ready to go to sleep.
...I watch her pull her daddy close to hug him the best way she knows how.
...I imagine what life should have been, could have been, and will be.
...I stop long enough to realize how temporary this reprieve from struggle truly is.
...I thank our Father for each moment of each day He is giving us with our Ashley.
...I attempt to pray about another transplant.
...I read the stories of our transplant friends and I realize that there are others living similar lives to ours. The pain of their words echo the pain of our reality and it is so, so emotional.
...I think long enough about leaving that I realize we will be leaving behind two of the greatest teenagers I know to battle adolescence on their own. My heart breaks at the thought.
...I remember the pain of transplant, the physical struggle, and the fight for life and breath that my daughter will be going through. Again.
...I realize Dave and I will be holding a marriage and a relationship together across 700 miles for an unknown length of time. Its the hardest thing we've ever done. Its very, very tough to remain close when we are forced to live in two different worlds. It makes me cry remembering the empty feelings of loneliness on the hardest days of our lives.
...I witness our little girl living so unaware without a care in the world. Her innocence blesses me and yet it hurts me all at the same time. How do we start all over again? How?
The tears flood my soul and run down my cheeks almost daily. Tears of joy. Tears of pain. The tears come at the most unexpected times. I fight the sting of them as I attempt to not let them be seen. The emotions wash over me and I feel as though I may be swept away in the waves of them as they crash into my world.
Last night I asked Dave if he thought we could get a year. A year from ex plant to re-transplant. A year to be 5 and then turn 6. The truth is that at the end of the day I want more than a year, I want a whole childhood, but if I could get one then maybe I could get two?