It seems as though I remember Ashley's life, her journey, her struggles, and triumphs in dates. I associate each part of her story according to what the calendar said at that time. I'm not sure why my mind works this way, but it does. So today...Mother's day 2011...reminded me of Mother's day 2o10...because it was the week following that my Ashley's latest chapter began to be written. A cloud of memories, sadness, and hurts seemed to hang over my head for the day. So ugly. I wanted to shake it, and managed to for hours at a time only to have it reappear to haunt me when I wasn't concentrating on allowing it not too.
Up until the Wednesday after Mothers day 2o1o we had been living Ashley's best life to that date. Almost an entire year hospital admission, illness, and struggle free. It was a fairy tale of sorts for us. We had known such uncertainty with mere months of normal in between. Dave and I were relaxed. We began to breathe. We made plans. We felt confident. How were we to know that a stomach virus, would come upon her. A hospital visit would be in order. She would recover for one short week only to have it re occur with the same vengeance. Ultimately it would lead us to the place we are in know. A stomach bug? Seriously? Out of no where? Lead to explant? Uncertainty? Near death? Re-listing? Living all the while knowing time was not on our side, on her side? Wow. Its been a struggle today. Really, I have struggled.
Still...I was surrounded with the most amazing children I've ever known. Go figure...they are mine! How blessed I am! I listened to Ashley Kate giggle uncontrollably. I watched Blake smile so wide at his baby sister as he announced, "Do you have any idea how much I love this little girl?" I stared in silence as I couldn't take my eyes off of Allie B. and her natural beauty as she walked through the room. I had a feeling of joy deep in my heart because I am their mom, and yet it was in a battle with the memory of this date from a year ago. Ugh!
Honestly I feel as though I am constantly at war with the calendar and its dates. The days, the numbers on the page, the memory each one holds.
Its 2 something a.m. the day after Mother's day 2011 and my heart is full. I have 3 children asleep in their beds unaware that their mom peeks into their rooms each night, each time I wake to care for the youngest, and whispers a prayer over the threshold. I tip toe close enough to touch their beds, breathe in the their sweet smell, and thank the Father for making me not just a mom, but making me their mom.
I imagine I'll continue to battle the dates and the pages of the calendar for the rest of this journey. I don't see it coming to an end anytime soon. My prayer is that I'll be able to overcome the memories of struggle and replace them with the preciousness of the moments we are currently living.
In the end I think I can say that I enjoyed today. Despite the date and the remembering of what this week last year started. I really did see the beauty surrounding me in the faces of our three children. Joy in their eyes. Smiles on their faces. Conversation spilling off the tips of their tongues. It was a blessed day. We didn't "do" anything other than what we do every other day. We lived. We played. We visited. We were still. We spent it together. I can't imagine doing anything more enjoyable than that.