Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Plus and MInus

Late last night it was confirmed in our latest set of cultures that we have both positive and negative bugs growing in Ashley's central line and blood stream. The positive bug is our nemesis...staph. Just part of our life the last 6months. The negative is identified as some kind of "ICU bug" which is odd since Ashley hasn't been in the ICU in a long, long time. Most concerning is that the cultures are still growing bugs even though she's been on antibiotics since Wednesday. Leaves us all wondering if in fact these bugs are becoming resistant to treatment.

Tonight I sat down in a restaurant with my son. Just the two of us. We talked about a lot of things. Heart issues mainly. The importance of Godly character. Choices in friends. Growing up. Maturing. Baseball. His baby sister, and a few other things sprinkled in the mix of conversation.

At one point in our conversation he looked at me and said, "Everyday I wake up with the knowledge that today my little sister may die. Still I try to keep being positive. I stay happy. I just don't lose it, even though I know I could at any time."

My heart was pierced by his words. Literally I felt a pain so sharp shoot through me. Its not often that we talk about things this serious. Blake is a happy kid. Laid back. Loves life. Plays ball. Laughs a lot. He's just so much fun. I try to keep it light with him. Always telling him the truth, but trying not to burden his heart with too many details.

He was standing in the on deck circle late last night chatting with me through the fence when I got the call that we now had a positive bug to go along with a negative bug in Ashley's blood. He looked over at me and said, "Ahhh, you know, nothing that serious. Just life and death." Then he stepped up to the plate and tried to do his job. Seriously, I don't know how my big kids do this. I mean, it brings me to my knees some days, paralyzes me with fear on others, and breaks my heart almost every day.

Blake and I talked about what we've learned from Ash and her life. Mainly coming away with the statement that life is good and not to take any of its moments for granted. There's not much that ruffles our feathers anymore. Silly, petty, not important issues that surround most teenagers just don't get to him. He's a little more grounded than that, and I know its because of his sister.

I shared with him how proud I was of the way he and Allie loved Ash. I truly am proud of how much they adore her. "Why, mom? Why would you be proud of that? Its so easy to love her. Its not hard for us."

I let him know that I'm proud of the way they love her because they love her without condition. They take such care with her. Show such understanding and kindness. For example it takes three of us to change dressings on Ash now. That third spot has become Blake's. He so tenderly holds that tiny girl down and talks her through it as I work as fast as I can because not only do I know it is painful for Ashley Kate, but its painful for her big brother who has to be a part of hurting her.

This kid is going to make an incredible man some day. Simply incredible.

So on this day of not his best baseball performance ever(don't mistake my words he made some awesome plays things just didn't go his way at the plate this weekend), my son once again proved to be one of my favorite people on this planet. We laughed together, we hurt together, we sang at the top of our lungs to some really cheesy country songs together, and we walked into our home a few moments ago, kissed a tiny girl's sweet forehead and told her goodnight together.

All in all I think today was filled with a few different plus and minus'. Ashley's blood did make it up to a level of 50,000 platelets which allowed her to avoid a blood transfusion. So even though the positive cultures are a negative, the additional platelets where a positive. Blake's team lost in the championship game in Waco tonight and that was a negative, but he is still an amazing player and an even more amazing young man and that is a positive!

Our week has been rocky, but our life is still blessed. Ashley Kate is sick, but she's asleep in her own bed. The drive home was a long one tonight, but we are safely back home. I'm grateful for these things and so much more as I close out this day. Goodnight my friends. Thank you so very much for loving us and praying for our Ashley.


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