Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Simple, but OH SO SWEET

Ashley Kate is still sleeping. She sleeps late most mornings these days. I'm ok with that. I like sitting here a room away, listening to her Christmas carols play(they play all year long in her room) and the sweet sounds of her breathing. I walk by the door to her room and peek at her several times each morning. If she hears me she adjusts herself, pulls her quilts up tightly over her long legs and squeezes her eyes tight. I love that! I really do.

Life is simple in her world. I'm ok with that too. In fact, I prefer it that way for her. I've tried it both ways, heavily scheduled with therapies, school work, and doctors appointments, and then this way with only rest, laughter, play. Like I said, I prefer it simple. She's happy.

Every once in a while I long for it to be different for her, but I always end those longings with thanksgiving that life is so sweet for her instead. She knows not of what she is "missing" out on and to live a life in that way is almost a longing in my own heart.

I asked Dave the other night if he would be ok with her never learning to read or write. He said he was. "Life isn't really about all of that. I've learned that the world tries to fit everybody into the same box and the truth is its not the way it has to be. Not everyone fits in that box, and thats ok." I smiled on the inside lying next to him in the dark that night. I love him. He is so wise. He brings to me a balance that I lack.

I guess I found myself struggling a little with all the "what ifs" and such after her last dentist appointment. Words sting. Even when they are innocent and accurate and nothing more than a description. I just have never defined Ash as anything other than beautiful. I hate when she is defined by the rest of the world. It hurts to hear things like, "special needs", or "a child like her", or "with her behavioral issues". Seriously, is that what you see when in her presence? I feel so sorry for anyone who doesn't see more than that. I see so much more when I stare at her. I spend her life thinking outside of those stupid boxes and doing my best to not have her labeled.

With all the struggle over this the past week or so I have changed my focus. I am now squarely focusing on the simplicity of who she is and appreciating her take on this world. Simple. Sweet. So happy. What else even matters?

She won't be having any teeth made to replace the lost permanent teeth. Her smile will be a constant reminder of a the accident and yet also a reminder of how blessed we are that all she suffers from is missing teeth. That is a lot for me to swallow. They can't make a flipper for her and aren't even willing to try because of all those lovely labels thrown out at last weeks appointments. An implant is not possible until her facial bones are fully grown and no one expects her to live into young adulthood. That is a lot for this mom to think on. Still it makes me smile to see her snuggled in her bed because no one expected her to live to this day either. I can't tell you the number of times we have been told she wasn't expected to make it. A year ago they had me believing it too.

But today...she's still here. And is simple. And tomorrow...I expect to be just as sweet in her world as it is in this moment.


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