Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Her one and Only

There was a time, a very brief time in her life, that she spoke her one and only words. Ever. It was the sweetest sounding word my ears had ever heard being spoken by the sweetest little girl I'd ever loved. It was "my mama". Thankfully we captured that sweet, sweet sound on a little video clip shortly after her transplant. It was November of 2006.

She coded in January of 2007.

Since that day I have only ever heard it once, in a whisper, as she lay her head on my shoulder one night. I'll never forget it. It gave me hope at a particular point in this journey that I was struggling to hang on to any.

Never have I heard her speak it again.

Tonight she lays on the couch in the family room, wrestling with her big brother, and loudly proclaiming the only other word she's spoken with great clarity and purpose.


It is currently her one and only.

As I sit across the room from the two of them, I'm watching and listening, and doing my best not to cry because I realized a moment ago that if she could only ever have one word to speak I'm glad that she's chosen for it to be "bubba".

I'm glad for his sake because he loves her so very much.

And even though the rest of us love her just as much there is something special that the two of them have together. Something I can't quite describe in words, but she does as she loudly and so intentionally yells for her "bubba".


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