Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


An early Christmas gift

Sweet Ash,

Christmas is only one week away and you are are home...again.  My heart smiles at the thought of spending another Christmas with you my sweet, sweet girl.

We have had some harder days as of late and I wondered if we would be given another Christmas together this year.  Some days I wonder how many more we will spend together, but then I try so very hard not to get ahead of today.  So I want to tell you about today.

You smiled a lot today.  Your giggle was heard from room to room and Daddy and I talked about how very glad we were to hear it back again.  I don't know what was different about today for you, but you showed us that you, our sweet girl, is still capable of having good, good days.  My heart needed to know that today. Its not that life has changed so very much, its just that life is changing quickly for you and we have witnessed those changes and fought back the tears.  To be honest...fought back the fear too.

I listened to you play today.  From outside the door of your play room I peeked in to watch you just be you.  My heart could hardly contain the emotion that welled up inside of me.  Your beauty.  Your sweet, sweet spirit.  Your twinkle.  Your smile.  Your long brown hair that fell across your face.  I drank it all in.  Snapping a mental photograph as the lights of your Christmas tree glowed behind you.  I watched you play with your insect puzzle and giggled as I wondered how I was blessed with a tiny princess who loves all things not "princessy".  I watched you dig through your pile of bugs until you found the perfect one.  The one you love the most.  The fly...and I couldn't help but smile...because I don't get why you love that nasty thing...but I love that you do.  I listened as you raced your cars down the track and watched you dump them all out on the rug.  I scanned your beautiful play room and searched for something girly...and giggled again when the best I came up with was a lady bug.  Why is it that you love everything I never thought you would?  and why is it that you don't love baby dolls, or doll houses, or purses?

  Oh Ash,  I couldn't love you more if I tried!

Tonight I listened to you laugh and giggle with Daddy as he tucked you into your bed.  You laughed so hard and so loud I had to come and peek around the corner to see why.  Nothing special was happening...except thats what made it so very special.  You and Daddy were laughing just because he has missed hearing it so very much and tonight you felt like doing it.  So he joined you...and you giggled...and you laughed...and lay there together...he so big in your tiny bed...sitting by your side... laughing until your belly must have ached.!  Such joy!

At 2:30 this morning I woke to your laughter.  I walked down the hall to see your smile...ear to ear...shining through the glow of your snowflake lights.  I told you it was time to sleep, you needed your rest, you were supposed to go night night.  Your response?  You asked for a book.  Not just any book...the book...our book.  How could I say no?  and so I sat and recited page by page from memory as you turned them.  The smile in your eyes was so bright...In the great green room, there was a telephone, and a red balloon...and a picture of a cow jumping over the moon...I remembered reading those words to you as lay so tiny, so new, in your little "incubator" in the NICU.  I couldn't help but picture you there as I stared at your long legs and precious hands tonight.  Hands that I had no idea would one day speak for you and legs that I would have never imagined wouldn't carry you through your life.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as the thoughts came to me. That story has served us well.  Through the years, many hospitals stays, and many nights.  Tonight we shared it once again, just as we will tomorrow I'm sure.  Oh how I love Goodnight Moon because of how much I love you.

Sweet Ash, you had a good day.  In between your long naps you smiled today and you laughed and you played.  As I sit here in the early morning hours of what has now become a new day I know that it was the gift I needed this Christmas.  Merry Christmas to you baby gherkin and thank you for giving me the memories we made together this day.  Love you sweet, sweet girl,  Mom.


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