Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


There are Moments...

There are moments in her life that I would't trade for anything.

There are moments in her life that have made every struggle, every fight, and every battle worth the courage it took to make it through them.

There are moments in her life that have made memories that still burn so brightly in ours minds, that we hold so precious in our hearts, and that are so priceless that we still struggle to find words to describe them.

Tonight our family will all experience another one of those moments. A moment that brought tears to my eyes instantly when asked if she would have the strength to participate.  I was unable to answer as I fought back the emotion and had to look to Dave to do the talking.  I know we both have struggled to keep from crying each day this week as the time approaches.  It means that much to us.  To our son.  To our family.

Our sweet Ashley Kate has been going to the ballpark for most of her short life.  I remember holding my tiny, 10lb, one year old baby girl in my arms when Blake hit his very first home run.  She was there with us...with him...with our sweet friends, with our beloved Tarheels.  Ash was there the night Blake stepped onto the Field of Dreams for the time his freshman year.  She was there the night he started his first high school game from behind the plate.  She was there for the first trip to the playoffs...for the second...and how we hope she will be strong enough to make it for the third year in a row.  

Tonight our sweet Ashley will be throwing the first pitch of the game to her big brother.  Its the last home game of the season for our Pirates this year and they currently sit in first place, just two games away from winning a District Championship.

I'm a little nervous for our friends to see her.  More nervous for the strangers who will be in attendance knowing there will be confused looks and stares as her tiny, yellowed body takes the field in her chair.  She's not nearly as strong as she was a few weeks ago and we know the ball won't make it more than a foot or two, but the significance of having her there tonight, throwing the ball to her big brother, knowing she's battled back yet again. is so very huge for all of us.

Just one more high five from her big brother through the fence.  Its what I was determined to give to her a week ago, determined to allow him to have again, even it was just one more time.  I'm grateful.  So very grateful.

She's his biggest fan.  She's a loyal Pirate Baseball supporter.  She's a fighter.  She's a champion.

There are moments I wouldn't trade the whole world for, and as Dave and I attempt to hold back our tears, we will be living another one of those moments with our kids tonight.

Thank you Kristi for giving this gift to all of us.  You will simply never know the magnitude of it all.


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