Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


What Changed?

I've asked myself this question hundreds of times this week in an attempt to...nevermind...I don't even know why I keep asking myself anything.  Nothing makes sense.  Nothing even matters.  Simply nothing.

Just shy of 8 years into this journey, 3 years post ex plant, I've never been able to answer these questions that haunt me.

I watched my son's jaw clench tightly as he drove down the rode and fought back the tears from behind his sunglasses.  I sat across from my daughter at lunch today and watched her tears flow down her cheeks then watched as she ran from the room.  I saw my husband of 20 years tonight, tears burning his eyes, determined not to fall apart, carefully choose each word he allowed to come from his mouth so that neither of us would lose it. I bathed my baby girl, shampooed her hair, brushed and braided it, and used every ounce of my strength to keep myself from wailing as I went through each step of the process.  My heart is broken.  Shattered.  Injured so deeply I fear as though I'll never recover and yet I know there is deeper hurt still to come.  The people in my world, those I'd die to protect, the ones I'd do anything to keep anyone from hurting, are suffering and there is NOTHING I can do to change any of this.

There has been no harder moment to date in my life than the moments we spent in our meeting tonight.  

Does anyone have any idea how maddening this is?

Admitting that to strangers... Realizing, as I'm describing the changes I'm seeing in her, was the single most difficult breath I've ever had to breathe.  Saying out loud the thoughts that keep me awake every night.  Putting it out there, speaking it, hearing myself say it, and knowing its true...I'm reeling from it.  Still, hours later, I'm reeling.

I'm going to share this next sentence and then I don't ever want to talk about it again.  It will be the only time you will ever read these words on this blog.

We met with hospice tonight.

God, grant us a miracle. I'm begging.  Pleading.  Praying.  We need miracles.

Please resist the urge to tell me things like her miracle may come in other ways.  Or that she will be an angel watching over us.  Healing will come to her on the other side.  Please don't share that with me.  Just don't.  It isn't helping.  Its hurting. I don't want to hear it from my parents, Dave's parents, my siblings, our families, or our friends. We will share what we want or need to share or get out on these pages and then don't ask us to talk about it anymore.  Please understand how very difficult it is for us to keep it together.  We still have to wake up everyday and function, go to work, raise our other children, and live...even though neither one of us feels like it.   I hope that doesn't come across rude or harsh.  It is not my intention.  I just can't read or listen to those sentiments right now.  I want Ashley to live.  We don't want this to be ok.  We don't want to know that life will go on.  We don't want to be told that we will survive.

We came home to our little girl this evening and she asked to watch Myth Busters. Ash is still Ash:)  She sat on her "perch" in our family room and giggled her little heart out.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud because her laughter, her joy, her sheer enjoyment, of that stupid show is contagious!  I wondered to myself how we will ever live in this home without those sounds.  God don't ever let that day come.  PLEASE, let her stay.  PLEASE.

I'm desperately trying not to let this all spiral out of control.  I don't want to miss out on a single moment because the pain is so great it overwhelms us.  One minute at a time.  

Ashley is with us today.  Our beautiful little girl is resting peacefully down the hall.  She is home.  She is not afraid.  She is safe.  She is here.  I'm closing my eyes and concentrating on those truths tonight.


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