Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Things are different at our house

Nothing is the same anymore.

There is silence.  Hard, suffocating, silence.

There is no laughter.  No giggling.  No joy.

Dave and I can sit in a room for hours and not say anything to each other.  Neither of us knowing what to say or how to say it.

Most days I'm sad, but every once in a while we have a day where I am afraid.  Today was one of those days.  I've spent the better part of today in fear.  Its was a bad, bad day.

Nurses and physicians now come and go every few days.  Its so different here now.

I stepped across the street to watch Allie B. play volleyball tonight.  Neither of us wanting to be there.  I watched my 15 year old try to hold herself together.  Again.  She's been trying for weeks, and I'm so, so PROUD of her for all she is trying to do.  Tonight it all came tumbling out and the tears fell again and despite her best efforts to keep on doing all she does...she admits that she can't.  The stress, the pressure, the sadness, the fear, the pain are all too much.  She can't keep going.  She cries every single day.  She feels so alone in a group of people.  She is crumbling.  At what point do you say...its ok...none of this even don't have to keep doing this...I'm at that point today.  NO matter what anyone thinks, or says, or does...I'm going to do whats best for her and pull her.  Its not life or death...Ashley Kate's reality is.  She realizes that hitting a ball over a net means nothing to her anymore...her baby sister whom she left at home all day does.  My job is to parent her in the best way I can and protecting her, slowing her down, and re assuring her that its going to be ok if she doesn't continue to play is what I know to do.  Anyone who matters will understand and those who don't never mattered.  Its that simple.  Its going to be a difficult start to the school year for her being on the outside, but she feels shes there already.  She can't find the desire or the focus anymore.  Its ok.  It is.  Whatever she needs.  Its going to be ok.

I saw the pain on his face and the fear in his eyes today.  Blake sat on the edge of Ash's bed, holding her tiny hands as I changed all 18 bandages on her body.  His heart is breaking and at some point his strength will to.  He can't keep it all in.  I've seen tears slip from his eyes and roll down his cheeks, but there are no words spoken.  She asked him for lotion tonight.  So my amazing kid sat in front of his baby sister and rubbed her swollen feet with lotion.  The look on his face, pain in his eyes, brought me to tears.  I can't protect him from this.  There is nothing I can do.  He's been to hit at the cages 3 times today.  Its what he does when he hurts, or when he's angry, or when he is stressed.  He hits a baseball. I know hes struggling today because of the number of times he has left with his bat in hand.

I don't know how to do any of this.  None of us do.  Somehow I have to figure out how to be what each one of us needs.  I can't allow my family to fall apart.  The pain is real.  It is palpable.  You can feel it when you step inside our home.  Its so very real.

My family is hurting, and when my family hurts I go into protection mode.

Things are very, very different at our house.


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