Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


You Just Don't Know

I'm going to speak truth today.  It was the promise I made to myself in the beginning of this story and I'll hold myself accountable to keep that promise.

You just don't know.


I'm SO grateful that you don't.  SO VERY grateful.

If you did not live inside this home with her then you just can't know how it feels to live here without her.  If you did not live with the sounds of her laughter, her play, her music, her movies, her toys, her very breath as she slept, then you just don't know the magnitude of the loss.  You can't know.  The silence is SO loud.  I sit in it daily and it makes me want to scream.  Scream out, audibly, angrily, loudly into the space that she once filled and no longer does.

Ashley Kate filled our home.  She filled our hearts.  She filled our lives.  She filled us so full she spilled out all over everything we touched.  She was that amazing.  That full of joy.  That breathtaking.  Her beauty overwhelmed my soul.  She humbled me and blessed me and made me grateful for everything in my life.  Losing her is devastating.  Truly the loss is so very deep I cannot describe it.  So painful I cannot put into words the struggle we all feel as we manage to make it through everyday.  You just don't know.

I've want to move this blog into a private forum.  I want to take it back from the few who use it in a manner it was not intended.  To take it away from the ugly people who think they have a right to spew their thoughts about our family and our grief and our precious baby whom we lost.  I want to take it back from those who have disappeared from our lives because we don't grieve in the manner they think we should.  I want to take it back from the one who so viciously attacked us on the very night our daughter lay next to me dying as I stumbled upon the words.  I knew the very next morning that once it became public knowledge that Ashley Kate had been lost that that person would rejoice in our pain and in her struggle.  What a horrible thought to have to struggle with as we made the decision to let others know she was gone.

I'll say again what I said last week.  Mothers Day sucks.  For anyone who has ever lost a child it is a horrible, awful reminder thrown in your face of all that is lost.  There is no "happy".  There is grief.  Thank you to those of you who realize what pain it is for a parent who has lost.  Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement.  Thank you for remembering how painful it was going to be in our house.  Thank you to my precious husband who knew what he wanted to convey and his awareness of not saying "Happy Mother's Day" because it wasn't going to be a happy day.  I grieve for him knowing how very painful Father's Day will be for him.  I dread the loss he will feel and how it will be magnified because the whole world will be screaming "Happy Father's Day" in his face.  I say all of this because I know it to be true.

 I'm also going to say this...

Struggling our way through these holidays does not make us less parents to our other two children.  We love them just as fiercely as we loved Ashley Kate.  They KNOW they are loved.  They KNOW we value them.  They KNOW they are our priority.  STILL our priority even as we battle our way through the loss of their baby sister.  We have been and daily continue to be at every single event in their lives.  Blake and Allison are amazing people and that didn't happen by accident.  It was by the grace of God, the loving of their little sister, and the daily involvement of their parents.  Don't pass judgement on us about how we parent the remaining children we have.  You just DON'T KNOW who we are and everything that we are doing in the middle of our loss.

Please don't pretend to.

My flesh wants to call you out publicly.  My flesh wants to scream out at you . My flesh wants to fight back.  I'm trying to show grace.  I'm trying to let you know how clueless you are with your words without hurting you as much as you have hurt me.

My apologies to the many, many people who will read this that have only ever loved on our baby and our family.  You have been and have continued to be a source of strength for all of us.  You are loved and appreciated.  More than you will ever know.


Its Thursday

Its raining

Shes gone

The cocktail of all three is more than I can swallow.

I've learned I have three emotions.  I wake up feeling one of the three.  I've felt one of the three every single day since she left.  Sometimes I feel all three in one day.  Sometimes I struggle with one of them for several days in a row before I wake with one of the others.

I'm angry

I'm sad

or I'm numb

I could write a thousand words about a thousand moments I've spent struggling since she left us and fill a thousand pages with those wouldn't help though.

So instead of writing my thousand words about those thousand moments I sit and stare and let them swirl around in my head while the tears fill my eyes and spill out on my face.

I was her mom.  Its all I wanted to be for the rest of my life.  Instead of getting to be that I get to be here for the rest of my life without her.

 It sucks.

 Mother's day sucks.

Every day without her sucks.

Its Thursday and its raining and shes gone...the combination of the three make me angry and sad and numb all at the same time.