Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Ashley Kathrine Adams

Remembering the little girl who came to change our world

Ashley Kate...
the tiny gift that changed our lives, our world,
and our forever.

Remembering the moments...the JOY...the blessings.

She could speak a thousand words without a voice.

Her eyes said it all.

That silly grin....expressive eyes...and infectious giggle.

There are these moments in our lives that completely take our breath away...
a emotion...
that transform every moment lived after.

Found in the little things.

I've often wondered what thoughts were hidden inside her beautiful soul.
So full of wonder...So full of life...
We cherish her memory and the moments spent with her.

Determined to make the most out of the days we were given.  
Living like there would be no tomorrow.

Every drop of rain on her skin, 

Or tiny flake of snow upon her tongue

brought her JOY like I've never known.  We learned to view the world through
Ashley's eyes.  It became a more beautiful place because she was in it.

Ashley Kate briefly came into our lives and changed everyone who ever loved her.  This tiny girl with eyes that spoke volumes and a laugh that filtered into our souls.  She lived each moment without fear or worry or concern for her tomorrow.  Fully embracing her world.

We will never be the same...forever changed.

We love you and miss you sweet girl.  Forever. Until the day we meet again.

  Love, Daddy, Mommy, Blake, and Allie.  


I don't write much anymore.  I don't share nearly as often as I once did.  People ask why.  They think they want to know how we are doing.  Truth is they truly don't want to know.  I realized this shortly after losing Ashley Kate.  Its hard to hear the truth.  Hard to see that what once was beautiful has become so broken.

I can say that our children are continuing to thrive.  Blake has moved on to college.  Allison Brooke has begun her junior year of high school.  He plays baseball.  She cheers both for her high school and competitively.  Each of them thrive in the areas they are most comfortable with. They are strong and beautiful and talented.  Living their lives to the best of their abilities and always remembering in a piece of their hearts the little girl whom we lost.   They loved her.  They talk about her often.  We smile when we remember some things and we cry when we remember others.  Grief sucks.  Even at 16 and 18.

The beginning of her life was so very scary.  The end of her life was so very sad.  The middle... all of those wonderful, amazing, beautiful days of her life between the beginning and the end...that is what truly mattered.  She had an incredible life.  She was so happy.  So loved.  So full of joy.  Laughter.  Happiness.

Today is the second day of school.  Its been a brutal one for us.  Painful.

A year ago this week we woke up to a nightmare that has yet to end.  The second day of school, at 6:48 a.m. our beautiful Ash left our home and went on to her eternal one.  The tears have not stopped falling.  My heart has not even begun to heal.  Our home remains broken.  This family forever changed...broken...never again whole.  One of us is missing...she is gone...we have been left behind.

Since her departure the loss of joy, laughter, and sparkle that only Ash had has left us so empty.  Our home so quiet.  Our lives so void of meaning.

The truth is that time does not heal wounds this deep.  Hearts do not mend once they are broken.  Dreams that are shattered are not replaced or put back together again.  Loss is loss.  Death is forever.  The separation is painful.  Always painful.  Every moment hurts.

I think I can safely say that we have not known joy even in the smallest amount since the loss of our sweet Ash.  I think I can safely say that we may never know it again.  Not in this life.

I miss every part of her.

This week is proving to be hard .  Cruelty in its highest form.  The anniversary of her departure is hanging so heavily here among us that it becomes hard to even breathe.  We feel the loss daily, but it is so magnified lately that I can't seem to move.  Can't seem to get up.

Everything about our life has changed.  Our family.  Our home.  Our faith.  Nothing is the same.  We are forever changed by the life and the death of the most beautiful gift we had ever received.  It all seems so very wrong.

The memory of those last days, flailing about inside of ourselves, realizing that we were helpless, finally seeing that regardless of our pleas, our cries, our prayers that she would be lost is maddening.  It was an impossible place to be in.  We had no options.  No matter what choices were made there would be pain...there would be suffering...there would be loss.  I'll never understand the purpose in her pain.  I'll never heal from the suffering she endured.  I'll never get it.  I struggle daily to find the love, kindness, and mercy in any of it?  I fight against what I know is truth and what I felt, and witnessed, and helplessly watched happen to my daughter.  I hang on to my faith as tightly as I can because without it I have no hope of ever seeing her again, and yet everything I thought I knew, thought I believed, has been shaken.

In my world I am displaced.  There is not another person whom I know that understands the thoughts and feelings that I find inside of me.  I am no longer among the transplant community.  I am no longer among the community of parents raising a special needs child.  I feel so lost.  I struggle to find my place.  Where do we belong now?  Dave and I hang on to the memory of who we were with her and try desperately to find who we are supposed to be without her.

Friday will be the anniversary of her death.  I hate knowing that.

  As Allie wrote to Ashley Kate on the morning of what should have been her 9th birthday, "I hate living this life without you."

 Never have I read more truer words.



Moving Day

I've known this day was coming.  I've known it for the last 18 years, but I've REALLY known for the last 355 days.  Its because of this day, the one I'm facing this morning, that I forced myself to open my eyes for each of the last 355. I'm not sure that I would have if not for this very day.

In just a couple of hours I'll be following down the road behind his sporty little car.  Mine packed to the brim with all of his belongings. In all honesty I can't believe we've actually made it through the last 355 and have arrived to this one.  Its happening though.

I can only imagine how it will feel when he wraps his strong arms around me and hugs my neck before we head back home this afternoon.  I can only imagine how hard it will be to contain the tears that so freely are falling from my eyes this morning while he still sleeps.  I can only imagine what it will feel like to tell only one of our three children goodnight this evening.  Still as hard as all of that is going to be,  I can only imagine that it will be easier though than it would have been 355 days ago.

Hugging my son and telling him goodbye will be easier than it was for us as we hugged and kissed and told our precious Ash goodbye 355 days ago.  Sending a child off to college and sending a child into eternity are vastly different.   Perspective is what I've been working on all week.

Blake is ready.  So ready! We are proud of him, of who he is, of who we will grow to become.  So proud! Today is his first step toward living his dream.  Making it come true.  All the preparation, the struggle, the sacrifice, its taught him so much.  Chasing the dream has shaped him into the man he is today and I can't wait to watch him grow over the next few years as he gets closer and closer and closer to making it a reality in his life.

Parenting Blake has been one of the greatest JOYS in my life.  He has been my constant friend for 18 years.  I can still see him sitting next to me in the sandbox.  Still hear his voice announce to me, "I'll be wight back mommy, K, wight back.  Don't worry bout me, K?" as he ran off into the house to get his cap.  I can see his tiny legs rounding the bases for the very first time and the grin that spread across his face as he looked up and saw us sitting on the other side of the fence.  The little thumbs up sign he gave to us told me we had stepped into a world where he would thrive.  It was so him.  He was in his element.  At 4 years old!  We knew.  It was written all over his face.  I can still see him holding each of his baby sisters the day he met them.  Still see the smile in his eyes.  The pride on his face.  I can still see him loving on those two girls. Taking such good care of those two beauties.   He has always been an amazing big brother.  Simply amazing.  I can still see the joy on his face and on hers too the day this photograph was taken.  I remember the laughter, the giggles, the delight that spilled out of them both as the played.  The memory is still so real.  I can still see his shoulders shaking and his tears falling as he wept over the body of his baby sister.  I can still see him lean in to kiss her face for the last time and see his broken heart written all over his face as he turned and walked away. There are so many memories that I can still see so clearly.

Today is moving day.  My first born.  My only son.  My first best friend.  He's moving out today.  No longer will he be living under our roof.  Oh he will be coming home to visit, but it will be forever different after today.  I'm not sad.  I'm excited.  I'm proud.  I'm ready to watch him succeed.  He deserves nothing less than that from me.  I'm determined not to burden him with my breaking heart today.  Its his day.  His day to do great things.  I have NO doubt that he will.

Its moving day.