I miss this. I miss this so much. Conversations between Ash and her daddy. I spent most of his lunch hours just observing the two of them. They had this amazing relationship. Even though Ash had no understanding of the clock or any need to know what time it was she was very, very aware of the lunch hour. She knew her daddy would be coming through the door to see her...and...see her he did. Every day...without fail...she had his full attention and she loved it. They played and giggled and talked the whole time. Her tiny hands told him lots and lots and he understood whatever it was she wanted to say. I look at this serious of pictures a lot. She is so alive and so real and so beautiful in them. Happy and vibrant.
I tried to live in such a way that I never took our moments and our days spent with the children for granted. I have vivid memories of thinking to myself..."Don't rush this. Don't miss this. They won't always be here. Things won't always be this good." And...even though I slowed down and drank it all in I find myself longing to get those moments back. Those moments where we had all 3 of the children here in our home. Growing up, living the mundane moments, laughing, talking, just being under the same roof. I miss these days desperately. I miss having them all here. Knowing they are safe. I miss watching them all growing up with Ashley Kate.
I saw new images of her memorial and it took my breath away. We are months away from it being completed, but as they make progress we can see her more and more in it. I stared at the images they sent and couldn't speak. There were no words escaping my lips and in that moment the longing I felt to touch my daughter overwhelmed me. Tears ran down my cheeks and I just stood frozen, and silent, and unable to speak.
As the days of summer come upon me I am so aware of her absence. I should be knee deep in birthday planning and props and the like. Instead I stared at the date today and realized that two months from today she would be 10 years old. How can that be? How? She spent her 9th and almost her 10th in Heaven. Instead of designing invitations today I'm designing flowers to be taken to the cemetery. Oh how that hurts! I wouldn't make her leave her home in Heaven now for all the world, but oh how I wish she hadn't yet gone to live there. Who is she now? At almost 10 I wonder how much she has changed. What is she like? How long is her hair? How has her face matured? Her hands? Her feet? Are they the same or have they changed? I don't know enough about Heaven and how it works to know if shes a child or if she's different since arriving there. I wish I could hear her laugh now that she's there. To be in His presence there should be "fullness of joy". What does that feel like for her? What does that sound like as she has a voice and a body that is no longer broken? Her laughter has got to spill out along the streets of Heaven. Oh how I hope that it does!
I miss her. I miss all of her. All of this.