Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



  Ashley Kate,

Its 13 minutes past your 13th birthday, and as daddy and I talked about you today I thanked him for saying yes 13 years ago when I called him to let him know about the tiny baby girl who had been born.  He didn't hesitate for even a moment that day.  His response to my announcement was "Lets go get her."  I loved him for that.  In that very moment I loved him deeper than I ever had before.  I loved him for his willingness to love you.  Loved him for his faith that all would be ok.  Loved him for not questioning or doubting or faltering for the slightest moment even though we didn't have a plan and had no idea you were coming. When I told this story with your big sister tonight I smiled when I realized we had been married for 13 years when you arrived.  I guess the number 13 isn't so unlucky after all. 

I'll be honest and share with you that I never could imagine you at 13.  I never got that far.  10...I would lie awake and could picture you...12...I tried so hard when I closed my eyes at night to see you at that age...but 13 I never even dreamed. That truth breaks my heart.  I so wish I could have believed you would still be with us at this age, but I never did.  Somehow I think I knew somewhere inside me that your work in this life...your calling...your purpose would be fulfilled, and you would have already been called home.  The tears are slipping from my eyes as I see that thought spilled out in this letter I'm writing to you on this your 13th birthday. 

I wish you were here to turn 13.  I wish your story was still being told.  I wish I could know you at this age.  I wish more than anything that your journey in this life hadn't ended at just 8 years old.  My heart cries screams in a silence that only I can hear.  I wanted to hold on to you forever, but knew that I could not.  You were never mine to keep.  Only shared with us for such a short time. Still the knowing that your life was created to bring glory to Him does not ease the pain of losing you. I'm learning to trust that His ways are higher than mine just as he says.  Even though I do not understand Him I am choosing to trust Him.  He has you.  He is good. 

The most wonderful thing about your birthday today is knowing that this day would have brought you joy.  We spent this week concentrating on kindness and spreading joy to others.  Its become our birthday celebration in memory of you.   We learned so very much from you about joy.  We love you sweet girl.  We miss you more today than we did yesterday.  We have all been forever changed by knowing you. 

Happy Birthday my sweet Ashley Kate.  You would have made the most beautiful teenager. Your mom and dad love you more than words could ever convey.  I hope with all that is in me that you knew that and felt that every day of your life.   


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