Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


14 Today

Sweet Ash today would have been your day.  Your 14th birthday had you been allowed to stay.  How very fitting that the moment I opened my eyes this morning I could hear the rain falling outside my window and with tears rolling down my cheeks I smiled.  Smiled because you loved the rain.  You loved the feel of it on your tongue... your skin...your clothes.  You would sit outside and let the drops drench you without a worry in the world.  It never mattered to you that you were getting wet.  You simply loved the way it felt.  I considered the rain this morning to be a gift.  A gift for your birthday.

You've now spent 6 of your birthdays away from our home.  I'd like to imagine you were celebrated and surrounded by souls who loved you today, but I know better than that.  My belief in Heaven and the little I think I know about it does not support those thoughts.  Still I know that you felt loved.  I believe you spent your day in the presence of God and He loves you.  I know with everything inside of me that He does.  So you were loved today.  I guess I'm just selfishly hoping that you felt our love today too.  Silly I know, but its so very hard as your mom to not wish that you still felt loved by all of us here too.  You are still loved Ashley Kate.  Every moment of your life and every moment since your eternal life began you have been loved by all of us. 

I've stopped trying to imagine you at these ages you never lived to be.  I've settled inside my heart, along with your daddy, that we will always see you and know you as the eight year old beauty that you were.  We will always see you as the little girl we knew and loved and nurtured to the very best of our ability.  How I wish we had been given more than those 8 years with you, but we didn't get to decide how long you would live.  That decision was made by the One who created you.  I didn't get to have a say.  Still how very blessed am I that I got to be the one you knew as your mom.  I'll forever be grateful for that.  I didn't deserve you, but I was given you to love and be loved by for a while. 

We spent today celebrating you.  Your life and what we learned from you.  We spread joy and kindness and happiness to those we came into contact with.  We gave gifts in your memory to friends and strangers whom our paths crossed with today.  We cried and struggled our way through today too.  The longing to spend our days with you, especially your birthday, has not gone away.  I know that it never will.  I'm ok with the tears.  Its part of who I have become since you've left.  There is a hole inside of me that aches.  A silence in my world that screams inside of me now that your laughter is no longer heard to fill it.  I missed you today.  I missed kissing your cheeks the very moment you woke.  I missed singing happy birthday to you in those early morning hours and watching the smile of recognition spread from your eyes to your lips. I missed hearing your tiny voice cheer in celebration as you woke and realized it was a special day.  I just simply missed you on what would have been your 14th birthday. 

My prayer is that the Father whispered into your ear this morning (since I could not) that "Mommy loves Ashley, and Daddy loves Ashley, and Blake loves Ashley, and Allie loves Ashley, and Jesus loves Ashley." That is what I truly asked Him to do today.  Tell you that we loved you.  Just as I ask Him every single day since you left for Heaven. I sincerely hope that you knew how very loved you were and still are. 

Happy 14th Birthday my beautiful girl.  I can only imagine all that your eyes beheld on this day.  I know you felt joy like I have never known simply because you were in His presence.  We love you Ash.  Today and forever.     You will be forever loved...forever missed...forever eight.


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