Sunday, November 13, 2011

14th Birthday

Ashley drew this picture shortly before dying...entitled Ashley's Heaven. We know there are horses there.

Ashley, LuLu's liver donor, would have been 14 this last Monday. Her birthday is a tender day for us. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her, pass by her pictures through our house or send a prayer of gratitude each night for her and her family. But to wake up Monday morning knowing it was HER special day that should have been celebrated rather than mourned makes it all so real and sad.

My eyes weren't dry that day for more than a few minutes at a time as I thought of Ashley, Her DAD, Her sisters, Her Grandpa, Her cousins, aunts, uncles & friends. But most of all for her dear, sweet MOM. I put myself in her shoes, knowing it could have been me to lose my daughter and how I would be feeling every moment of every day if that were so. Life would be impossible, yet so many people carry this sorrow every single day. I love Ashley's mom so much. She is a wonderful woman, so generous and so kind- it's not surprising that Ashley was who-she-was at the ripe age of 12 when she left this world behind her.

I really do wish Ashley was blowing out 14 candles, had planned a fun party and was spoiled with gifts. Maybe a horse? Would this have been the year she'd get a horse? I couldn't help but wonder.... I'd give anything to be connected to her and her family a different way. Or simply not to know them at all if it could mean they had Ashley back.

After LuLu's preschool we went to pick up balloons. Her favorite colors, blue and purple, just like last year... 14 rather than 13. London was telling people at the party store that is was Ashley's birthday- if only they what that meant. We wanted to let them go at the donor monument down town but it turned cold and dark too soon. LuLu and Jones let them go to heaven sending each one up with kisses or words of love for Ashley. We sang Happy Birthday to her several times that day but no notes were sung as beautifully than from LuLu as she let balloons drift up to heaven.

In the morning I asked: "LuLu what did Ashley give you?" she looked down at her bare tummy and proudly said, "a scar", "no, LuLu- what's behind the scar?" "Oh, a liver!"

We love our Ashley! Happy Birthday sweet girl. Thank you for LuLu's perfect liver and happy life-no longer being lived in the hospital, in chronic sickness or in constant worry by all who love her. Bless donors and donor families everywhere.


video link below:

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