The whole family changes when someone so close to you dies. We had a comfortable working relationship dynamic with Ashleigh in our lives. Now all of that has changed. Thank God we are blessed with a lot of love for one another. Even though relationships and the core of the family has been broken, I pray everyday that Raechel knows that she is loved every bit as much as Ashleigh. I'm very proud of my oldest daughter!
Today was the one year Anniversary of Ashleigh's funeral and in a few minutes a year ago we buried her , the next day. I'm struggling harder today then I did Saturday. I guess part of my problem was that the decision to tell her good bye and to allow her to decide if she needed to go into God's arms and end her suffering was easy. At least easy in the sense that she would be in no more pain, not lingering on a machine. Ashleigh never wanted that and she definitely made up he...r own mind to go. If any of that makes sense.....but burying her body. That was so hard. I wanted so disparately to crawl into that casket with her and just hold her. Like whenever she got sick and didn't feel good. She would put her head in my lap and I would stroke her hair. I kept thinking that I would crawl in there with her and I could just maybe fall asleep. Then we could just wake together and it would all be just some nightmare. Unfortunately the nightmare hasn't ended and the last year has taken its toll. Today, I sat reading a book of poetry by the Bronte Sisters. She loved their writings, especially Wurthering Heights. One of my personal favorites as well. Anyway I'm posting 2 of the poems she loved and a link to a song that these poems reminded me of....The Rose.
For you my Ashleigh and Patience.....love is like a rose in winter, only the strong survive. Mommy's Winter Roses.
One year ago today I lost the one person that I felt closest to in this world. Ashleigh was my heart and soul. I kept asking myself today, "how do you move on from the murder of a child?" I dont know how......I spent most of my day as what I would describe as empty and numb. I caught myself each hour doing a countdown. 12:35 pm was the last time I heard her voice say, "I love you Mommy!" 1:46pm Joshua shot her. 5:35 the doctors said she was no longer responsive. 6:23pm she ha...d to be resuscitated. 7:10pm the OB said the babies hearts ate was failing. 8:30pm they talked to us about organ donation. 10:10pm they declared her brain dead. 11:45pm I watched my granddaughter, Patience's final heartbeat on the sonogram, then I let Ashleigh go and kissed her goodbye and just before midnight her heart stopped. I remember that all I felt then to was numb and empty.
As I struggled with all this, I realized I'm not in the same place I was a year ago. A big piece of me went with my Daughter And her baby girl but today I'm not as empty as I was that day. people who feel empty have no idea what is supposed to be in that empty space. That is not me......
Since I started this battle against the Domestic violence that took my child, I've worked with people who have everything they believed would fill them up and they still feel empty. They seek my help because they are suffering and they don't know what to do about it. Inner emptiness does not come from a lack of something external -- not even a lack of being loved by someone else. It comes from a lack of one thing only: a lack of awareness of the love that is the energy we live in. I call this love God. The fact is, we live in a universe of love, and unless you know how to open yourself to that love -- to feel it within your heart and soul -- you will feel empty inside. Once you know how to embrace the love within, then you not only feel full inside, but you know that you are not alone in the universe -- that love is always here for you. And once you experience yourself full to overflowing with love, you will have love to share with others. You no longer need to try so hard to get love from others. You are no longer empty and needy for something external to fill your emptiness and make you feel okay.
What is The Secret to Filling Yourself With Love? The love that fills us is always available to each of us -- if we know how to access it.Love automatically flows through an open heart. The heart is like a doorway to the universe -- to God, when it is open, love flows into and through us.The secret to having an open heart and being filled up with love lies with your intent. Love cannot be felt with a closed heart.When you choose the intent to learn about loving yourself, the heart automatically opens. When you want responsibility for defining your own worth, for creating your own sense of safety, and for taking loving action in your own behalf, the heart opens and the energy of love that is spirit flows freely, replacing the empty feeling with the fullness of love.
Ashleigh Marie Lindsey had this fullness of love in her heart. Yes, a part of me is gone but today my heart is full. She is happy, in no more pain, waiting for us all to happily join her again. Ashleigh would want us all even in the midst of all this pain that we feel at not having her here today to feel in our hearts the fullness of this love, God's love. So in her beautiful memory, today the one year Anniversary of her passing, I planted 12 purple Iris's over her grave. One for each month she has been gone and planted 1 pink peony for my little Patience Lynn and I share with you all the fullness of Ashleigh's Love.
I woke up last night from a dream that has me happy this morning. Last night I dreamt I was riding in my car with the top down thru all these beautiful Mountains here and Ashleigh's voice started calling me. I pulled the car over immediately and said, "I am here....where are you?" She walked out of the woods glowing with this light. It was like the light came from her and she was the most beautiful I have ever seen her. I have had 2 dreams like this before of her glowing and that is how I can tell it is her and not just me dreaming about her. In those she doesnt have that energy or spirit. Anyway, she says, " mom, Im alive." At first I was mad and asked her why would she fake her death and put me thru this. She stopped me and hugged me and said,"No Mom!!! I'm alive. Please dont cry I have so little time and so much to tell you. I miss you to so I dont want you doubting that ever. Everything is ok and Im with Jamie now and Im in the best place ever." I was so stunned and suddenly we were at her grave side and I said, "if youre not dead who is in there?" She just said,"not Me!!!" She was getting frustrated with me I could tell by her tone. Again she told me we had little time and that Jamie loved me and said " Hi". Then we were at this big wide beautiful river and Ashleigh said she had to go but one day we would meet here again. I kissed her and we told each other We loved one another. I woke up.
I woke up thinking who is Jamie? I dont know any one who has died with that name. Then I thought back to one of my 3 miscarriages Jim and I had and with the first one if it was a girl I wanted to name her Jamie after her Dad. I think that was who she was trying to talk to me about. Still not sure. But Im happy she came to me and we will be together again. Her last scripture is about that river. I think she wanted me to know that ist is really. I cant wait to see what she is seeing.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Revelation 21: 1-5
Your Dad and I have been this week on a much needed vacation in an extremely beautiful place. At different times both of us have been caught saving Ashleigh would have loved this or that we wished you were here. This morning I awoke sad and crying missing you so badly. But I picked myself up and had a wonderful afternoon. I miss you so much and my heart is breaking without you. Then I looked thru your bible highlights and realized there is only 2 left that you marked. Both from the same chapter and as I read them I realized what beauty surrounds you as well. The universe and in all its splender and the greatness of God's own kingdom before you. I cant wait to be with you and see what you see but God's plans for me arent done yet so I will have to wait. I find myself wondering if you miss me too today.....Kiss my little Patience until we are together again.
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
— with Ashleigh Lindsey and 2 others.
I want to thank all of Ashleigh's faithful friends for all your love and support over the last year. I want to say God Bless to those who tried to help hide her from Joshua. That was not an easy task and brought lots of tourmoil into your lives as well. Especially want to keep Ashleigh's 3 roommates, Jeanie, John and Heather in our prayers. They saw my daughter murdered and their worlds were turned upsidedown afterwards. They have to go to court with us. But I have to say that as family and friends we have all worked hard to see this evil overcomed with something good. I personally see not only God but Ashleigh's hand daily accomplishing just that daily. She was full of love and that is how we will remember her.
This is her Bible passage today..............
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12- 9-21
This picture was Ashleigh going to prom with her best friend Johnny. Love the set up these guys did with Jim and the way the rays of sunlight came in.....Todays Bible passage Ashleigh highlighted as a favorite reminded me of a conversation between her and her Dad that he has said I can share.
Right after Ashleigh left Joshua for good she told her Dad that she was struggling with things. People who know Ashleigh also know she made a lot of mistakes. Most of us look back at our teens and early twenties and have to admit how young and dumb we were back then. She was no exception but Ashleigh's heart was big and golden so everyone knew she was making her mistakes like all of us do. Anyway, she told her Dad that she was hurting because she had done a lot of bad things. That Joshua had forced her into I lot of bad things and she didnt know how to be forgiven. She didn't go into detail and Jim didn't ask details but it was bad enough she was crying. Her Father's response to her was, "Have you asked God to forgive you?" In which she said, "Yes". So her Dad huged her and said, "Well then darling, you've got to learn to forgive yourself."
How simple the answer and yet what a concept.........even I have had a lesson taught to me with those words. To many times, especially amonst Domestic Violence Survivors we forget to forgive ourselves. A week before Ashleigh died she went to her Dad and told him with a big hug and thank you that she had finally forgiven herself for the mistakes she had made in life. He said you could see that weight literally lifted off her shoulders.
I love you, Ashleigh and Im glad you found some peace in your heart and learned to love yourself before you left this world to be with your baby!
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come .
I got a message last night that reminded me of something about Ashleigh that I had forgotten. Which I was kicking myself afterwards because she did it for a whole year. It is two words that anyone who was there will know exactly......Planet Wisdom Youth Conference! Even if you didn’t go she came back doing imitations of the Skit Guys for a year afterwards. Of course I would never forget her being picked to go on stage. The tryout was her making the noise of a chipmunk in a vacuum. It was so funny. And when she got picked for the David & Goliath skit.......she stole the show! That was Ashleigh!!!!!!! You see the two guys do a Bible Skit and the 2 kids chosen had to do the sound effects for the character. She had to do Goliath’s. She upstaged him.....imagine that and this guy was very hard to outdo. Ashleigh was I Love Lucy kind of funny is the only way to describe it. The best part was when Goliath said I laugh at this boy David...typing it won’t do it justice but if you know her you will hear it in your head. She laughed like a high pitched little girl and snorted at the end. Hehehehe, SNORT!!!!!!!! Trademark Ashleigh! All that I remember like yesterday.
What I forgot was their other skit about Superhero’s....she imitated that for a year. Everyone, Everytime that heard it laughed. They were talking about God and Super Heroes and they said in a British accent "Why do you think Superman wears his under wear on the outside of his pants do you suppose he knows something we don't know? If I was a Super Hero I'd have a side kick is be an emu!" and he did an Emu with his hands and made noises. She could do it exactly like him with the accent and all. I laughed last night so hard I cried. I could just hear her in my head. I want to give the girl special thanks for sending that to me as one of her special memories. Please, anyone else feel free to do the same. They help me a lot. She was something special and I miss her.Today, is my wedding Anniversary and both my girls were my Maids of Honor. So I remember her today with beauty but with laughter.......I Love You Ashleigh!
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalms 119: 9-16
— with Ashleigh Lindsey and Raechel Burkard.
I miss you baby........
This is Ashleigh with her cat she named Schizophrenic because she was little crazy. We called her Schizie for short. But she loved Ashleigh. The cat disappeared after Ashleigh died. It was like she new Ashleigh was gone even though this was the only home she new for 6yrs. Anyway, we use to tell Ashleigh that the cat loved her so much because Ashleigh could related because she was crazy as well...lol. Ashleigh was diffenantly a special kind of crazy that just could melt your heart but leave you shaking your head thinking, "what do you do with that girl?" Most people loved her just as she was.....how could you not.....I think she picked this passage as one of her favorites because it reminded her she was loved by God just as she was....just my best guess knowing her.
After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” Acts 15: 7-11
This is something Ashleigh taped to the back of her closet door also. In High School she was in the play Bye Bye Birdie as Rosie. She was Awesome! They had these made for each character in the front of the theatre when you came in for the play. Ashleigh kept hers as one of her proudest moments in school. The interview clip below says if you can't read it
"I been acting since I was 5, but no part as ever been as much fun as this one. We have a wonderful cast. I want to thank my sister and mother for inspiring me to do this part, and I want to thank my best friend Lauren for helping me believe I can do anything I set my mind to do and supporting me."
I have the play on DVD and play it just to hear her voice. I don't understand why anyone would destroy someone so beautiful. I just hang on to my love of Christ and the hope he gives me. I guess she did as well from this one of her favorite Bible passages.....
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3: 16-21
One of the best things about Ashleigh was she never cared whether or not you were taking her picture. She had the greatest expressions. you could always tell how she felt about someone or something by the look she gave. Even with her mouth full of food she possed for pictures like it was nothing. She had her moments and no one is perfect. She would be the first to admit she wasn't but her heart was gold. Once, as a teenager she asked me about why it was so much more fun to do what was wrong and she was struggling and we talked a lot about it. I refered her to the Bible book of Romans. Evidently she took it to heart because this is one she highlighted and took notes on....nice to see she actually took the time to listen and found something that spoke to her heart.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Roman 7: 14-25
Last years 4th of July ended with Ashleigh calling me crying because Josh was outside her house calling. We called the police and her Dad spent the whole night up trying to hunt him down. The 4th was one of her favorite holidays. 2 years ago we spent it together as a family. I can still see her dancing and singing with her little nieces. She was glorious, and beautiful. When she was little we lived right across the street from the fireworks show in Denison. Each year the whole block got together and BarBQued thru the afternoon and the kids played in the park across the street and at night the fireworks would start. She was Always dancing and singing thru them.
So the picture I'm posting tonight is of that wonderful little girl I knew who danced amongst the fireworks. It is actually a collage the she made when she was 15 and taped to her closet door of her favorite moments in life. And I will post her favorite passage for the Bible, all about love......I love you, Ashleigh. Tonight you will see all the fireworks this holiday, I and hope you are teaching Patience to sing and dance amongst them.....
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13
Today I chose this passage. Ashleigh underlined it as one of her favorites. It made me reflect on the blessings of both my girls. Their beauty and kindness are rare in this world. I never wanted to have my child die. I wouldn't ...have allowed her to die for anyone else in this world. But I'm grateful God didn't feel the same. Till we are together again Ashleigh, you are in my heart daily.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18
I so remember the summer that you Caleb and Oliver did the music for the youth revival at Sam Rayburn School. Your voice was so beautiful and you sang with all your heart. You shined each week singing Glory to God. I can still hear your voice everytime I hear As The Deer, Mighty To Save, Blessed Be Your Name, and Here I Am To Worship. Your favorite was How Great Is Our God. I am so blessed to be your mother. I love and miss you!
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2: 9-10
this Bible passage that Ashleigh marked has been my favorite. I am looking forward to the day I will mourn no more, feel the pain of her death no more, and never cry again. When Ashleigh, Patience and my family will dwell in God's presenceand not be parted again. It brought me great joy to see she loved the one as well. I wish she was here now........my heart breaks everyday without her!
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21: 1-4
This is a chronicle of the grieving process at the murder of my daughter, Ashleigh Marie Lindsey and her unborn Baby Patience Lynn. They call the parentless child an orphan & the married person who loses their mate a widow/widower but what do they call a parent who loses a child? There is no word given for the parent who have seen this kind of untimely death.
Website by Ashleigh's Patience Project