Two years ago today was Ashleigh's funeral. Her coffin was this beautiful lavender color that faded into a light gray at the corner edges. The flowers were purple....beautiful lavender roses and purple orchards(they were her favorite). Everyone wore purple or a purple ribbon in her honor and as a message against the abuse she had suffered.
A month before she died, after the funeral of her great grandma, she told me she knew Joshua was going to kill her. She insisted on telling me exactly how she wanted her funeral. She picked the pastor, the ex-teacher/2nd dad to do the eulogy, the music.......everything. Somethings that I promised I had to change...she wanted her sister to sing. Raechel just couldn't under the circumstances so, we found a song recorded that Ashleigh and Raechel sang together for me on Mother's Day as present. At the end of that recording is my Ashleigh saying, "I love you, Mommy." It is my most cherished thing above everything I have. I can play it and hear her sweat voice anytime I want. The feeling of watching her rolled down the isle at put into the hurst broke me in two. Tonight I will go to sleep playing "I love you, Mommy" till I finally pass out probably in her purple room. So if purple was a feeling then that is the color I feel tonight.
My child, Ashleigh was my heart. When I see purple flowers, I can't help but think of her. Her memory comes over me in waves. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her eyes in softened waves of blue water. Sometimes, I think these waves can fill oceans and I can see my hearts feelings on every shore. I have collections of each memory and every way I wish we had more time. Sometimes I watch for answers, each day I call out to her. "Mommy misses you and loves you." Everyday I pray to God. I ask for faith and courage And strength …to help me by till the day I'm back with her. Sometimes I ask for bravery because time moves ...oh so slowly! Sometimes I want to scream that this was not what I had planned! Sometimes I hear your laughter and I remember her joking and playing. I always miss Ashleigh! Not sometimes, but everyday! Why she ever suffered as Her mom I just can't understand.
I tell people this all the time who do not understand.........A family is like a body. When a family loses a loved one, it is as if they have lost one of their limbs. The contribution that was made by the family member that was lost can never be replaced. That person is gone. Ashleigh is gone! What she brought to the family is gone. Is it important for the family to take time to grieve for this loss. Doing so is a matter of respect for Ashleigh that she passed away. That she is still remembered. It is also a step that the family must take to acknowledge its loss. If we do not take the time to honor Ashleigh, it is as if we are saying that she didn't matter to us.
There is no word, no label, no identifying maker for the mother who has lost a child. I am not a widow, not an orphan, not childless, but one child less. One granddaughter less as well. One less open laugh and little baby girl giggling. One less artful, winking manipulation from Ashleigh's eyes to get what she wants from you. One less word of comfort from her when I was down and one less grateful big hug. One less chance to embrace a daughter and one less new life to carry your eyes, your chin, your grin, your name. No one word for the pain, the longing, the brevity of a life meant for living! A divine soul meant to grow older than mine! Would there be any one price too high, any sacrifice too great, for one more moment, one more breath, one more warm touch. I grasp desperately and sense the closeness - the ONE just at the fingertips of my heart and mind, only to realize again and again and again, there is no "One"............Ashleigh is gone, Patience near born and I am - less.
Today I'm going to honor my Ashleigh by taking her flowers and a love letter to her grave. Please, other friends or family feel free to honor her memory and what she meant to you here or on any of her pages today. Ashleigh would very much like that as well. As so don't forget we are petitioning to have one of her murderers sent back to a maximum security prison. If you could sign that in her honor and pass it along the family would be grateful.
We are grateful for all the love and support over the last 2 years since this tragedy.
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.