When we finally got through the shock stage & grief consumed me. Then I drifted into little reminders of Ashleigh's life. Her favorite song on the radio.Her favorite musical on cable. A favorite story shared by a friend. What might be painful encounters for many actually felt like little hellos to me. It was a rebirth of the funny, active young woman with whom I wanted to stay in my heart, and further away from the details of the murder, which physically took her from our lives. The more I looked forsigns and symbols of Ashleigh's life, the more they came our way. Instead of spending my days in bed under the covers, I found myself looking for hope and a continued connection to our little girl. It would've been easier to say goodbye and let go of her place in our lives. Instead, we worked hard to find healthy ways to keep her close.
Some of the signs we've received over the past 9 months have been quite impressive, and we acknowledge them as confirmation that Ashleigh, our little guardian angel, is watching over us. The needs of her friends to escape the same violence. Rainbows at the most unlikely of times. Seeing her during my accident on the way to Raechel’s Wedding. Getting such blessings that kept passing her story along till finally now it is in Cosmo. And soon forever immortalized in song and a documentary. Along the way I hear Ashleigh tell me that she andGod are proud of the work we are doing.
I started to call our steps toward hope and healing, "moving forward but hanging on." Going on without Ashleigh & Patience cheated us all. Moving forward with them still spiritually and symbolically close was the true answer for our family. Following this path led us in a new direction on theroad of grief, one in which our daughters murder is saving others’ lives. We areliving life again, not death. I began telling the story of our journey back tolight and life after the darkest days we ever knew. It is not a tale of miracles that can bring back our beloved daughter and her baby or how moms canturn tragedy into triumph with a kiss on the forehead. It is, however, thetruth of what good can happen when you decide that you love someone so much,you just can't say goodbye. I feel that it's especially true when the someone you've lost is your child.
Love you Ashleigh & Patience……Mommy