Faith and the Broken Heart ~ Learning to Live After Your Child Has Died
By Judy Smith Oct. 2013

I was raised going to Sunday school and bible school, and occasionally going
to church with my mother. My mother taught me the story of the baby Jesus from
the time that I was a very young child. I knew there was a greater being in charge
of everything and He was God.

But when my youngest child died unexpectedly of "Streptococcal Septicemia" in 1996, it
was beyond belief. My faith in just about everything in this world was torn apart. Things
I had known and trusted changed overnight. In a split second the world was a different
place. It was a much darker, lonelier place. And I didn't know what I believed anymore.

The pain was unbearable. I didn't know anyone could hurt that much and still continue to
breathe. I shut down. I could not function. It was too much to even fathom. All I could do
was cry. I didn't sleep for days at a time, I didn't eat, I could not think, and I could not move.
I was paralyzed in my grief. It was a kind of pain that I had never known before. It rocked me
to my core and brought me to my knees. I thought the pain would surely kill me and for a long
time I wanted it to.

All I could do was ask "Why God? What were you thinking? How could you let this happen?
Why didn't you save her?" I couldn't understand how he could bless me with this little girl and
then let her die. I felt like I was being punished. I began to doubt all that I had grown up
believing about God and faith.

There was so much that didn't make sense anymore. Things I had never really questioned. Is
there a greater plan? Does God decide? Is there a reason for everything? Does God care or does
he just let bad things happen? I did not understand and could not accept that my young daughter
was really gone. I felt that God could have saved her if he had really wanted to.

A child's death robs you of your future. You lose the pleasure of watching her life unfold;
you lose your special hopes. You feel you have failed because you could not protect your child.
Holidays and birthdays are painful empty reminders of her absence. The anniversary of her death
comes around and you are forced to live through the worst day of your life all over again
every year.

When you lose someone you love your world changes forever. When you lose a child it falls to
pieces. Grieving is the hardest work that we as humans have to do. Coming to terms with the fact
that our child is no longer here is impossible to comprehend and accept. What we want most we
cannot have. Only by grieving are we able to continue on. If we do not grieve we stay frozen in
the pain.

Things that were once important to me, no longer seemed to be. My life seemed to belong to
a past that was no longer quite connected to me. The time that elapsed after Ashleigh's death
stretched across two universes, the one with Ashleigh in it and the one without her. I blamed
myself. A deep and dark depression enveloped me, and I could see no way out. Over time
depression turned into anger shot straight at God because in my heart, he took my child away
and destroyed our lives.

I knew and believed that there was still a God. I did not lose my faith. You can't really lose
faith. You either have it or you don't. Faith is something you either choose or reject. You
have the choice to pick it up like armor in order to protect yourself or turn away from it
and leave yourself defenseless. I turned away and faced my loss alone.

Deep inside there was this burning question. If there was no God, then there could be no heaven.
And if there was no heaven, then where was my child? Without God then I would never see my
daughter again. And that thought was more than I could bear.

I felt betrayed. God felt very far away. My anger clouded my mind and hardened my heart. I vowed
to never ask Him for anything ever again. I felt I had no control over anything and if bad things
were going to happen anyway, then why pray? I decided to just expect the worst and then I could
not be disappointed.

Bitterness is a heavy burden to live with. Pieces of my bitterness fell off onto other people and
they were hurt as well. I harbored my intense anger and lived in complete misery for close to two
and a half years. I was lost and absorbed in my heartache.

A day came when the pain was so terrible that I realized that in order to survive and raise my
surviving daughter, I had to find a way to let the anger go. I knew that I couldn't live another
day if I continued the way that I was. It was eating me up from the inside out.

I realized that I had two choices:

1. I could continue to live with my anger and my self loathing for not having had the power
to save my own child; endlessly searching and never finding my own answers and blaming
God and allowing my loss to turn me into a miserable person, mad at the whole world and
hurting the people who loved me as well...

Or 2. I could turn back on my faith, giving my bruised and broken heart back to the Lord;
and with His power I could learn how to live again, striving to live a life that had meaning.

At this point the choice was very clear. My daughter had been gone for two and a half years.
I knew that. What I did not know was how I was going to build my life from this point on.

I went to my daughter's resting place, got down on my knees beside her grave and screamed
and cried gut wrencing tears begging for God's help. I don't know how long I was there on
my knees. I don't how long I cried. It was a long time. The first thing I noticed was the quiet.
The weight in my chest seemed to have lessoned slightly and through my anguish I had the feeling
that somehow, some way, God would get me through this. I just had to let him.

The dark time was long from being over. I continued to live with pain so intense it blocked out
everything else. But as the years went slowly by I began to feel and see the other parts of my
life, the good things, the blessings, the love that was still here with me. And thankfully, when
my first grandchild was born I was able to experience true joy for the first time in a long while.

The death of a child is immeasurable. Yet families have miles to go, others who need them, and
work to be accomplished before their time is over. No matter the circumstances of our lives, we
must all decide how we want to live and who we want to be from this point on. The choice is ours
and ours alone.

For many years now, I have been in daily contact with other mothers whose child or sometimes
multiple children have died. Their lives may be different, they may live in different cities or
countries and we may never actually meet, but no matter how their child died or how old they were
when they passed, we all share the same connection through our loss.

Everything that a parent loses when their child dies is simply too much to take in at once. Their
child's death is forever and nothing can ever change it. It will be with them always. They, like me
did not have a choice. It didn't matter how they felt about it or how badly they missed them and
wanted them back. In looking for support for my own loss I found other mothers who could
understand the enormity of losing a child. Having someone else who understood my heartache and
could relate to how I was feeling helped me. This outlet enabled me to feel like I had some control
when everything else was spiraling out of my control.

Some time later the support that I was receiving from other bereaved mothers inspired me to
create an online grief support group for mothers like myself; those who had lost a child. I found
that in doing this I was able to put my own pain aside for a little bit and offer comfort to others
who were also grieving. That was when my healing began.

Judyschildloss4mom's was created in honor of my daughter Ashleigh in 1998. I believe Ashleigh
wanted me to find other hurting moms and be there for them. I can thank God for that. God has
given me the ability to reach out to mothers in their loss and do what would have been
impossible for me to accomplish with my own strength.

Grief takes every ounce of energy that you have. I learned that one cannot hurry through it.
You cannot hide from it or push the pain aside to deal with at a later time. You have to
walk - no, you must crawl really, through the pain to get to the other side.

For many faith is challenged like mine was. For some it is rejected forever, for others
it is comfort to lean into, and for some it is something that they discover and turn to
because of their loss.

I began to feel the need to understand more about faith, death, and dying. I read books about
religion and spirituality. I read books about what happens when we die, stories of those who'd
had near death experiences and had come back to tell people about it. I especially wanted to
read about angels and children in Heaven.

I learned a great deal, but I did not find all the answers that I wanted. I don't think I ever
will while I am alive on this Earth. But I do know if I had chosen to reject God and turn away
from my faith, my journey through this life would have always been treacherous. For me, there
can be no safety without faith and hope. I would never have been able to feel joy or peace or
true happiness again. I know this because I lived that way for a long time.

Faith is like a shield that protects us from all the ups and downs, twists and turns, heartache
and tragedies tht each of us faces in life. I discovered that if I began to trust God and I picked
up the shield of faith; arming myself with it each step that I took, the journey felt safer. It was
not pain or trouble free, but it was a little softer.

It is the 17th year since my daughter went to Heaven. I've known great loss, and I have worked my
way through a valley of tears. Because of this I can say that I have gained insight and wisdom into
things that I never wanted to know. It is with the grace of God and the restoration of my own faith
that guides me and makes it possible to accept joy and truly live again today.

I would never have chosen this path if I'd have had a choice, but it was given to me to do with as
I could. I would have gladly died myself to bring my child back, but that was not to be. The pain
can still overwhelm me, and at times I still get angry and wonder what God was thinking and why
she had to go. But I do believe that there is a greater plan. My faith reassures and comforts me
because I know without a doubt that I will see my child and be with her again.

A few years ago I went through a very difficult time. My father had died suddenly and then a year
later after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease the Lord took my mother home as well. It was a
difficult time for me, and I was in a dark place emotionally. Then I became very ill with a terrible
infection. I was just miserable. I really wondered if I may be sick enough to die.

I was at home alone one night. As I lay on the couch through tears I cried, "God, what is it that
you want me to do? How much more do I have to take? I can't do this anymore! This is what I heard
from within;

"Be Still. Rest. Stop trying so hard to figure everything out. Keep on doing the right thing. This
too shall pass. I am working."

I knew it was God's voice. There was no doubt in my mind. So I did what he told me to do. I got
well, and things in my life slowly began to look brighter. Without faith I would not have heard that
voice. It changed something inside of me and gave me a renewed strength and an assurance that I
had never felt before.

I find that no matter what difficulty that I am experiencing, if I repeat those words; "Be Still.
Rest. Stop trying so hard to figure everything out. Keep on doing the right thing. This too shall
pass. I am working." I usually find the answer that I need. They have become my special shield.

For me it has been a very long 17 years since Ashleigh died. For her it has been merely a few
seconds. She's not worried or scared because she never really went away. She is just out flying on
the wings of angels, and she knows I'll be there soon.

In closing;

There is one book that I keep at hand all the time. It has been my "bible" so to speak, my guide
throughout my own loss. The pages are yellowed and worn, there are paragraphs that are
highlighted and notes in the margin. My favorite part is on the very last page. I have shared it
before, but I have to share it again because it speaks to me, it speaks to every person who has
ever suffered the heartache and loss of a child. The book "The Worst Loss" by Barbara D. Rosof.

She writes; "you never get over a loss like this, they say, anymore than you would get over the
loss of a leg. Instead, you find ways to live your life despite it. You continue to hold your child
in your mind. You find people you can talk to about your child. You keep the lines of
communication open with your partner and your other children. You put your energy into what's
important, and let the rest go. You make a decision that you will let yoursel feel whatever you feel
and deal with it as it comes. You get through the bad days because you have learned that they do
end. The pain overwhelms you, but then it recedes. You are stronger than you ever thought; you
are stronger than you ever wanted to be. You never forget what you lost. You learn to value what
you have."

The 13th Year

October 20, 2009 was the 13th year anniversary of my daughter’s death.
Thirteen years since I saw her face. Thirteen years since I’ve heard her voice.
Thirteen years since I held her in my arms, brushed her hair, helped her with
her homework, or tucked her into bed. Thirteen years since I’ve heard her say
“I love you, Mom “, as she said to me everyday of her life.

They say 13 is an unlucky number. I think 12 was the unlucky number for us,
because Ashleigh never made it to her 13th birthday. Ashleigh was so anxious to
turn 13 and be a teenager. She couldn’t wait. I was not ready for her to grow up.
Imagine that. Now I’d give anything if she had the chance to.

I never imagined she could die. I never imagined what it’s like to bury your child.
I never imagined how much it would hurt and how long it would last. I never
imagined that I could live this long without her either. For a long, long time
it felt wrong for me to be alive when my child was dead. That awful four letter
word that I rarely use when thinking or talking about Ashleigh. I say “she’s gone“
or “she left us” or she “passed away”. I don’t say that other word.

But she is gone and I am still here. Living, breathing, going on. Being alive used
to cause me such guilt. But I don’t have time for the guilt anymore. It’s a waste of
energy, so I fight very hard not to there. I’ve learned on this journey to do what I
have to do to stay sane and let go of the things that hurt too much. I have found a
way to store them away, push them back, until a time when I can take them out
and feel them safely….whenever that day may be, for that day still has not come.

I sometimes find myself thinking back to what I was doing each hour of that last
day of Ashleigh‘s life. “Before” IT happened. Everything in my life is categorized
into before Ashleigh died, after Ashleigh died. But I’m trying not to do that to
myself today. Been there, done that too many times. It doesn’t help and it
certainly doesn’t change anything.

Ashleigh is gone. Just like she was yesterday and last week and last year and
will be tomorrow when I wake up again. What is here are the memories of her,
and there are so many. I look around this house and still see reminders of her.
A picture of her in her angel costume that last Halloween, sits right here at
my computer desk. I see toys that she played with and I hear music that she
listened to. Those things don’t go away, they’re all still here.

I see her in our grandchildren’s faces. In their comically play, and in a certain
look they get at times. Especially when they are being mischievous. I see little
characteristics of Ash in them. This is what touches me most of all. Ashleigh is
living on in them and that is one thing that Sarah and I wanted to happen more
than anything else. To catch a glimpse of her in them is priceless. When I do it
makes me catch my breath for a moment and choke back the tears, but mostly it
gives me hope. It helps me see that she is still a part of us. It helps me keep
hanging on. It makes me believe that life does go on for a reason…..

I think this is Ashleigh’s message to me, to all of us who loved her so. Life is
precious and we need to embrace it and make the most of every single day we
have. None of us know how long we‘ll be here, it could all be over with tomorrow.
Don't take anything for granted and never forget to let the people you love know
how much they mean to you.

I think that is the lesson I’ve learned from my Ashleigh girl. So as this 13th
year anniversary that I have been dreading so passes, I’ll think back about these
things and remember this little bit of a girl who loved Barbie dolls and Disney
movies, sunflowers and smiley faces and know that she really is still right here,
all I have to do is look around to see her.

She’s not here the way I’d like for her to be, the way I need for her to be, but she
is still here and I will make that be enough until I see her face to face again.

Judy Smith - Ashleigh’s Mother October 20, 2009

Ashleigh, There really isn't that much that I need to say this year.
Most I've already said over and over or Mom pretty much covered above.
I miss you, I miss what might have been, and I'll always wish that I had
a sister here with me, involved in the life I have now. I wish I could
take pictures of you, that I could watch as you read my children books
or played in the leaves with us yesterday. There are too many things
that I wish to name, and they're mostly the same as they have been for
the last 13 years. So I've gotten used to living without you, and my
children think you're an angel and can't imagine when it was you, Mom,
and I together instead of just "Grandma Dee" and I. I love you, and I know
you're looking down on us. Help protect our children from H1N1, we've had
all the flu-like symptoms we can handle for a lifetime. I love you!!

The Cord
We are connected,
My child and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't been seen
By any on Earth.

This cord does it's work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.
And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised...I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take it away!

Author Unknown

October 20, 2008
Ashleigh's 12th Heaven Day

Today is the 12th anniversary of Ashleigh's death. 1996 seems like such a long time ago now. It's a tough one this year...As if they aren't all, but I guess because she was 12 1/2 when she died, it seems like now, this year she will have been gone almost as long as she lived.

It's almost as if I've had 3 lives.....Before Ashleigh when things were good and normal and how I wish they'd stayed. When boyfriends & high school were the biggest problems I faced, and I was totally unaware of just how fast things can change. The after years where everything was lost, and we tried to put the pieces back together and just get through the day....And finally my life now for the last few years. I'm 28 now, I've been married for 4 1/2 years. We had bouquets of sunflowers and put her picture in a frame where she would have stood as my maid of honor. Ashleigh has 2 nephews - Cole (7 1/2) and Caden (3 1/2) and a niece - Kinsey - she'll be 1 on Nov. 7th. I'm sure she was watching from up above when I had my the same hospital where she died. But I would have given just about anything to have her in that delivery room with us.

l will always miss Ashleigh and probably always tear up when things remind me of how it could have been... That's normal I think, how it should be. Sometimes I feel a little bit guilty because I don't feel as sad anymore as I used to. I'll always wish she were here though, that I had an adult friend who was my sister, that at Christmas it wasn't just me buying gifts for my parents, that my Mom didn't have to have that shadow over every Mother's Day reminding her of the child who isn't here wishing her a good day.... But I get through. I don't break down and cry anymore, or rarely anyway. Most of the time it seems I've gotten used to living this way, without her.

And then every once in awhile, coming further and further apart over the years, there comes a day when the pain seems fresher, and that life would just be so much fuller and better in ways I can't explain even to myself if only I could just pick up the phone and call my little sister after having a rough day... Or to share a funny Caden/Kinsey story.

Yesterday we went out for lunch at Golden Corral - Mom, Matt, Caden, Kinsey, & I. Mom gave me a poem with a picture of Ashleigh on it that's pretty fitting....

"We thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.
We thought of you yesterday, and the days before that too.
We think of you in silence, we often speak your name.
Now all we have are memories, and your pictures in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake, with which we'll never part.
God has you in his keeping, we have you in our hearts."

So today, after my daycare babies have gone home, the kids and I will take the fall flowers that my Mom arranged and put them on her grave....Struggle not to cry (and maybe it will even work since I already have quite a bit over the last few days!) and then laugh at Caden as he runs around the cemetary like the little lunatic he can be sometimes.

Ashleigh, I love you, and I miss you, always.....

"A million words would not bring you back, I know because I've tried. Neither would a million tears, I know because I've cried."

I was sent this poem by a friend and it reminded me of feelings that I have had since Ashleigh left this earth all those years ago. Twelve years to be exact. It seems like such a long time. This year seems different somehow. I've been anticipating it for months because it is the 12th year. Ashleigh was only 12 1/2 when she died. It's unimaginable to me that Ashleigh's been gone from us for almost as long as she was alive on this earth. I feel like I've let her down. I couldn't fix it, it's been this long and I still couldn't fix it. It kills me to think of her as young woman that I never got to meet.

On this day every year I am swamped again with the loss, the devastation, and the helplessness of her death. I feel like I am drowning in it and I will never be able to get up and go on again. Losing your child isn't something you get over, ever. What you do is find a way to live your life without your child. Most days I feel that I have learned to do this, but it's slow work accomplished a day at a time, a memory at a time.

So as this day comes to a close I will once again dry my tears and go on with my life. I'll continue to hold Ashleigh close to my heart and keep her alive in my mind. I'll keep talking about her to those close to me and look forward to hearing others speak her name. I'll put my energy into things that are important to me, and focus on the things I can enjoy; like talking each day to my daughter Sarah, playing with my precious grandchildren, spending time with my dear husband in our lovely home that I love so much. These are the things that keep me going and give me reasons to live on til the time comes around again next year and I go thru it all over again.

Judy/Ashleigh's Mom
October 20 2008

"Memory Lane"

I lay in bed,close my eyes and try to see your face
it doesn't take me very long to find that special place.
its a place where we can go that no one else can see.
its a place where happy thoughts race of you and me.
Time with you is special and there is no pain.
its a place where were together,its called memory lane.

Thoughts of family gatherings without you being there.
Are thoughts that I wont think about because its just not fair,
We still have you in our lives though its not the same.
We just have to close our eyes and go to memory lane.

Days are really hard for me nights are real bad too.
so i quickly close my eyes so i can be with you.
When times are really tough for me I really cant complain.
I take myself to a quiet place and visit you at memory lane...

Ashleigh's 10th Heaven Day

October 20, 2006

Ashleigh’s Journey

Just as we are all on a journey, our sons and daughters were also on a journey. Their life journey was different from ours, and it ended sooner than ours did, but it was ... their journey.

I close my eyes and I can see Ashleigh...she is about 18 months old. She is wearing a little blue dress with matching ruffle panties. She has on little white frilly socks and white high top shoes. She has light brown curls, just barely there. Big brown eyes and an impish little smile on her round pixy face. What is she thinking of getting into next?

Ashleigh was born on a cold winter day in January 1984. When she first looked at me, she pierced my soul with her dark eyed stare. She looked so serious that I was afraid. I worried that I was not prepared to be her mother. I wondered, "What is this child going to be like?" I felt like I was about to undertake a big change in my life and was not sure I was up to the task. She seemed so wise, yet so young.

I felt her thoughts, "get ready for the ride of your life!"

She was right. Until the age of 18 months she was quiet and sweet, and timid with others. But then watch out! Ashleigh gave the term "terrible two’s" new meaning!! She was a terror. Always into everything, always getting hurt, never wanting to sleep. Tantrums!! Bedtime was a nightmare!

She reminded me of the poem "There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid!!" That was my Ashie girl.

Ashleigh’s life was never dull. As an infant and all through her young life she was inflicted with constant ear infections. This caused a small hearing loss, which affected her speech at a young age. I worried she would never speak.

Ashleigh was an insecure child, and always wanted to be near me. She told me when she was about eight years old, "I will never leave you Mommy. I will just live with you forever."

As she grew and went on to preschool, she did not learn as quickly as some of the other children and was somewhat immature. I worried about her and wondered what was wrong.

She had several surgeries on her ears, and was in the doctor’s office every other week for something. Ear infections, painful allergy testing, then the allergy shots, she almost bit her tongue in two one time and had to have it stitched back together. And once, a mean boy in the neighborhood grazed her in the shoulder and with a BB gun. But through all of her accidents and illnesses she was always brave beyond her years. She was tough.

When she went on to elementary school, it was a challenge for her as well. She felt left out and did not enjoy school, and she became very angry. I worried about her and did not know how to help. Until she was diagnosed with A.D.D. and was put on medication to help. It took time for her adjust, and she still struggled with school and her behavior, but she came a long way.

In August of 1996 Ashleigh went on to middle school. She was excited and loved her new school and her new friends. She was once again a happy child and she felt good about herself. Ashleigh couldn’t wait to turn thirteen and become a "teen-ager!" like her sister. Things were good and I stopped worrying.

Then on a beautiful fall day in October, she came home and said her knee hurt. She was mildly ill with flu like symptoms for three short days and on Sunday October 20, 1996 she died. Just like that and she was gone.

It has now been ten years since Ashleigh left us on that sunny day. I still can’t believe it at times. And then sometimes, since it’s been so very long since she left, it almost seems like she was never really here. Like she was a wonderful, sweet, dream I once had. And now I worry that I will forget that she really was real.

Ashleigh, I think about you everyday. And when I hold your nephew, Caden, I feel you with me again. I see his smile and I see yours. He makes me laugh and I know that makes you happy. It makes me happy too. Life is good, but I hurt because you are not here and a part of our happiness.

I miss you baby girl

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since I last saw Ashleigh. And yet it seems like forever ago that I had a sister here in my life. I can't imagine what it would even be like to have a sister as an adult. All of the things that adult siblings do and take for granted every day, I have never experienced. I wonder what it would be like to talk on the phone with Ashleigh. That sounds so strange, but we had never really talked on the phone. We were 16 and 12 and shared a bedroom, we never called each other up just to say hi or because we were bored. I've never called my sister after a long night at work or because I've had an argument with my husband or my kids were sick, upset, or just plain grouchy.

I wonder what it would be like to have memories of myself with my sister that aren't at least 10 years old. To be able to tell a story about her that wasn't from childhood...To not be asked "How old is your sister now?" from people who don't know or to hear the awkward silence after I finish talking from the ones who do. I don't think about what we've all missed out on in detail very often. But the 10th anniversary of the day she died and my life as I knew it ended seemed an appropriate time. I wonder if we would have ever watched a scary movie together. She was always too much of a chicken....I wonder if we would have spent evenings curled up on opposite ends of the couch with the blankets pulled up to our chins and trying not to scream out loud so that we didn't wake up my boys.

I wonder what it would have been like if she had been standing next to me the day our Mom got married. I wonder what she would have been like in the delivery room when I had my son. I wonder what my kids would have been getting her for Christmas this year. I can imagine how much fun she would have babysitting for my boys and how crazy about her they would be. I can picture her letting them get all wound up until the 2 of them are running around the dining room table with the dog...I can picture her sitting quietly on the floor with both of them reading stories.

I wonder if we would have had nights out...If we would have sang karaoke together, what it would have been like to get drunk together. I wonder what it would have been like if there had been 3 of us on our Florida vacations instead of just Mom and I. I wonder how soon we'd be planning a trip to North Carolina to visit our Dad, stepmom, and brother. I wonder what it would have been like to have my maid of honor at my wedding instead of just her picture.

But as much as I miss Ashleigh, as I miss all the things that could have been, I know that it is nothing compared to what my parents are feeling right now. And I think that's making me even more emotional this year. Because of losing Ashleigh, what I have no problem imagining is losing one of my own children. That's why I understand why my Mom wants us to be together, why she says she just needs to have me near on this day. So in a little over 6 hours I will get up and take my 20 month old son Caden to see his "Mam" at the daycare where she works. And hopefully we'll both feel a little better after spending the morning together. Then I'll pick up Cole from kindergarten and spend the afternoon with my babies. I can't really think of a more special way to spend the day.

I miss you Ashleigh.
Love you,

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You're Listening to: I Love You by Sarah McLachlan