First, I have been struggling with depression. Most people would never know how hard I struggle with that. I put on a pretty good front. But since we moved to Logan, I have had many days when I get so down, all I can do is cry. I doubt myself and my ability as a mom, friend, and teacher. I know a huge part of my struggle comes from missing my Ashley. The hole is so big. I never know what will make it start to hurt. It might be a song on a radio. It might be seeing a mother with her daughter. It might be a smell, or a picture, or a show on TV. When it hurts, it hurts. Right before Thanksgiving, I was struggling really bad. I thought a lot about where we were last year on the holidays. At that point, Ashley was very ill. We had pulled out her PICC line, and we knew she was going to die. I was praying so hard she would live through Christmas. I struggle with Christmas time anyway, but having her die then would make it difficult forever. We were so blessed to have her with us way beyond Christmas. But reading back over where we were then filled me with painful memories. It was so hard to watch my angel slowly fade away. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I was sitting in a dance performance, watching my beautiful niece perform, and I was overcome with the loss of my little girl. She loved to dance, but she never had the energy or the oxygen level, to do it. I couldn't shake that heaviness in my heart. It was like a ten ton rock was plunked on my chest. I couldn't face Christmas. Normally, right after Thanksgiving, we put up our Christmas decorations. But I couldn't even look at the boxes. Everytime I did, I would break down crying. I was trying to beat my sadness but it seemed no matter what I did, my heart remained heavy. I new I had to face Christmas. My other children needed me to get out of this hole I was in. Finally, one night, when I was at the lowest of the low, , I asked my sweet husband for a blessing. I couldn't shake the sadness. It was consuming every aspect of my life. In that blessing, he promised me Heavenly Father would strengthen and comfort me. He told me I would be blessed to carry on. And from that moment forward, my burdens were lifted off my shoulders. I was able to fight the depression. I faced my Christmas decorations. (0: I cried when we put up Ashley's special Christmas tree given to her by my amazing aunt and her two wonderful daughters. I know Ashley is watching over us. I know she knows I think of her every day, and I haven't forgotten her. She will be near through this Christmas season.
Since that night, my life has taken a 360 degree turn. It isn't that my heart isn't aching or that I don't cry in the night, but now I know I can survive. I can face each day and I am not alone. Heavenly Father is with me every awful step of the way. I can tell Him anything, and He will comfort me and help me. I know we can get through every awful trial in our lives. We aren't the first family to lose a child, and we won't be the last. But to all out there who grieve, or who think they aren't important, I am here to tell you, you are!! When you think you can't take another step, or life is going to consume you, pray. The comfort and assurance will come. It has come to me, and I know I am important. I know I can contribute something, small as it may be, to this world and to my family. I know even with an aching heart, I can be happy. I have so much to be thankful for. How wonderful it is to know we have a loving Father in Heaven who is always there for us. May everyone have a wonderful weekend, full of peace.