I can promise two things...this post will be long and it will be hodge podge. I have tried to gather my thoughts and wrap my mind around the fact that Ashley has been gone for 2 whole years, but it's just not happening. On the one hand, I feel like it's been forever since I've heard her voice and talked to her and ran errands together and just truly enjoyed friendship for the wonderfulness of it! At the same time, while I no longer check caller ID when I get home or even really try to get to the phone when it rings, I can still hear her voice and I still feel like I'm going to talk to her soon. I visited her grave recently & took a lily, cause that was her favorite. I don't go often because she isn't there, not even a little bit. But I did smile as I drove away and looked back at the cheery lily sitting there...it would have made her smile...flowers always did.
I was reminded by a friend that it's the awesome memories she left us with that help us feel close to her again. So I want to take a walk down memory lane of all the awesomeness Ashley and I shared over the years. I don't know that I remember actually ever having that initial awkward time that you have when you first meet someone. Ashley and I were probably about as different as night and day in a lot of ways, but somehow we hit it off so easily and quickly. We ran errands together, went to the park together, went shopping together, hung out so the kids could play. No less than once a week we did something together and no less than once a day we talked to each other! I really miss having that...I really miss Ashley...every.single.day!
These are in no particular order...I just went back through our blogs and pulled some of my favorite memories with Ashley. During VBS one year, Ashley kept nursery, however, during that time Noah did NOT like for you to mention nursery, so Ashley adapted and called it "class" and Noah went willingly then! Just the fact that she cared enough to make that little adaptation for Noah tells you the kind of person she was!
Our little guys have always been great buds...at the zoo, when I watched Joshua(I even dressed them alike), when Ashley watched Noah, when we got them together for fun crafts(favorite!) We even had their pics taken together one time!
I now know the meaning of "it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". I am better for having known Ashley and so thankful for the time that I had her in my life. As much as it hurts not to still have her here, to think that she never got to meet my sweet Grace and that she never got to see Benjamin beyond infant stage, I will never forget all the fun times we had together with our two boys! Thank you, Ashley, for the friendship and memories you left me with!