It has been two weeks since Ashley has passed. I did not think I would make it two minutes without her, let alone two weeks. Living life without Ashley hasn’t gotten easier, but it hasn’t gotten harder. My boys give me silliness and love when I need it, my family gives me strength and have been awesome at helping me navigate this new life and my friends… my friends are my lifeline. They keep me from withdrawing, keep me connected to Ashley, keep me laughing…
Ashley and I have been very lucky to have the friends that we have. They have been there through our highs and lows. From marriage to births, from health to sickness, from partying with us to taking care of us, our friends have been there throughout this journey.
A few weeks ago, Ashley was having a rough time with everything she was dealing with. But she did not want to burden her friends, she didn’t want visitors, she didn’t want to chat.
I knew she needed to see them, so I suggested Ashley call them up and have them come over. Her friends did just that and this was the best medicine for Ashley. I got home from getting the boys one of the nights and I hear just laughing coming from upstairs. I walk into my bedroom and it wreaks of Taco Bell. Ashley had a craving for Taco Bell and our friend Hayley gladly obliged. Sitting on the bed was Hayley and Ashley was curled up (in a new blanket that Trisha had brought by earlier) in her glider just telling stories and having a good time. I left them alone and the laughter continued. When Hayley left, I checked on Ashley.
Ashley was smiling but then she started to cry. “Why are you always right?” she blubbered out. I told her I’m not always right, I just know you and what you need. And you need your friends. You need to laugh, you need to vent, you need to gossip, you need forget about your medical issues.
Ashley was so good at being that friend to everyone, checking on them, visiting them and making them laugh. She was that for me, if I had a bad day she could make me feel better. I miss her and have this empty feeling without her. Right now, I’m feeling like Ashley did a few weeks ago, and don’t want to be a burden on anyone. But I know I need to take my own advice and be more social, be with friends, have a good time.
Ashley had this plaque “Friends are God’s way of taking care of us” in her sewing room. Ashley’s friends took care of her, took care of me. I know they will continue to do so. And I am trying to be there for them as well.
In this social media world, it’s easy to feel connected to strangers. And that is okay, but we can’t forget to actually visit with someone, call them, do fun things with them. That is friendship.
I think we all need that from time to time, even if its just to drop off a comfy blanket and some Taco Bell.