Puka Shells and a Seatbelt Purse

So here you go, the continuation of the jointeamtaube.com blog.

The past few days I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on my remembrance of Ashley at her Celebration of life. It was hard for me to even to attempt to eulogize my wife.  The only thing I found fitting, was a love letter that I wrote to Ashley on our wedding day.

Ashley keeps everything, and I mean everything.  So as I was looking through important documents that you need when you spouse passes, I found the letter.

Reading the letter brought back memories of our wedding day.  But it also sounded very familiar. Everything I wrote in the letter 9 ½ years ago was exactly how I feel about Ashley today.

I believe Ashley knows how much I love her but I wanted everyone else to know as well. So I updated the letter to include Fischer and Baker and went with it.  I believed it was fitting with all of the other great speeches that night.

In addition to my speech, I also got some nice compliments about my suit, tie, and shoe choice. I tried to channel Ashley and envision what she would think. Standing in front of the mirror, I could hear her say “you look cute Mr.”

Conversely, I also got some “compliments” about a certain puka shell necklace. During the Celebration, a video played and there were several pictures in the beginning days of our courtship. In many, many of them I was wearing a white puka shell necklace. Apparently, it was my go to accessory early on in our relationship.

Ashley was the epitome of style. She was the trendiest teacher, trendiest coach, trendiest cheerleader, trendiest mom, and trendiest patient.

Whatever she wore she wore it with style. Somethings were expensive, some things just looked expensive. Lots of stuff she pulled together herself from Target. Whatever the function Ashley made sure she looked amazing.

Ashley never made fun of my style (most days it was khakis and a polo or the jeans, button-up and puka shell necklace trifecta if we were going out.) Don’t get me wrong, she made sure I cleaned up well and looked the part at social functions. But most of the time she let me be me. Even if that meant that I was going to wear a white puka shell necklace.

Green Seatbelt Purse?

On our second date Ashley and I went to Diggers, to play trivia.
Trivia at a local establishment is a great first or second date. You typically sit close to your date so you can type in your answer or write it down without others seeing it. There is some downtime to talk, to get to know each other and your date gets to see how smart you are.

Ashley picked me up that night since Diggers was across the street from where I lived at the time.  I tried to be a nice date and open the car door for her but she got out too fast.

Ashley waits for no man.

Luckily I redeemed myself and got to the restaurant door before her and was able to open that first.

We get seated at the bar and I notice her bright green purse made out of seatbelt.  I think I made some joke like “I see you brought protection!”
Her eyes get big and she even blushes a bit. (It’s not easy to get Ashley to blush and I managed to do it 5 minutes into our second date).
“Your purse, (hanging off the barstool) it’s made of seatbelts that way you won’t fall out of your chair!”
For some reason I remained fixated on that goofy purse for that entire year and told that same stupid joke every time she brought it out.

A few years ago Ashley told me she sold that purse. I was kind of sad that she had sold it.
“I thought you hated that purse,” she said. “No, I just liked giving you a hard time.”

Funny thing, she didn’t sell it. I found it the other day. Maybe she was going to sell it to buy another purse, but kept it because I was all mushy about it. Even so, she probably still bought a new purse.

To Ashley, the main thing about her clothing, her accessories, her style was confidence and fun. If you put something on and it didn’t make you feel confident in yourself and ready to tackle the day, you might as well just go back to bed. Looking good, made her feel good.

So many times, this past few years Ashley was weak from treatment, having back pain, or nauseated. You could never tell because she always looked beautiful. That little confidence boost carried her through a bad morning, bad afternoon, bad day.

Ashley never stopped me from wearing my necklace, my polos, my khakis… Oh, she made sure I cleaned up well and looked like the part at social functions. But most of the time she let me be me. If I felt confident in what I was wearing, she was attracted to the confidence more than anything else. Even if that meant that I was going to wear a white puka shell necklace.

I really haven’t updated my style, other not wearing the necklace, but I believe Ashley was right. If we have to approach a difficult day. Start it out by dressing in something that gives you confidence. Because at the very least, people will recognize that. For me, that’s usually Mill Creek gear. Mill Creek is my second home, it’s my family and when I represent my family, I’m pretty confident.

7 thoughts on “Puka Shells and a Seatbelt Purse”

  1. Mike,
    God sure is working through Ashley, and YOU for that matter. Without rambling on, something you wrote about today was something I’ve been praying about guidance for with my daughter. It’s amazing how He works. Thank you for continuing this blog. Therapeutic for you maybe, and a blessing for everyone touched by Ashley. Continued prayers for you, Fisher, Baker, and her sweet family.

  2. Predictably, I love this post! You are spot on. Ashley was always put together. Even when it was “cool” to go to class looking like a bum, Ashley made it her own. Sure, she’d wear a sorority t-shirt, but with coordinating earrings, hair done, make up just so… I’m sitting here smiling as I type this. Thank you, Mike. 🙂

  3. Mike, I am so thankful that you are continuing this blog! I have been pretty sappy since our banquet last Thursday and have had Ashley on my mind constantly but today- after reading your post, I am smiling big at the thoughts of Ashley and her style and even some of the funny comments she would
    Make about our camp wear!

  4. She used to always tell me “look good, feel good!” Even when we were just going walking, she always matched and looked perfect in her VS sport or Lulu. Love reading the blog! Thank you for continuing Mike. Always thinking of you and the boys!

  5. I love this. I love her and love hearing about her. And I love that you are sharing! Praying for all of you, Mike!!

  6. I love to read your writings and hope you will continue to share with all of us. Each one has brought a smile as I think of Ashley. I am praying for you, Fischer, and Baker.

  7. I didn’t know Ashley but I knew of her and reading all of these posts makes me feel very sad that I didn’t. We live in Reunion as well and I am a MOLO member so this has really impacted the community surrounding me. I’ve gone back and read her blog posts and I am truly in aw of her and her strength. She has really changed my perspective on how to take on life. I think of you guys often and keep you in my prayers. I love reading your posts! What an amazing person and what an incredible love you guys share.

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