1:30pm Thursday 5/8/08
There is an emptiness in Laine's new room today....Laines' grandfather and Michael have left Team Ashker to get on their way with resuming their business and 'normal' lives at home. Both gentlemen take westbound flights to my sunny state of CA and I pray they are safe through their journey. Indeed it has already been a long bumpy ride. They both departed with a sense of contentment for Laine's recovery has been steadily marching forward.......of course just what all of us reading this, expected! Laine certainly is the epitome of her famous saying "warrior mentality". (Mind Gym, a book that is a favorite of hers).
I am not sure how long we will be here in lovely Lexington, KY. A week or so......it just depends on her daily progress. She is receiving a smaller trachea tube today....and that is the final step toward having it completely out! I am thrilled. I have made quite a few friends here...as I have through the internet and Laine's web page. Starbuck's continually welcomed us each morning at 5:30am with triple shots to jumpstart our day. Our incredible Mexican meals were always delicious at Abuelo's where Tonya, the lovely lady manager treated us like family. Ramsey's has the best fried chicken and I must admit that glass of Pinot Grigio was really satisfying at the end of each day after leaving the ICU unit at the UK hospital. Speaking of UK.....the nurses have been OUTSTANDING. I was so upset this morning when Hannah Hubbard, one of her ICU nurses came upstairs to say goodbye to Laine.... she cradled my daughter's life for 13 days with the magic in her heart and hands! How does one say "Goodbye" after this whole ordeal? A ''thank you"? I can't even imagine those girls realizing how much they mean to us. And Blue Team doctors. Their guidance kept our long and winding road on track and mapped out. This experience has been grueling and painful.....but these people have come into our lives and gave our daughter back to us. I will be forever grateful and never forget any of them.
Laine will slowly face life solo without her partner. This devastates me. I know and feel that deep pain ....and how it aches daily with the loss our my dear, dear boy Jamie. We will suffer together and each day will be a bit more bright as the adage of mine "Time and Sunshine" take effect. We were blessed to have these friends in our lives....and they added so very much to our spiritual happiness and confidence to compete in the sport we have trained in VA for 11 years now. We will have to do some renovating, some shuffling...and re-assessing as both Laine and I venture on to another road together. And that is the magic word right there. TOGETHER. I can get through this as long as we are together. It is from Laine I gain strength. I find my happiness and my reason. Primarily though, I find Me. I LOVE my daughter. After reading the hundreds and hundreds of e mails from mothers all over the world, fathers too.....I can say I am in huge company. All of you.....each e mail from people 8-99 (yes, 99 yrs old!)......should and could have been writers. Words straight from the heart. Poetry. Paintings and Seajack drawings. Memorials. Get well soon tapestries, flowers, cookie & fruit baskets. The computer age has not traded our humanitarian qualities. I always worried about that. I will not now. Perhaps my goal to ride across the country on my pony Willy, is not be as crazy as my family thinks! I love meeting people and making new friends.
I thank all of you for your encouragement and prayers. Being a mother and in the middle of my change of life I won't forget your daily dose of love and words of encouragement from this little lap top.
Whether I am changing Laine's cannula or watching my mother place her gorgeous flowers around the window ledge in her new room, I feel comfort and joy in knowing that I am not alone. I can do this. I am Laine's Mother.
and to all the Mothers in this world,
Happy Mother's Day. It certainly will go down in history for me...as my finest to date.
you may send Lainey e mails to LaineyEA@aol.com and by all means keep writing me ValerieAsh@aol.com