Forever 22

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Ashley would have been 28 years old today.  I am still struggling to wrap my brain around this.  Her high school classmates just celebrated their ten year reunion; and I watch as, one by one, they all turn 28. Yet it still seems as if time is standing still.

Time is such a funny thing.  You know that feeling that everyone talks about when they lose a loved one?  Or if you actually have lost someone really close to you, you have experienced it.  It’s that feeling of time coming to a standstill, while you watch the rest of the world just continue on like nothing at all had happened.  Thankfully, much of the pain and raw emotion of losing Ashley has eased over the last few years.  This strangeness concerning time, however, has not.  I still look out at the world most days and wonder how so much could have changed since she was here.

I find myself thinking in terms of before Ashley’s death and after Ashley’s death.  I think about the things we never got to share with her, like all of the weddings and graduations, and how she never got to meet any of her nieces and nephews. I wonder what she would have thought about her parents turning into crazy beekeeping goat farmers.  At least the farming part, anyway.  I’m pretty sure she already knew we were crazy.

She died a month before her 23rd birthday.  June 24th has come six times since then. Yet time still seems to be standing still.

Happy day you were birthed, Ashley Marie.  I miss you so much.

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