Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Today is November 15. Today is a bittersweet day for our family. Today we mourn the death of our sweet baby boy but we celebrate in knowing that we have hope. A hope that exists only because of Jesus and the sacrifice that He has made. Today we celebrate knowing that we will be reunited again. Today we celebrate knowing that there is coming a day when death will no longer be.

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.Revelation 21: 3-4
My heart yearns for my son. I see my husband with my two boys and a part of me aches knowing there is someone missing from the picture. No matter how many children we have, our ever growing family will always be incomplete.

We spent today as a family. We laughed and we played and we cuddled. We took time to remember our sweet boy in special ways and to treasure the gifts we have in our hands today.

I believe in making moments special. We celebrate Aaden's birthday (October 8) every year, praising God for the gift He gave us. We want Aaden's brothers to grow up knowing all about him and the great things God has done because of his life and death. We want them to yearn for eternity with our Father. So, we make his birthday a special day in our family and we make the day he joined Jesus a special day as well. Our special day went something like this:

Breakfast (from a very sweet friend).
Cuddling and cartoon watching.
Craft making.
A trip to Publix.
A trip to the cemetery.
A trip to Cheesecake Factory (thankful for sweet friends who know our love for that restaurant!)
A trip home.
A long nap.

 We bought 2 blue balloons and a beautiful bunch of yellow flowers.
We visited the cemetery. We can't go back to Virginia (where Aaden's body is buried) every October 8 and every November 15 (though I do wish we could) so we did the next best thing. We have dear friends that God has brought into our lives because of Aaden; because of his death we have walked through this same or similar journey with many others. Baby Nathan went to be with Jesus (and Aaden!) after only living an hour on April 15. We were blessed to honor his life today with that beautiful bunch of yellow flowers.
And then our boys let their balloons go to heaven, just like they do on Aaden's birthday. 
In my heart I believe Aaden sees those balloons and it makes me smile... and today Nathan saw them too.

My hope is to help those who have hurt the way our family has hurt. I remember when Aaden's first birthday was coming up and being at such a loss as to how we should spend that day. Do you celebrate? Do you weep? Do you pretend that it is just another day, the same as the one before and the one after? For our family, for me, the answer was not to treat those days just like any other, instead we seek to honor the gift that God gave us in Aaden and to praise Him for the great work He has done because of his life.

My little devotional book this morning started with this line: "Completely surrender your hurt to Him, withholding nothing, and invite Him to work miracles from your misery." ~Beth Moore

My prayer has always been for God to use Aaden's life and death for His glory... 'to work miracles from my misery.' God has given me a beautiful opportunity to do just that, to minister to families who are hurting and in tragic pain, to minister to them in the way that I am most gifted. I am overjoyed at knowing that our Father is going to be telling Aaden's story in a much bigger way.

{A Little Inspiration}


I would love your prayers as I start this new journey.


  1. Oh my! You are so much of an inspiration to me. Your sons are all so beautiful!! I need some tissues...... xoxoxox

  2. thanks for sharing this! prayed for you and your fam!

  3. I'm glad you had such a beautiful day with your family. Your boys are so adorable. I am so proud of you and so excited for you start this new journey. Sending you a BIG hug!

  4. I will look forward to seeing how this develops, Ashlee. Love you guys. -Katie

  5. Thank you for sharing that Ashlee. Abby and I are thinking about and praying for you, Aaron and your family...all the time, but especially during these difficult days. Glad you are celebrating Aaden's life, he won't be forgotten!
    Mark and Abby

  6. You are remarkable sweet friend. I love you and am so blessed to know you. xo



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