March 6, 2018


Fourteen years ago today. Seven we spent together—the last seven...we spent without you. I didn’t know then that the decision to marry you was going to be full of so many blessings, and so much pain. I didn’t know that the family we dreamed of creating together...I would raise without you. I didn’t know that I could love so much, and hurt so deeply. I didn’t know that as we reached our seven year wedding anniversary—just weeks after giving birth to our fifth baby—that just five days later you would be taken from us. 

I didn’t know. I didn’t know about the affair, I didn’t know about the gun. I didn’t know about nights staring out into the darkness...too afraid to sleep. I didn’t know that I could lose so much in a moment. But I said yes. I took a chance. Some would say I failed...I chose wrong. And that’s ok. All they see now is a man who was an idiot...and lost not only his marriage—but also his life. 

It’s hard to understand the impact a single choice can make. It’s hard to feel the significance every decision we choose will have on the people we love—even effect the ones we barely know. 

Some people don’t get the chance to see the impact of their actions...but seven years ago we did. 

You know, Emmett was a man of many words. As an attorney he was a voice for those who had lost theirs, and as a friend...he was always there with encouragement.

We won’t ever spend an anniversary together, but I can almost hear your voice tonight as I think about all the lessons you would be able to share with those waking along a destructive path. 

“You don’t have to do this all on your own. You are not invisible, but you are incredible. You are worthy of the love all around you. You are capable of greatness. You are worthy of loyalty and kindness. You are magnificent. You can change. Believe in Yourself. Believe in the light. Believe in grace. It is for you too. He hasn’t forgotten you, and He never will. Even you are enough for Him. Go make it great. You only have this one life...don’t lose a moment. Fight for light.” 

Though this last fourteen years has not looked like I pictured as I kneeled across from a man who promised me the world...I am grateful for the decision I made—because it gave me five of the coolest kids I have ever met. It gave me a path that has strengthened everything I know to be true. It gave me a heart that has had to work harder than I ever knew get back up and keep beating. And I love the me—this journey has helped me remember—that I was all along. A daughter of a Heavenly Father, capable of giving and receiving love, light and truth. 

And so are you. Whatever road you are walking, I know if you turn to Him...God will help you find grace in your story. It matters. 


Janey said...

Hi Ashlee! I've followed your blog for a long time now as I know many who do. I always find it so inspiring to read about people who go through such hard things but rise above it and turn it into something that bless others lives. I know you are an extremely busy person but I was in bed the other night thinking about GIRLS CAMP (I'm the ward camp director this year). I was trying to think of someone to come speak to our girls that would lift and inspire. You kept coming to my mind. If you don't do this sort of thing that's totally fine, I just thought I would throw it out there. We would be wanting a speaker the evening of July 19th or 20th.

Janey said...

I tried clicking on your link below to schedule an event but it wouldn't go through.

Roots To Hold Me said...

Wow! This post took my breath away! There is so much I didn’t know either. My life is also filled with So much pain and sorrow and joy and beautiful amazing kids, and it too has taught me that I was always enough. Thank you for being so real, so vulnerable. You are amazing!

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