On January 29, 2011 a very dear friend of mine passed away. Ashley was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in August of 2009. I still remember when I found out about it. I was living in Oklahoma at the time and I flew home for a vacation. The day I left to go back to Oklahoma Ashley told me. I was sad but I knew she was a fighter. I have known her family for so long and don't even want to consider the pain they are feeling. I remember seeing Ashley during the Pop Warner days, Little League and during high school when I played baseball with Kyle. I am happy that I came back from Oklahoma before coming to Africa because I got to see Ashley a lot at softball games and tournaments. When Ashley shaved her head while going through chemotherapy it had been over a year since I shaved my head with a razor... I know I am bald on top and always kept my hair short, I decided to start shaving it again for her. When I came home I went to dinner with Ashley. We went to Outback Steakhouse and I still remember which table we sat at. I know everyone says great things about there friends but Ashley was the type of person that you could never say anything bad about. I am going to miss her so much. Ashley was a mom to a gorgeous daughter named Jayla. Jayla will certainly grow up knowing that her mother was one of the best people ever to come out of St. Augustine. With so many friends and family by her side, many wish they could be so lucky to have a mom like Ashley. I am going to miss Ashley because she was my friend. She had a sweet smile and BLUE eyes!!! I am going to miss her at the softball games and around town. I have had people tell me things that try to lift my spirits about her passing, but it still hurts. One I do agree with though is when one of my friends told me that "She is happy with God now and she is no longer suffering." I still find it hard to smile when I think about her but when I look at pictures of her I can only think of the great memories we had. God took a great person from us but our wounds will heal. I have a lot of free time over here in Africa to think about her (not sure whether that is good but we will find out). My tears will continue to fall for her.
I pray for all of those out there that are battling this awful illness and I pray that someone finds a cure so that these wonderful angels of our world stay with us a little longer. My prayers go out to all the family and friends of those who have lost someone to Breast Cancer. My thoughts and prayers go out to all my friends that knew Ashley. I will be reunited with Ashley again and I can't wait to give her the biggest hug. To see her eyes light up when I walk through the gates and call her name. For now, Ashley will look over all of us. She will be there for us when we need a helping hand and she will listen when we need someone to talk to. I will never forget how hard she fought this battle and the many people she inspired while doing so.
I love you Ashley Elizabeth Daniel. I am proud to say that I knew you and that you were my friend. I can't wait to see you again and hold you in my arms one more time.
March 30, 1987 - January 29, 2011