Ashley made this scarf for me. Well she started the scarf after our last Christmas together, then her passing interrupted the creation of it until Sara finished it as a Christmas gift to me in 2015. The note below was a special touch. WOW! I am so blessed!
International Rose Test Garden, Portland OR. © 2012 Nick Drew.
Thanks to Paul and Debbie for inviting us to attend the annual Angel of Hope event at Riverview Cemetery. It was very helpful for me to hear what other parents have gone through after losing a child and validated many of the feelings I have had in the during 3 & 1/2 years. The Angel of Hope is based on Richard Paul Evans' national bestseller, "The Christmas Box." Annually, on the second Sunday in December, a candle lighting vigil is held at the Angel of Hope sites around the world at 7:00 p.m. local time. This commemorates and honors the memory of all children who have died.
Ashley's third grade teacher, Mrs. Young, contributed to the Providence Willamette Falls Foundation Light Up a Life tree lighting ceremony by making a donation to the hospital's hospice program. A heart ornament with Ashley's name on it was placed on the Christmas tree. The donation will help hospice patients live their last days in comfort and dignity. Click here to see the letter we got from the foundation. Thanks Mrs. Young!
Ashley's blanket drive at grade school has continued to inspire students to help others near and far. At John McLoughlin Elementary, a number of student leadership projects were started when principal Carol Sanders and counselor Sally Brown developed and promoted the Ashley Drew Leadership Project. Some of these projects were highlighted recently in UpFront, the Oregon City School District newsletter. The students who made and sold bookmarks to assist the schools reading program while raising funds to help Doernbecher Children’s Hospital fight cancer was very touching for us. As many people know Ashley was an avid reader and Doernbecher's staff were very caring during Ashley's last two days of her life.
Also in that same newsletter is a story about Carol being named new Director of School Improvement for the district. Congratulations to her for her achievements at McLoughlin and future endeavors at OC schools.
Fairy princess reading her book (Thanks to Shari!)
I'm participating in a walk to help my co-worker Shari raise funds for heroes like her son who have to deal with Cystic Fibrosis everyday. The walk is happening at Oaks Park in Portland on Saturday May 21st.
Participants are raising money to assist with the costs of treating(and to ultimately find a cure for) this debilitating disease. If you'd like to help please consider making a modest financial donation at my support page here.
Ashley's great aunt Nancy made a donation to the American Bible Society in tribute to Ashley. Thank you Nancy for helping to spread the Good News to all.
This dark purple tulip reminded me of Ashley when I saw it. It stood out from the sea of yellow, red and orange tulips around it just as Ashley did with her sophisticated style and personality.
Two Leaves, Two friends.
Ashley valued her friends immensely -- they were her source of inspiration and connectedness with the world. She reminded us frequently how important it is to make and maintain friendships.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Rick Florey, a friend from church who has been going out of his way to connect with me during this difficult time in my life.
The other day, Rick and I had lunch together and then went on a photo walk at Field's Bridge Park in West Linn. He suggested this activity because of our mutual interest in photography. Also, I think he understands how difficult it is to restart an interest in an activity you enjoy (like photography) after you've lost a loved one.
Here is one of my photos from that day. Thanks Rick for your friendship!