As I begin to unpack my daughter in California, once again, I reflect on my past experiences. A time when I questioned everything. Was I making the ‘right’ decision? What if…? The questions would race through my head. My fears were overwhelming. Should I allow her to follow her dreams at such a young age? What about her safety? What about my other daughter, who willingly volunteered, to be her guardian? Could she handle this gigantic move and undertaking? You see, my daughter had been signed by an agent and was asked to move to Los Angeles California, at the age of 17. We were estatic! The hometown circumstances, let’s just say, weren’t the best for Ashby, at the time. However, could my girls survive in LA??? They were raised in a small little Kentucky town and Ashby was still in high school. Darion had moved to Nashville at the age of 18, but I could drive there in four hours. And I spent almost 6 months of weekends in Nashville! Once the decision was made we took off driving across the country. That was four years ago and here I am again! She is now 21 and although I knew this day would come, it doesn’t make it any easier!!! After her last adventures, I knew she would return home. Back to California. It hasn’t been any easier, but it is rewarding to know she is where she wants to be. My brain will continue to race and question, “Am I making the correct decisions, as a parent.” However, all I want for my children is for them to follow their bliss. And that is what she is doing. You know I can remember thinking I wouldn’t survive, the last time. Yet, here I am four years later. If you are struggling with anything in your life, right now. Please, remember you are loved and if you can pause briefly…I promise, “This too shall pass!” God Bless Livelove & Carryon Www.livelovellc.org/home Livelove.firstname.lastname@example.org Need some help with a situation in your life? Email me, I would love to hear from you!
Yes, it is true I have a baby girl who turns 21 today. I remember the day quite well. By early in the morning on the 17th we decided she wasn’t coming therefore, why bother returning to the hospital, lol.
I had been admitted on the 16th and when nothing happened, I came home to see my four year old, Darion. Only to return the next morning for more poking and prodding. She was determined to stay, nesting in the womb enjoying mommy singing and walking her around.
It was an amazing day! We were calm upon entering the labor and delivery, had created a plan for Darion to come to the hospital and went in to finally hold this bundle of joy.
I can remember when they held this beautiful child up and said, “Meet your baby girl, Ashby Mae Drake.”
Tears streamed down my face. Of course I was elated, but I was also like that three month old, came out of me? You see, my first child was five pounds ten ounces. However, Ashby broke that record of having teeny tiny babies…she was nine pounds five ounces! Shew!!! She was mad! It was cold and she couldn’t get those screams to form words fast enough, therefore she screamed louder and sometimes in different pitches almost like she was auditioning for the voice, as a two minute old!
Everyone in the labor and delivery were scattered and shattered once Ashby had arrived. I realize that it’s normal for a delivery staff to be chaotic, but it’s how extreme the chaos was. I remember one nurse, who was tending to me, turned and as politely as she could said, “Okay, who is in charge of making sure Miss Ashby is happy!”
Really? Her first few minutes of life and she begins with that? And guess what? They did just that. People were scrambling, passing her from person to person, swaddling her to keep her warm and finally between me, Darion and Meemaw some how she became satisfied.
It was like a snap of the fingers and we are spinning around and she is 21!
The essence of Ashby…she has always loved all animals from snakes & reptiles to kittens & rats and everything in between. There was not an animal she couldn’t tame with a flick of her wrist and pick it up. Spanky the iguana, no one handled except Ashby Mae. She has been a visual artist since I can remember. By the time she was able to hold a pen in her hand, she has been drawing, way before she was walking. Her favorite way to paint from a year old on was in her birthday suit.
One time Eric had unannounced work clients come in from out of town, he called and said, “Some friends are coming over after work can you ask Ashby to dress?”
Her free spirit will take you on a whirlwind, similar to a plethora of Fall leaves being scooped up and dancing along the waves of the breeze. Then other times her vast interest in making the world a better place, but also ensuring all is fair in the world of Ashby, she will be more like a gust of wind.
Her essence of believing you can do anything is magnificent. Her determination to succeed is phenomenal. I remember when she was 15 she told me SHE would be in California by the time she was a Jr. In highschool. Of course, silly me doubted her! Boy was I wrong.
She began that day looking for reputable agents, (not the horrific experience we had at Cosmo, don’t do that). She found Wings in Cincinnati and the whirlwind had just begun. With in months we were attending workshops, meeting with several agents and finally she had decided on Jake Lang, who told her, “I am not sure you can do this.” ( I now know he knew exactly what he was doing).
Next thing I know, we are booking flights to Texas for expo, making new friends and signing on! For what? Oh sorry, of course Ashby was signed and expected to be where? By when? Yes!! California by February.
Those are just a few examples of the essence of Ashby Mae Drake. She has bedazzled us all since the afternoon of October 17th, twenty one years ago.
Thank you for being a great daughter and I love you! You are beautiful. Looking forward to many more!
I can’t believe it! Twenty five years ago Eric Drake, mommy and I, at four in the morning were driving to Kings Daughters Hospital in Madison Indiana. It was a cool, crisp, October morning and I can remember thinking and praying, “Lord, help me thru this and Please Please let me be a good mommy! It was 1992, I was six days shy of my twenty first birthday, Eric was 22 and working his butt off to make ends meet. I remember thinking this pregnancy can’t be over! (I loved being pregnant). It was similar to a journey down a path with another spirit, yet you can’t see them. She was always with me. Responded to my every move, she helped choose what we ate each day, she continued to push me to take care of myself. When she began to force her way out, it almost felt like she was ripping my insides out with her, but she was ready to see this earthly life. She was ready to create her own experiences, live, love and enjoy her life. The afternoon before our trip, to the hospital was beautiful, although I was really aggitated. Mommy called and I demanded she come meet me at the house. I whined so much Eric took me for a ride, on the back roads. Tim Perkinson, Ricky White and Jarod Stark were at the house, when we returned. Oh mommy as well. One look at me and she knew! Mom watched me cook supper, work around the house (which didn’t need to be cleaned), and breathe heavy, occasionally. It didn’t take long for her to look at Eric and say, “We are having a baby tonight, you need to rest up!” Eric turned white as a ghost and almost immediatly went to bed. Poop (Tim’s nickname) stayed with mom and I, to watch the rest of Fried Green Tomatoes. Oh and we can’t forget, we ate marshmallow cream and peanut butter. I was now having contractions 10 to 15 minutes apart. (We all acted like it was no big deal) The next part was hilarious! I don’t know why, but I decided I would drive Tim home. Why, either of them let me drive I will never know. Probably, I was super stubborn and demanded to drive. (Hmmm that sounds about right). It wasn’t that far! I remember the sky was almost black, with a few cirrus clouds, glowing with the reflection of the gigantic full moon! As we slowly creeped up the hill, where the headlights beamed, straight ahead, I had one of the worst contractions, I had ever experienced. About that time I slammed the gas pedal down, forcing my car to almost ramp the hill, heading down to his house. Mom and Poop screamed, then immediately stopped themselves only to hold their breath, in hopes of survival of the small, but tedious road trip. I almost came to a stop, when yep, it hit again and a repeat event happened! When Poop jumped out of the car he was terrified, his face was almost transparent, and all he could say was, “Goodluck, I will see you tomorrow.” The next four hours were touch and go! Until I began hitting the wall and rocking back and forth. Mom went to get Eric and we were off to the hospital! The next morning we had a beautiful baby girl! She was our surprise gift! Our family and friends came to support us. And our lives changed forever! It was an amazing day. You know, as I reflect and visualize for the future, I always want to share with you. LIFE is… What you make it! Eric Drake and I has no idea what we were doing October 2nd 1992! We had very little money, little life experience and yet all we knew is we loved this little human/spirit/baby girl more than words could express. She had colic for her first six weeks of life. I can remember we would trade off sleeping one hour at a time. We had our electric shut off once and our water a couple of times! However, Listen up!!! We made it! Twenty-five years later all those struggles are now funny memories! If you are struggling, right now…Please remember take everything in twos. I know most people will tell you, “One step at a time!” I do agree, but for me it has always been twos. If you can take one step why not two! If you can make it thru two seconds, two minutes, two hours, two days, two weeks!!! You can make it! I know you have sad times and struggles, but you got this!!! I have looked back over my twenty five years with this beautiful young lady and all four of our children and realized the difficult times become diluted and almost more cherished, because they always illuminate a growth period of awesomeness! A time where we all came together, depended on each other and were grateful for the good times!