For the Love of a Friend


This is Dana Lewis, friend of Ashley’s. She created a page on Lotsa Helping Hands but asked me to write this out for us all. We welcome you, we appreciate your presence here. Please take a moment to look through a window into her world…My heart breaks watching Ashley hurt. My Ashley, my soul sister. Tonight I walked over to see her, she sat before me with her long raven hair gone. As she opened her front door I caught a glimpse of the tiny scar on the sweet tender skin of her neck where the doctors took the evil knots out. How could any woman be this beautiful, unabashedly beautiful with all her glory, her hair stripped away?  Her voice is weak, her white cell count has been down. Today has been tough. Treatments are getting harder and she is physically tired and emotionally spent. Her youngest angel wanders down the stairs into the foyer, being the little fairy God intended her to be. My eyes drift to her as Ashley talks, shares and weeps. Her gaze follows mine to one of the two loves of her life and she pauses to smile now and almost giggles…our focus returns to the pain. Indescribable pain that will only increase as the battle rages on. It hurts, it feels like you are slowly dying from a terrible hangover. I chime in “but one with no relief?” “Right, there’s no relief.” Finally, time to sleep but your tummy hurts, a gnawing ache, your head in a fog, there’s a bad taste in your mouth and you hurt all over. Although you are cranky and tired it is now morning and as a Single Mother you must arise to feed the cherubs, care for them, arrange for pick-ups, drop-offs, give them love, maybe even get groceries before work but after breakfast, showers and getting to school. … this is indeed a battle. And now you feel bad, sad, mad because if nothing else at all you have always been strong. Damn it, just the sheer force of your will alone has allowed you to survive thus far. Now you are so vulnerable, so shaken, so worn. As a result maybe, just maybe for the first time in a long time – afraid. It’s hard to be strong when you are fighting Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Haley has now climbed into her Momma’s  lap, safe in a perfect embrace. I get a peek at her smile again as she pulls Haley away from her to run her hand up her chest. “Drool, she is so exhausted she is drooling, it’s running down my shirt!” She shifts this sleeping child we both love while continuing to rock her.  God knew what He was doing when He planted us side by side as neighbors. It is an honor to write for this blog. My wish is that you visit the community page at Lotsa Helping Hands as often as you like, bookmark the page, send what message you have in your heart to her.  Go ahead, take a shift, get groceries, take a child to a game, make a meal or two or just come in and check on her. Yes, help out, we are so glad you want to. Just know this: the ultimate gift is prayer. Earnest prayer for Ashley, her family, especially her Mother, Mary Sue and her sister, Amy, who all put on their “Super Woman” capes everyday to help Ash…her sisters Tayler and Rebecca and her brother Derrick. And then most importantly: her girls ~ Hannah & Haley. Praise the Lord, they caught it early, the doctors say that once she reaches the end of her chemotherapy treatments, there is over a 90% chance it could be cured.  . Thank you so much for your precious kindness.

Helping Hands for Ashley Henkel – Sign in to a community | Lotsa Helping Hands

Directions on How To Join: Instruct the people you’ve invited to fill out the right-hand side of the form which is a Request to Join the Community. Once they’ve done this, you will begin to receive emails back stating that there are “pending members”. Coordinators can “approve” the pending members from the pending members page on their Administration tab. Once you have approved them, members will be automatically added to the community and sent instructions for setting a password and signing-in.