"Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith ... it is the price of love."
-- Author unknown --
If Ashley were still here, she would be 29 years old.
- This is my daughter.
- This is my friend.
- This is my Princess.
- This is my Sweetie Pie.
This is my Ashley.
Ashley Jean O'Rear was born on April 27, 1987, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Paul Harold O'Rear and Susan Kay (Moore) O'Rear. At age 2 her family moved to Waxahachie, Texas, where she spent the remainder of her life except for one-and-one-half years in Georgetown, Texas.
Ashley attended Kindergarten and First Grade in Georgetown. She attended Second through Fifth Grades at Wilemon Elementary School in Waxahachie; Sixth Grade at Turner Middle School in Waxahachie; Seventh and Eighth Grades at Waxahachie Junior High School; and Ninth Grade at Waxahachie High School. She was in the Ninth Grade at the time of her death.
Ashley was a member of the College Street Church of Christ in Waxahachie, where she was baptized into Christ on November 11, 2001. She loved the Lord and His Word and His Church dearly, and remained strong in her faith to the very end. When asked how she found the strength to endure her battle with cancer, and when asked what advice she would give to others who are facing struggles in their own lives, her answer was consistent: "Trust in God, and never give up!"
Ashley was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor (medulloblastoma) in March 1997. After undergoing surgery to remove the golf-ball-sized tumor, followed by intense radiation therapy and chemotherapy, she was cancer-free for about three years. On September 11, 2001, an MRI revealed new tumor growth in Ashley's brain. Attempts to eradicate the cancer this time proved unsuccessful.
Ashley O'Rear passed from this life on Saturday, November 24, 2001, at 3:10 PM, at her home in Waxahachie. She was surrounded by her family and a host of Christian brothers and sisters. Thousands of people the world over prayed fervently for God to heal Ashley of her cancer, and heal her He has. Cancer did not win. Ashley won! In her death, she claimed ultimate and permanent victory over cancer. She is no longer suffering. She is no longer restricted by the devastating physical debilitation caused by both the cancer and the treatments. She is now at Home, resting peacefully in the loving arms of her Friend and Savior, Jesus. What better victory could one possibly hope for?
We will miss Ashley's precious and tenacious spirit. We will miss her gorgeous smile. We will miss her warm hugs. We will miss her mischievous ways. In short, we will miss everything that we loved about our precious "Princess" Ashley. Our hearts are broken in two, but our sadness is not for her. She is finally Home! Our sadness is for ourselves, because now we must figure out how we are supposed to go on living without her. Her absence hurts so much because her presence brought so much joy. Our aching hearts will carry forever the countless wonderful memories that seem too numerous to have been created in only fourteen short years. The happiness of those precious memories will balance out the unbearable heartache ... and we will figure out how to go on living.
Goodnight, Sweet Princess. Thank you for loving us so tenderly, and for blessing our lives so immeasurably. We will see you again, and that assurance brings comfort and peace to our hurting hearts.
(The above tribute was written by Ashley's father, Paul O'Rear.)