Ashley Jean O'Rear, 1987 - 2001

Ashley Jean O'Rear passed from this life at 3:10 PM on Saturday, November 24, 2001, at home in Waxahachie, Texas, surrounded by her parents Paul and Susan O'Rear, as well as a number of Christian brothers and sisters. She fought a long, courageous battle with cancer, and inspired countless other people to face their own struggles in life with grace, courage, and determination.

We are going to miss Ashley dearly. There will be a tremendous hole in our lives that will never be able to be filled. We will never "get over" our loss, because Ashley was too important a part of our lives to "get over". We prayed for God to heal her of her cancer, and heal her He has. Cancer did not win. Ashley won! She is now in the arms of Jesus. What better victory could one possibly hope for? Our hearts are broken, but our sadness is not for her. She is finally at Home. Our sadness is for ourselves, because we must now figure out how to go on living without her.

We will figure that out. We will go on. In the midst of the heartache lies a peace that comes from the Prince of Peace. Our lives have been blessed so abundantly by Ashley's presence for 14 wonderful years, and she will live with us every single day in our hearts and in our precious memories. God is a gracious God, and His strength will see us through each difficult day.

To those of you who have prayed so fervently for Ashley and for our family, and who have loved us and shared your hearts with us ... thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have become our extended family, and your thoughts and prayers and e-mails have already provided us with much encouragement and strength and comfort. Please continue to mention us in your prayers as we begin the next difficult leg of our journey through life. Please especially pray for our son Justin, as he tries to figure out how a 12-year-old is supposed to cope with the death of his only sister.

Thank you for loving our sweet Ashley.

Her absence hurts so much because her presence brought so much joy.

God bless you all and keep you in the comfort of His gracious hand.

Much love,
Paul (Ashley's Dad)

P.S. I will send one more "update" with details of Ashley's funeral. It will likely take place on Tuesday, November 27, at about 2:00 PM, but that is mere preliminary speculation at this point.

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