As I prepare to move back to El Paso, I finally sorted through the last of my childhood items stored at my parent's house. I'm not much of a saver so I tossed a lot of schoolwork and put most of the goods in a garage sale pile. I'm glad I flipped through some old notebooks though because I came across a draft of a letter I wrote to Tim just over ten years ago. I wish I'd had this letter on our wedding day to give to him =). Reading through it, it's pretty clear that at 17 I knew the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with! I laugh at how often I use the word "always" in this note, but it certainly was an accurate use of the word since he is my "always" now. And I especially love the P.S. I left at the bottom. I typed up the sentiments and emailed it to Tim today =). Here is my little letter from the beginnings of our love story...
Timothy Allen Ashcraft,
I don't even know where to start. You are the most amazing person I have met in 17 years. And I truly mean that. I have looked up to you for four years now and I know I will continue to for the rest of my life. You have taught me so much about life and character. How one person can do so much still amazes me. Tim--you have it all--you're intelligent, caring, passionate, funny, athletic, musically talented, generous--and the list could take up all the pages in the world. But most of all Tim--you are lovable. I honestly don't know a sole who doesn't respect, admire, and love you. You have given my life so much more meaning simply by knowing you. Your will and perseverance make me want to strive to be the best I can. Not only have you had an immense impact on my life but all those who are blessed to now you. I could go on forever and this is unbelievably difficult to condense into one page. You are such a beautiful person and God couldn't have created a more perfect creature. These four years have seemed so long but now that they're over I wish they were longer so I wouldn't have to say goodbye! You are the one person who I have loved all four years and always kept close to my heart. You have been by my side through it all and I appreciate that more than you know. Your support and motivation have kept me going. I'll always remember and read your poems and notes, listen to the tapes you've made and look back on the memories we have created together--and cherish them with my all. I'll miss you more than I can begin to imagine. It goes without saying that you will be extremely successful. You have all the talent in the world and the will to create great things for yourself. No matter how far away you travel or how long we go between our talks or visits I will always love you and you will always hold the most special place in my heart. I'll always believe in you Tim and I'll forever be your biggest fan. I wish you all the luck in the world. Always keep smiling and laughing and remember I'm here for you if you ever need me. Keep in touch no matter what comes along xoxoxoxoxo. I will always be "the luckiest" for my memories with you. I love you, Timothy Allen Ashcraft.
All my love forever,
Ashley Elizabeth Ross
P.S. We're getting married when you get back so don't look too hard for gals back east.