From Tennessee

July 31, 2007

My name is Ashlea Montgomery and I live in Memphis, Tennessee. This is my ladybug story… I wish it were different…

My friend, Cheri Wade and I are in our mid thirties and both have two children…In 2005 our sons were 5 and our daughters were 3. Our sons, Jacob and Chandler, were best friends and attended the same small private school…that is how I met Cheri. Our daughters, Katie and Evan were just going to start preschool in the Fall so we bought their uniforms and were so excited…we had big plans for our kids who had become such close little friends…all was perfect in our little world until “Katie-bug” had a horrible accident on June 25, 2005. I received a call that she accidentally slipped in the neighbors pool and drowned. I don’t even know what to tell you after that sentence but that we were devastated and our lives would never be the same after that day. We wrapped our hearts around the Wade family and have never let them go. We have had balloon releases, ladybug releases, dedicated a childrens book series to our school library…anything we can do, we try to do to show them our love and support.

We just had the 2nd anniversary of precious little Katie’s death. We went out to the site of their new house in the country and had a “ladybug release” where “Katie’s Garden” will be. It was a sad but sweet time to draw close to Cheri, Jason, Jacob and there family. I was shopping for the perfect thing and that is when I found your store online. I bought the adorable ladybug bird house to hang on the tree in “Katie’s Garden.” Cheri absolutely loved it. It was precious and priceless.

Cheri is so, so sweet. She is a woman of such strength and character. She makes me want to be a better person. If my story is chosen, I will use it to honor her and the memory of precious Katie.

Well, back to my story…Cheri decided that she wanted to get a small ladybug tattoo in memory of Katie this past June. So, about eleven of us planned a fun sleep over night and made our way to the tattoo parlor…they were surprised to see “suburbia” roll out of this mini van and pile in the door for our new addition! I thought the artist was going to start crying right then and there when we responded to “so what’s up with the ladybug?”

Well, now you know my ladybug story. We will be forever friends brought unusually close through this tragedy…

We sign off to each other by saying, “Hugs and Ladybugs!”

Thank you for hearing my story.

Sincerely,

Ashlea Montgomery

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