Holly T. Ashley

Oh did I type that outloud?

Happy Mothers Day to Me.

brandon 12 25-01I will never forget the night…

I was awakened by a rush of fear that came over me like a waterfall.  In the quietness of my bedroom… I remember laying there… searching my heart to figure it out… It wasn’t a painful feeling – more like being at the top of a very, very tall roller coaster and all you can see is blackness at the bottom. You look down, and your heart moves into your throat. You cannot swallow, you can hardly breathe as you feel the car begin to go down…

I took a deep breath and silently waited for God to give me instructions as to the interpretation of this feeling. I immediately knew it had very little to do with me as a person yet, it had everything to do with me as mother.

Immediately I knew it was my son Brandon and it was not good.Brandon and Barn

It was not death. Praise Jesus.  But something terrible had happened and I could feel it – waves were tossing my insides about… waves of devastation then shame followed by breakers of fear and anxiety… and then the guilt.

He was hurting – that was what I felt – such devastating pain in my heart. It ached all the way into the next day and then the next week…

For weeks I poured tears over my Bible and wept for the son I had not spoken to in years, but knew hurt so badly. Not knowing what had happened but knowing that my intuition was never wrong.

I keep my mean-spirited, hateful, indigent, prideful children clutched close to my heart. Praying for them – not that one day they will reconcile with me- I could care less – okay, that’s a big fat lie! I care like crazy!

But I want them right with Jesus. That’s all that is worth caring about and if God has to bring them to their knees to do that, then so be it.  I felt like this…. Could be…. Maybe… don’t get your hopes up Holly…. Just keep praying.

There were days I would catch myself praying for him not to commit suicide. The hurt and shame in my heart was so heavy….brandon 15

I thought, “Oh my goodness boy, what have you done!?”

Then I would think to myself – certainly my mother or my sisters or someone would call me if he was in trouble or hurting.

But no.

No they did not.

My little “c” hristian family does not see the need in informing a mother of her child’s hurt, pain or mishaps – (that would be respectful) as a matter of fact, it was my un-saved- not an atheist, just outwardly hates Jesus father, who told me of an incident that had happened to my son at college earlier in the year… after the fact… but none the less he did tell me!

It was not a big deal and although it wasn’t a mother’s proudest moment, nor would I have “bailed” him out… but I was very proud of how he handled it and wished I could have told him that.

But I couldn’t. He wasn’t talking to me. He was mad.463371_96

He was always such a serious little boy I’d swear he came out of my womb with a part in his hair and collared shirt & little khaki dockers – screaming bloody murder – mind you, at a Dr. who was too ignorant in his own “know it all” ways to realize that Brandon had announced his arrival 2 days earlier and he was done playing these medical games of “Dr. knows best.”

So after a long, long painful night, my little karate-kid-baby boy who never stopped moving…. suddenly went silent. I knew instantly there was a problem. The Dr. was called and as he checked me and then the monitors… the room went silent as the Dr., still dressed in his flip-flops and shorts from his interrupted tennis match announced:

“Well, we’ve lost him. Let’s get him out.”

With my arms stretched out to the side like a cross, I lay petrified – but calm… strapped down on that bed in that very cold room, they told me to just “stay calm,” as the nurse poked me with the needle for the anesthetic, the Dr. began the emergency C-Section and I felt every, single, inch of that scalpel across my abdomen.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

But before I could even think about the pain, I heard that little boy of mine screaming for his life, as to say “It’s about freaking time!”463296_300

That would be my son…

He gets mad and shuts down. He won’t talk, he won’t make eye contact and he most certainly will not give you any explanation only symbolic gestures, like kicking off a heart monitor and then crawling into a motionless ball until he’s jerked up by the ankles by a Dr. very upset that missed his tennis match.

Yeah. Not much has changed.

He was angry… and that anger is being fueled by my “c” hristian family…


The hurt and pain continued and so did the prayers – until March of last year that is. After praying that God would bring my son (and daughter) to their knees, He let me know that my prayer had been answered… Well, kinda…

The pain was real – for sure – but Brandon is a slow, prideful learner….

So there we stood. I moved to from the bedroom where we were talking into the bathroom to continue to wash my face, put my make up on, and brush my hair… do anything to hide my face from him. But he knew. Brandon knew me. He knew I was hurting but what was more, I was so afraid – Damn intuition! Brandon-15

He put his arms around me and said, “Mom. I won’t go if you don’t want me to.”

That was Brandon. He would not have ever gone either – All I had to do was say no. But I couldn’t.

He had a right… and it was about freaking time that his biological grandparents pulled up their big-boy pants and flew him out to see them. It’s not like they didn’t have any money the Del Frate’ family own most of Kenosha and I had made damn sure they were without reason to deny my son a relationship by writing to them every, single year of that child’s life. Where he was, what he was doing, pictures of basketball, football, baseball, tennis, prom and high school graduation.

The last time Brandon had heard from them was when he was 13 years old. We lived in Tennessee and the phone rang. It was his grandmother and her oldest daughter, who had been mentally challenged her whole life, had passed away. 

DSC00748But it was what Brandon did after that I will never forget.

“Do you know how to get a hold of my dad?” he asked his grandmother (Jim the “dad’s” mother).

Brandon hadn’t heard from his father since we left Arizona a year earlier when I had to call him to make him come and see Brandon, because we were leaving the next day and after I promised not to have him arrested for his lack of child support, he obliged.

After retrieving the number my not so little 13-year-old young man confronted his father:

“Why haven’t you called?”

“I didn’t know where you were – your mother is keeping you from me.”

“Really? So you don’t talk to YOUR mother?”

“I haven’t talked to Grandma Rose (his mother) for a while, Brandon….”

“So you don’t know that your sister died?”

Brandon didn’t listen for the answer, just pressed the button on the phone and went to his room.

Jim called back within minutes – but not to set things straight with his son… Nope. Just wanted to know if he were to “Sever [his] parental rights, would [he] have to pay child support?”

“Like you ever have!”


15 years later… here we were. In my bedroom talking to my son about his trip… I knew what was about to happen and unlike Brandon- I share my feelings :

 “I just don’t want to lose you, baby.”

He gave me a big hug, promised me I would never lose my son… and with a stern warning to “quit calling me baby,” the following week he was off to Wisconsin.

Two weeks later returned home with great memories and fabulous pictures for his face book and a mean, angry, hateful attitude towards me…

Apparently he had learned that I was nothing but a mean, hurtful, angry bitch that kept him from them and their family….

As I continued to pray and read scripture, I had one of those God moments… He patted me on the back and said, “Look, he didn’t fall… I gave him a little push… not hard, but he’s scared to death and that’s good, but his heart is very hard, so we’re not done.”


Coming to terms with what God had told me, I hoped for the best but prepared for the worst.

10462884_807230859301900_1254119053961781614_nApparently my children forget the period of time that I worked as a PI/Process Server – so putting those skills to use, I found out exactly what had happened to my dear college son – that very night I was awakened by the fear that shook his soul… and after conferring with my husband, we agreed that even though the door would be slammed in my face, I needed to go – So I got in my little car, put my top down, radio up… and off I went on my 15 hour journey to the little party/college town of San Marcos, TX.

Things went according to mine and my husband’s plan… almost to the letter, in fact. It was a little scary. But when two or more are gathered in His name….


I did what any good mother would do. I drove for almost 15 hours straight to his apartment doorstep, whereby after a brisk knock I was met by a sweet yet scarred boy, the roommate, who nervously greeted me – after asking me if Brandon was in trouble, and then I waited… half wondering what my face must look like for him to have such an instinct… I was smiling.

But, the nervous roommate was very anxious to leave, so apparent that he did not want to be there for the meet and greet… so I made a phone call to Brandon, who apparently deleted my number in the hope that – the deletion of phone number would keep my phone from dialing his number…. answered.

But he must have been heading into the apartment complex because no sooner did he hear my voice and immediately hang up… then he pulled up… Apparently not realizing that I had called him from the doorstep of his own apartment… whereby after seeing me, (deer in the headlights) he proceeded to peel out of the parking lot.

So after exchanging a text or two about, “WHO TOLD YOU!?” and “HOW DID YOU KNOW?” and of course the “I DON’T WANT YOU HERE!”

I got in my little car and on my way to my hotel, stopped by the outlet malls for a some shopping before having some dinner on the town square, where after I proceeded to buy a bottle of wine (s per my husband’s instruction) and then the next morning, after a good cry in the bath tub, headed home knowing I left my son a very strong message stamped upon his heart:


Regardless of what you think, how you feel, or what you hear

I love you


I will always be your Mother.

At Thanksgiving, I did send him a text message letting him know how much of a blessing he was to me and that I loved him very much, to which he replied: “DON’T EVER CALL ME AGAIN!” and “I’M BLOCKING YOUR NUMBER!” (to which I thought, well there ya go! You learned something).

But none the less, it’s all good. God’s got direct dial… He tells me everything.

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:18, 19).

Happy Mother’s Day to me.

Brandon April.2014Brandon will graduate this month

2 pm on Saturday May 16th – very exciting!

I’m really proud of Brandon!





5 comments on “Happy Mothers Day to Me.

  1. Kat
    June 9, 2015

    Holly, I’m just reading this now. I want you know I am one hour from San Marcos, TX. If you should ever need to go there again, we have a spare room and you are always, always welcome. Much love and I will keep this in prayer. I understand and I am oh so sorry you have to go through this. Just remember that”truth crushed to the earth rises again.” The day of truth is coming for you and your children. My email is sing53@hotmail.com

  2. Brandon
    May 17, 2017

    Would you mind taking this down please? I do not like the fact that if people google my name this is the first thing they see. It is also very inaccurate. You convinced my father to join the military, requested divorce on his graduation day (7 year contract I believe),changed my name, changed my social security number, and many other things. The most important thing is that he gave up custody, when I was 15, so I could get my drivers license. You see I have a different name on my birth certificate, my social security card, and my certificate of baptism. My father asked me if he really wanted to me to do this and I did. However I truly did hate him because of all the lies you, mother, embedded. It wasn’t until I went to visit my grand parents in Wisconsin, then caught a plan to Florida, that the truth came out.

    I landed in Wisconsin late that night. My grandpa and grandma picked me up to at the airport and said we were going to go to my great grandma’s house. When we got there all the lights were off and my grandpa & I got out of the car, my grandma stayed in. My grandpa walked me to the back of the house, still no lights, and took me to a very dark table where I could see the silhouette of a man. That was my father. We talked for hours. It probably took about 30 minutes until I believed him. 7 years was a long absence for father and son so I really disliked him. However after the 30 minutes it all came together and made sense, you lied about every single thing.

    You did everything you could to keep him away from me. From the moment I was born, to when he go out of the military; you moved us across the country. On the day to Tennessee, you called my dad and said, if you ever want to see your son again, you better come now. He made that 3 hour drive.
    I have never felt so tricked in my life. It was like the worst magic trick ever & so clear as day.
    You can say what you want and keep trusting in your “intuition”, but you’re nothing more than a con artist. A long con pro.

    • pastorofpump
      May 17, 2017

      As a pastor and a minister to men, Brandon, I pray you will take these words to heart.
      As you’re no doubt aware, your biggest challenge is with your mom, and I would strongly encourage you to take ownership in improving this relationship as soon as possible. I think you can understand why this would be beneficial immediately, but it also has long-term ramifications for your future relationships with women.

      Your mother is probably the most godly, wise, loving, faithful, honest women I have met. I knew your mom 30 years ago and I know all about the family you were born into, so you cannot say that I don’t know all about you and your family, because I do. This is the woman who loves you unconditionally, whether you acknowledge her or not, she is and always will be your mother and always love you.

      When we look at our mothers, for most of us including you, that’s the woman who would walk through fire for us, cry because she’s proud of us, even support us at court if we screw up. Other than your wife – if you find a good one – your mother is your Number One fan and always will be. So why would you want to piss her off and make her cry by your lack of respect. Yes your upbringing wasn’t optimal, but she did the best she could to honor God in her raising of her children.

      It is time to start silencing the little boy inside. It’s not easy, I know, and it won’t happen over night and you will have slip-ups even if you commit to this. What I’m telling you is that it has to start happening, because your success in life depends on it – much more than your grades, the kind of car you get, the shiny furniture in your apartment. None of that stuff matters if you can’t realize yourself as a grown man, get past the little boy who needs always to “win” and can’t ever find it in his heart to apologize or recognize that his own actions are just that: his own. The little boy will always seek to blame someone or something – anything but himself. A man can be honest with himself and admit error and apologize. And believe it or not, it feels good to do so — a lot better than stubbornly hanging onto the prideful entitlement you have shown.

      I would be very surprised to learn that you, upon reflection, see how you treat your mother as entirely OK and acceptable. I pray you will seek God and show the honor and respect to the woman that sacrificed much of her life to give you a good childhood. In the end it is you who will have to answer for your actions and attitudes and you will have to answer to Jesus, and He will be either your Savior or your Judge.


  3. Holly T. Ashley
    May 17, 2017

    You are most certainly allowed to believe whatever you desire, my son. I will always love you, no matter what.
    But no. I will not take this down.

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2015 by in Children and tagged , , , .
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