Ok, first of all, if you are reading the blog for the first time, PLEASE go to the archives (down the right side of this page) and pull up something from before January 2009. That would be Fort's (Melissa's) posts. You WANT to read what she wrote.
I have posted a few times in the last year and a half, and I TRY to post what I think Fort might.
In this post, you will suffer through vacation pictures. Don't have to be stuck in someone's HOUSE any more and forced to watch home movies...we can do it on a BLOG now!!!! I think Fort would be ok with this one though - because I can tie it to a funny story about HER.
A few years back (before John, I believe), Melissa and some rugby friends visited Savannah. They were all out of college (I think), and I'm pretty sure it was a weekend. WELL...about 2 a.m. on the first night, I get a phone call. "MOM? I'm lost in Savannah. I can't find my friends!" "Melissa. You are in Savannah. I am in Kettering. What do you want me to do?" I'm pretty sure just talking to me made her feel safer...for some strange reason. I guess they were in a bar (imagine that - in Savannah!) and they just got lost from each other. Needless to say after we hung up, I couldn't sleep the rest of the night. She called the next day - she was fine. I told her the best thing she could do was GET BACK TO HER HOTEL. Somehow she did that. Not a very good feeling for parents. See what you all have to look forward to someday?
Since that visit, Melissa & John went to Savannah a couple of times, including their "honeymoon". It was an "impromptu" honeymoon I guess you could say. They had decided to get married the WEEK BEFORE, and got married on the Friday before the St. Patrick's Day celebration in Savannah. It also happens to be a big rugby weekend in Savannah. After they got married (in Blue Ash), Fort's friend Casey J. was waiting at the apartment...she was their driver to Savannah. We heard LOTS of great stories about Savannah (ok, mostly about the bars), but have been very interested in the history of Savannah and Charleston. So we took a couple days last week and visited.
I actually posted the pictures in the wrong order - we went to Savannah first, then Charleston...but oh well. It was a quick week, but good for both of us. Not really relaxing, but good to get away together.
If you're not into "family" vacation pictures, skip to the end of the post - interesting story about Poogan's Porch and my visit from Melissa.
Thanks too for continuing to check the blog. It's been good therapy for me.
We had lunch at Poogan's Porch after our walking tour in Charleston. Interesting place...says they are the THIRD MOST HAUNTED place in America! I have an interesting story about this place at the end of the blog....
These houses in Charleston are PRE Revoluntionary War. I thought they were so beautiful...for as old as they are. It fascinates me. (Never been to Europe...that would REALLY amaze me!)
If you knew Fort, you knew that she took some pretty amazing "self portraits"...I've been practicing, and getting better.....
Our favorite restaurant in Savannah! It said "tshirts sold inside"...so of course we went in to buy out the tshirts...and they had ONE left. An XL in pink. So we bought it...and it fit Nick perfectly. I think we're going to call to see if they can order some for us!
This is a grave in an OLD cemetery in Savannah. Does this grave look like a bed to you? It does to me. Could it be why we say "our final resting place?" No one there to ask!
This way to the beach...we went to Tybee Island after touring Savannah. Got to the public parking area, drove around for about 10 minutes and someone stopped us and said "we're leaving, do you want our spot? And we have an hour left on our parking, you can have that too." Then we got to the beach, put our towels down, and the young couple in front of us got up and said "we're leaving. do you want our chairs and umbrella? we have another hour and a half left?" We met the NICEST people in Georgia!
The Crab Shack at Tybee Island
We met Reds Helmey (author of The Lemon Dance) the day we were leaving Savannah.
Donny met him while I was shopping - he is the only person to ever hijack an airline and get acquitted. He hijacked a United Airlines plane to Cuba to assasinate Fidel Castro.
Donny is reading the book first - sounds pretty interesting....
FOURTH OF JULY
We had a very low key fourth...Nick, Drew & Max and my sister Sue came over for a cookout (Mere had to work), and my dad, Donny's mom and some of his family came over to watch the fireworks from our front yard.
Drew patiently(?) waits at Pamma's for fireworks...now he thinks EVERY time he comes to Pamma's there will be fireworks when it gets dark!
Max relaxing in the backyard on the Drew's new picnic table!
Kat (rugby teammate of Melissa's) and Chris...THANK YOU for stopping by!
Not sure why, but feeling a little down lately. Maybe it's knowing that summer is half over...only a few more weeks before school starts (don't get any sympathy here at home about THAT)...might be the thought of going into a "new" building, getting to know 400 new kids and a new staff...or getting to know a new library. Or what I'm thinking is I'm missing Melissa terribly. Every day. I love love love visits and calls from her friends (thanks Kat & Chris!) and occasional lunches with old friends (thanks Cole!)who have no choice but to sit and listen to stories about Melissa. Sometimes I need to talk about her and sometimes I need to cry. That was today - and Cole was very patient and listened and laughed and cried with me.
I wasn't sure if I would share this on the blog...but it's something I NEEDED to do, and it was really helpful for me.
A friend of Melissa's called me last year and told me about a psychic/medium in the Cincinnati area that she had seen. So I went. It was amazing. I didn't tell Donny that I was going, but when he got home, we listened to the tape together and it was very emotional for both of us. It's been a year, and I was ready to talk to him again.
I'm not going to share EVERYTHING that he said, just a few things that I thought were pretty interesting.
First of all, I haven't had many dreams about Melissa - actually none where we have actually talked. Last week when we were in Charleston, a friend recommended a little restaurant in the historic district called Poogan's Porch. We found out it is one of the top 3 most haunted houses in the U.S. Two sisters lived in the house and died in the house - they were "spinsters"...were never married. Supposedly they now haunt the house. Tables were set up in the living room and dining room areas of the house. We had a table in the living room and were seated alone in there for a short time...so I made a little request of the sisters...I asked that they get Melissa and bring her to me. That night, I had my first "real" dream about her. I was driving and wanted to call her about something, and realized that I couldn't call her. I started crying..and the next thing I remember about the dream - Melissa and I were sitting at a table talking, I think we were having lunch and I think we were at Poogan's Porch. I can't remember what we were talking about, but I think it was about her treatments.
WELL...one of the things he said was "the dream you had about Melissa a couple of nights ago? She wants you to know it was her."
I could have walked out right then and had my money's worth.
Another thing he said is "she is very loud on the other side. she makes a LOT of NOISE
around your house."
We have a puzzle for the kids that is farm animals. It is activated by removing the puzzle piece, and it makes the sound of the animal when you remove the piece. The animal sounds go off ALL THE TIME. We are nowhere near it, and it goes off. Just now,
I told Donny that I was pretty sure that Melissa and I were at Poogan's Porch having lunch and the puzzle went off. Donny said she was agreeing with me.
He also said "she colored her hair, didn't she? She says she is STILL coloring her hair"
(and THAT reminded of one of the times she colored her hair - when it was coming back after she lost it from treatments. She was working at Commonwealth at the time. She emailed me from work and said "I colored my hair last night - and nobody's said anything yet...it must look terrible!"....then I got another email and she said (I can't remember her co-workers name)...so and so said "WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO YOUR HAIR?????" I guess it was REALLY orange...so she colored it again. Every time she lost her hair and it came back, she would say "I need to color my hair back to it's NATURAL color (blonde)"...evidently the color it grew back IN was NOT her natural color...
Mere told me the other day she dreamt about Melissa and she had BLACK hair.
He also said "she's thanking you for doing the walk for her. and she says there's another one in the planning stages?" (I NEVER mentioned this - EVER. I did the walk last October, and participated in the opening and closing ceremonies).
He said (chuckling) she wants to have a drink with you...she didn't drink, did she? I LAUGHED and said "YES." then he said "she's talking about sushi...I have NEVER had sushi come up in a reading...NEVER. Who likes sushi?" She does, John does, Nick does...I DON'T.
He also asked "what friend are you helping that has cancer?" (one of my best friends/coworkers was diagnosed in October and has been going through chemo and radiation SINCE October) He said "Melissa says you need to be strong for her mom. Everything will be ok. She's sending her angels, and she's sending you strength."
There were a few more things, but I think that's enough to share...I KNOW a lot of people are skeptical...Donny is THE biggest skeptic, and I was skeptical too. But boy it sure was nice to hear some of those things - I DO believe she is visiting us in our dreams - I have to believe that to get through some days.
And it's not hurting anyone.
So skeptical or not, I did it and got through another day.
I'm pretty sure Melissa was ok with it too.