Sunday, January 16, 2011

109 Years of Greatness...Mother/Daughter Weekend

And of course...BUTTERFLIES!

Fort and her friends...(Thanks Stacy!)

(Not only did Stacy share photos of Fort, she took some incredible photos of butterflies! I had to share those too!)

In January 2008, Melissa & Stacy turned 30, Pauly turned 40. Not sure WHOSE idea it was, but they decided to celebrate ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF GREATNESS. (no humility with THOSE three!) And so it began. Every year, the second weekend in January (except 2009), they have celebrated - starting again in 2010 - ONE HUNDRED SIX YEARS OF GREATNESS and this year ONE HUNDRED NINE YEARS of GREATNESS. And they ALWAYS include FORT, and they always include us. She has the most incredible friends.
Last year, Stacy put together a CD, a mix of songs that she thought Fort would like(if you read Melissa's profile on the blog, she says that she LOVES Stacy's mixes.)
So Stacy continues. She told me last year after giving me the CD that she would tell me why she chose each song. I got THAT this year. It's several pages long with a paragraph about each song and why she chose it and why it reminded her of Fort.
I'll share a few here (hope you don't mind Stacy!):


Would you be the wind to blow me home
Would you be a dream
On the wings of a poem
And if we were walking through a crowd
Well you know I'd be proud

"Fort always said that she loved my mix tapes that I made her in college because I always had artists that weren't common. I always remembered that and when I made her mixes, I would make sure that ev ery song was one that she had never heard of. I found this artist randomly a few months after she passed. I started a list called "Songs Fort Would Like", and every time I heard a song that I liked and thought she would like too, I would add it to the list. Most of the songs on this CD were from that list". (OH-I received ANOTHER CD of songs from Stacy this year - this one is called "II" - the first CD was called "ONE YEAR LATER")

Closer I am to Fine - Indigo Girls

(I KNOW she loved this song - it was always playing in her car!)

I'm trying to tell you something 'bout my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing that you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously; its only life after all
(boy do the words in THIS song fit Melissa!...listen to it sometime!)

"As with all rugby teams, Thursday night is the official kick-off to the weekend and every Thursday night started with a party that is simply known as "beers'. Throughout the season, the party would rotate between houses of the girls and boys team. At the end of the rugby season our junior year, everyone was sick of hosting the weekly party so we decided that we would hold "beers" at The Greenery. The Greenery was a local hot-spot for underage kids who could easily buy quarter draft beers, over consume on aforementioned beerws and make-out with random co-eds on the packed dance floor (editorial comment: I decline to comment as to whether Fort or I spent any time there our freshman or sophomore year). That particular Thursday night, The Greenery featured karaoke - bad idea for a bunch of drunken ruggers who had little to no shame when it came to embarrassing themselves. We spent the entire evening switching turns at the microphone, performing duets and even slow-dancing to our friends horrible renditions of slow songs, including "Islands in the Stream" performed by Fort & Julie. My most favorite memory of that night was watching Fort & Casey karaoke to this song by the Indigo Girls. The irony is that very few ruggers-nay, males in general-would ever admit to listening to Indigo Girls, let alone know a song well enough to karaoke. Casey broke that mold, I suppose. But watching the two of them sing will always flash in my head when I hear it!"

WELL. So Fort had a lot more fun than I THOUGHT at OU....I LOVE to hear these stories. I love the pictures. So many memories - I have all the time in the world to listen if you want to share. Thanks Stacy, for the CD, them memories and for being such a good friend to Fort. I know she loved you.

Just found this photo a couple of days ago. I'm pretty sure it was taken on our last Mother/Daughter weekend together. Went every year with all my friends from high school and THEIR daughters. Always the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday (so we would all have a day to recouperate). I LOVE this picture of Melissa - she is SO beautiful and looks SO HEALTHY in this picture. I still don't understand....

Fort & Stacy (taken at the Chili Cook Off 2007)Stacy said "I can't remember who had my camera, but we took like 10 shots before we both agreed that we liked this one!"

(Athens 2007) Stacy says "Jami and Fort deep in conversation. I have a feeling that Fort was starting the conversation with "you know"...(she must have done that alot!)

"The Girls" Stacy, Alisa & Fort (St. Patty's Day 2007) "Old" friends from OU!

"My kids first friend!" (Stacy said Melissa always said she wanted to be her kids first friend - and of course had to get her picture with them to prove it!)

I don't know about you, but I'm already ready for spring. But Drew loves to get outside and help shovel snow. I need sunshine...

Drew & PopPop working hard!

Drew & PopPop taking a break from shovelling snow!

Mmmmmmmm...Hot(warm) chocolate after shoveling snow..NOTHING better!

Drew & Max (put them on a chair together, give them FOOD, they will actually sit still for a couple of seconds for a picture!)


Well, just a note about the 2011 3 Day Walk in Altanta. Our team has been established - we are officially TEAM B POSITIVE. So far our team consists of me,Sharon,Angie, Julie (who is Shannon's sister and walked with me, Melissa & Shannon in 2007). Maybe Annie (Melissa's roommate from OU sophomore year) and maybe Jen (who is already running her SECOND marathon for Fort in February in Jacksonville!).
So this week, Susan G. Komen sends out what is probably a mass email, and I'm guessing to everyone who has registered for a walk in 2011 (in one of the 14 cities around the U.S.) They are looking for a NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON. Donny immediately looked at me and said "you should do this". Then we got an email from John M (John's dad) he responded to the email that I should do it too.
So I looked at the online application. I'm not qualified in the respect that I am NOT a PUBLIC SPEAKER. I'm pretty sure those are the most important questions in the survey. But what could be more important than LIVING it? I have "public speaking" experience. I'm a public speaker EVERY day, just to a much younger audience.
But I have a PASSION about this - and I don't know about YOU, but if I am passionate about something, I have NO PROBLEM talking about it. Speaking at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies would be scripted. Talking to Media would not, but they include training with information that needs to be shared.
I think the PERFECT person for this position would be MELISSA. But she is not here so I want to do it for HER.
Have to submit ANOTHER video to YOUTUBE (not public this time, just so they can access it)...have that set up for Thursday. I'm a little nervous - but it's about MELISSA. If it's about my daughter, I can do anything. If I get a call, I would be ECSTATIC. If I don't, I'm still registered to walk in Atlanta, and will continue to do what I can to raise AWARENESS and $$ to find a cure for this horrible disease.
Wish me luck....


Anonymous said...

I am sure you would be an Awesome spokesperson for the walks. I am pulling for you as I am sure many others are!

debmann said...

Not only was Melissa special, but she has an awesome MOM. You will be a great spokesperson. I will send lots of Qi your way. Good Luck!
Debbie Mann

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Annie said...

Oh Pam, the passion is really what it's all about. People don't follow a person because she's good at public speaking; they follow her because they want to believe as strongly and as passionately as she does. You will do fabulously and I am sure that Fort is proudly looking down on her Mom!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck in being the spokesperson! Your connection and passion will be the keys to your success. Who could resist your story? and your loving support of all who have experienced this disease. . . perfect! You go, girl! Mari Lou