"There are some
who bring a light so great to the world
that even after they have gone,
the light remains."
Right now, Fort would be rolling her eyes. Every year on my kids birthday, I tell the story of the day they were born. I think it was mostly so I wouldn't forget...I figured some day they might actually like to hear the story. Never got to that point with Melissa, sorry to say. But just the thought of her rolling her eyes brings a smile to my face (and tears to my eyes)...
January 5, 1978.
5:30 a.m. I wake up to mild contractions. Plenty of time to get to the hospital. It is an unusually warm winter morning. I guess you could call it the calm before the storm. No snow on the ground. Yet. We are all packed (have been for awhile) ready to go. Have a deck of cards, just in case this baby is going to take it's time (back in those days, they didn't do routine ultrasounds. If you wanted to know what you were having, the doctor would make an educated guess based on the babies heart rate. ) We arrived at the hospital around 6 a.m. Started me on pitosin to get the contractions a little stronger. Melissa Marie arrived at 1:19 p.m., during All My Children. (Yep, even in 1978 we could watch tv in the delivery room, if you had a natural delivery...as opposed to a C section). Insurance companies actually paid for a couple of extra days for the mom to recuperate. In those couple of days, it started snowing. A couple of inches a day. By the time it was time to leave the hospital, there were several inches on the ground. The day Donny (daddy) was to come to pick us up, our car wouldn't start (1974 Gremlin X)...so Uncle George (Kayser) came to the rescue. He picked up Donny, then came to St. Elizabeth Hospital to pick Melissa and me up. I sat in the front seat HOLDING Melissa. No car seats in those days either. Two weeks later, the Blizzard of '78 hit. (This was a REAL blizzard, not what we had here a week ago!) Dayton was pretty much shut down for about three days. But we made it through, with the help of friends with four wheel drives stopping by to check in to make sure we didn't need anything, which we did...were running low on formula and they took care of us. That little girl went through a lot at the beginning of her life and at the end of her life...
What a treasure and a blessing we had. For almost 31 years. I was blessed that she called me mom...and my best friend too. We will always celebrate her birthday...and I will continue to tell the story of the day she was born. I don't know how to STOP telling it. Bought her a card too. Too hard to walk through the cards past the "Daughter" cards. I can't do it. So she still gets a card.
Later today we will have lunch at China Cottage, a tradition on her birthday. Then, the Fairmont girls play at home (Alumni Day too) and we'll go there...that is exactly what we would do if she were here...she would be so proud of this team. Especially that her cousin Lindsey is playing. She watched her play when Lindsey was in grade school...she would be so proud of her.
I can't believe we have celebrated four birthdays without her. I still doesn't seem possible...fortunately we have multitudes of photos and videos and memories.
Thought you might enjoy a few other photos I found of Fort ~
She was bound and determined to play basketball...
...not difficult to find a picture of her TALKING...she was one in this picture, walking AND talking!
and had to add a couple of photos from this Christmas ---
Nick acting silly ~ Fort is with him. Do you see her? (over his head!)
Pamma & PopPop with Andrew & Max
Oh...and one interesting story to add. Andrew and Max were painting at the dining room table. I was sitting in the living room reading. All of a sudden Max looks at me and says "Pamma, do you hear Aunt Fort's music?" The TV was off, there was no radio on. I wish I knew what HE heard. Is Fort talking to Max? Wouldn't surprise me at all.
She is with us. I am SURE of that.
You will never be forgotten Melissa.
We love you and miss you so much...
Happy Birthday pretty girl!
If there is ever a tomorrow
when we are not together...
there is something
you must remember:
You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is,
even if we're apart...
I'll always be with you.
~Winnie the Pooh
by A.A. Milne