There is always someone who would love to be in your shoes.
Five years ago today, at 5:18 a.m. my beautiful daughter Melissa Marie took her last breath.
Who would love to be in my shoes?
The mother whose child died in a car accident. No matter how you lose a child, the end result is the same...but I got to hold my daughter's hand , lay with her, talk to her when she took her last breath.
The mother who lost her only child.
The mother who lost her child at birth (Melissa)...I have almost 31 years of memories, pictures, stories from friends...i can hear her voice. I remember her hugs.
Sometimes it's hard to think that anyone would want your problems....but if you just look around, you'll find someone.
Just recently, I was talking to someone who said they recently had some unexpected expenses...and it was Christmas time. I reminded him that just a few days before, a man lost his wife, two sons and his father in law in a house fire. He will live with that for the rest of his life. Unexpected expenses will somehow be paid and forgotten. Just look around.
I have learned a lot in the last five years.
Besides realizing that there ARE people who would love to be in my shoes, I learned that I am not alone. I am not the only person who has suffered the worst pain imaginable...the loss of a child.
Last summer we went to the Compassionate Friends National Conference in Boston. There were 1500 people there who had lost a child ( or MULTIPLE children)...every speaker, presenter and volunteer lost a child...
We are not alone.
I learned that simple is better.
...that people are kinder than I ever imagined...and I am trying to pay it forward.
...that it's okay to say "No".
I learned that it's important to remember special dates of children gone too soon of friends...because I KNOW it's important to me.
I learned that after a certain amount of time, grieving should be done in private..in the car, in the shower...
and that I have some very special friends who will listen whenever I need an ear, or to cry, or to just talk about Melissa. I am blessed - a lot of people don't have that.
I learned that some things are easier to forgive than to forget.
I learned that although I couldn't save my daughter from cancer, that I did a pretty good job of raising my kids...and I say that just because of the people THEY chose for friends!
I have realized in the last five years how lucky I am to have a loving, caring husband, son, daughter in law and BLESSED to have two energetic, smart grandsons.
I've learned that some days will be good and some days will be awful. And thats ok.
I've learned that a memory will happen when I least expect it...sitting in a restaurant and background music comes on - it's a song I KNOW is from Melissa...and the tears will fall.
All of my senses trigger memories. And I hope they always do.
I will NEVER forget my daughter.
I will NEVER get over her death.
I will think about her ever single day. As long as I live.
I will miss her laughter...her booming voice...her advice...going to lunch...hearing about her job...her life...rugby...her friends...the ups...the downs. Her handmade gifts (which we are STILL finding!).
I miss it ALL. Every day.
And every day, for the rest of my life, I will live to remember HER....to her brother, her nephews, her cousins and her friends.
But I will LIVE my life the best I can. For Melissa.
I love you and miss you pretty girl, every minute of every day. Mom