For some reason, this year has been harder than the last couple of years. Not sure why, but might be because the dates/days are the same as 2008. I remember what happened-vividly-each day those last couple of weeks.
We never got to celebrate her 31st birthday. Just missed it. By two days. Although several friends and relatives sent her birthday cards a few days early that I got to read to her…she loved that.
I woke up this morning around 4 a.m. Right around the time I woke up 37 years ago on this day. In labor that time. Donny remembers that I woke him up around 5, because I wanted to be sure that I was in labor.
Everything was packed and ready to go, including a deck of cards, just in case it would be awhile.
Didn't have to wait very long-she arrived at 1:19 p.m. During my favorite daytime show - All My Children.
I remember calling my mom at work (because in those days you went to the hospital with just your spouse, not your entire family) When she answered I said "Hi Grandma". When she finally realized it was me, I think she was a little shocked. I was making a phone call less than a half an hour after giving birth! Of course now we get minute by minute texts right up to delivery. How things have changed!
Melissa was a beautiful, healthy baby. Lots of dark hair. A good sleeper right from the start.
She survived the Blizzard of '78…we have a certificate from Channel 7 to prove it! She was just a couple of weeks old.
When I woke up this morning, I remember thinking about that morning 37 years ago. When we left I remember thinking about how our lives were about to change. Our house would no longer be quiet. Peaceful.
Then I thought about the days before she passed away. How our house would never be the same. And it wasn't. The silence was deafening. Not peaceful at all.
I remember in vivid detail the day she was born….and the day she died. I wish I could remember everything in between just as vividly. Thank goodness I was a picture taker, and so was Melissa.
They tell the story of her life. The in-between.
In a way, having the anniversary and her birthday only two days apart was a blessing in disguise.
The two days where memories come flooding back, and the pain is more intense. For us, it softens during the summer. No holidays, anniversary or birthday. And sunshine.
Thank goodness for pictures - they remind me of the wonderful life she lived. I want to focus on her life…not just her death.
There have been lots of tears in the last month, but some smiles too. She left us with a lot of great memories. And we love that her friends remember too. And share their memories.
As long as someone speaks her name, she will live on.
Happy Birthday Melissa Marie…Fort…we love you and miss you…and we will always celebrate your birthday. Your life.
2nd Birthday celebration
OU Friend Shannon's son with balloon for first balloon release - they released their balloon in Boston!
Melissa's last celebrated birthday. A big party. Just what she wanted.
Fort and Grandma
Group shot. Melissa's 30th birthday party
37th Birthday - January 5, 2015
Happy 37th Birthday Melissa…FORT