It was Mother's Day for Melissa yesterday too…and as much as I wish they were BOTH here, they were celebrating together.
I often think back to when my brother Steve died. I really don't know how my mom (or dad) did it. It was like my brother never existed. It was obviously too hard for my mom to talk about, so she NEVER talked about Steve. She couldn't look at pictures either. What I know now is she suffered in silence. That was always my mom's way of dealing with things. She was very private about everything in her life - politics, finances, family.
I idolized my mom. I wanted to be just like her. In a lot of ways, I was. She was Class Treasurer in high school, I was class treasurer in high school. She was a writer, a list maker. Very organized. And a clean freak (although you look at my house now, you'd never know it.)
The one way we were different was in how we dealt with situations. I NEED to talk. I do hold things in a lot, like how I am really feeling about losing Melissa. But I talk about her. A lot. As everyone who has ever met me knows. It's my way of keeping her alive.
And on days like Mother's Day, when everyone is posting pictures of having lunch with their daughters (I notice those the most), and the nice things daughter's post about their mom's…all I have is everything I ever saved from Melissa. Which was everything she ever wrote. Pretty much.
So what I have is nothing new. I'll never have another picture of Melissa. So I dig through my photos and try to find something "new"…and on Mother's Day, and Valentines Day, and my birthday, I read all those cards I saved. And I pretend that I just got it for THAT day.
One thing she wrote for a creative writing class in high school particularly touched my heart. I had it framed with one of my favorite pictures of me and Melissa. Funny story behind the story…I think it was her junior year. She had a project where she had to write multiple poems. Melissa was a procrastinator (she got that honestly too)…and to be honest, she always felt like she did her best work at the last minute. This particular project was a portfolio of poems. She got an A on the project. The day she got it back she had a basketball game. Right before the game started, she came over to me and handed me the portfolio. I sat in the stands and read the entire thing. I was amazed. And crying.
This was my favorite: (written exactly as she wrote it)
My mom likes to make me feel good
Yeah it's an over-used topic,
It's sappy, it's sickening, it's dumb,
But man, oh, man if you knew my mom,
God, you'd love her
First of all, she's beautiful.
she's skinny but she thinks she's fat
My dad's totally in love with her too. sometimes it grosses me out
they know it and try to gross me out
"Let's french kiss" my dad would say, right in front of me
I usually scream cause it's not a pleasant thought
but sorta it is
My dad and I were talking once about all of our family friends who were getting
and he looked at me and he said
"man, you really gotta love someone to death to marry them"
sometimes my dad annoys me and I totally ignore him
but, God, that really stuck. My mom is just naturally lovable
everybody loves her
sometimes I piss her off and she goes crazy
but we usually resolve our fights by a simple trip to the mall
she's my best friend
I don't have to bullshit with her any more because I finally came to the realization
that there wasn't a thing she didn't know about me (well, maybe a couple of things)
I don't know what I'm gonna do in college
probably run back home after the first week because I miss her
When I was little she used to come in my room and tuck me in
(my dad tried once, but he just took my comforter and stuffed it under my mattress
so I couldn't move)
anyway, she'd say "Good night pretty girl."
every night for as long as I can remember
I told her about that the other day and whadda ya know
she started doing it again!
I think it was because I told her how good it made me feel
My mom likes to make me feel good.
wow…makes me cry every time I read it. But there you go. It's all I have (except for several other cards from other holidays)…and I am so thankful I saved them.
So when I read all the posts from daughters of my friends, and how wonderful their mothers are (which I know is true too!), I know my daughter felt the same way about me. I got a gift from Melissa too.
That's how I get through Mother's Day. And Donny and Nick are always good to me too. Nick visited and brought me breakfast in the morning-we had a nice visit…then we visited Melissa & JP, then my mom, and Donny took me to the casino (mindless entertainment when I need it!) and he won big! Then he made a great dinner and took me for ice cream.
My seventh Mother's Day without her. And it still seems like yesterday.
We started Mother's Day early - on Saturday we took Roz (Donny's mom) to breakfast and took her to the casino too (we had a great time - I'm guessing she's going to want to go back!), then to the boys baseball game. Over 50 years of watching her kids, grandkids and great grandkids play sports. She's not slowing down either.
Haven't posted anything about the 5K - although I did post most of the pictures on FB. It gets better every year…by about 50 people! Might have been even better this year if the weather had been better, but we were very happy with the turnout. Almost 200 people this year. Lacy Romine and the girls basketball team (and the parents group!) did a great job organizing the event and getting door prizes and raffle prizes.
We had some VIP's there too…Cheryl McHenry, the anchor for Channel 7 (who happens to be a friend of mine) and Jeff Rezabek, State Representative for Ohio were there. Cheryl was our emcee and Jeff participated.
Businesses that sponsored the event - and it was in memory of Melissa (FORT)
Sam Pearson (son of Randi & Carolyn)
Courtney Clifford (daughter of Mange & Mary)
and Kristen Ream (daughter of Dennis & Susan Ream)
all friends of ours.
Gordon Gough, a good friend of Melissa's from high school, made a substantial contribution, along with Harry from Irongate Realty & Jim from Farmer's Insurance, who also made substantial contributions.
The proceeds will benefit the girls basketball program - don't have the final tally yet, but it's better than last year. We are so pleased that Melissa's legacy is helping her alma mater that she loved so much.
She would be happy, I know.
me, my good friends from St. Helen - Marianne (Cagnetti) Brescia & Cheryl McHenry
The start AND finish of the race
Cheryl, our emcee and Donny
Max coming in the home stretch!
Melissa's high school friend Laura & Jeff Rezabek (State Representative!)
Uncle Mike with Andrew, and Scott Franz - and as always, the Franz family was well represented!
Volunteering AND participating!
My best friend from high school, Marla Duke, Patsy (her brother Greg was MY brother Steve's best friend in high school!) and Jean Carson, another friend from Wilbur Wright
Tammy Rado, Larry & Deb Ryan (both in our wedding) Donny, Marianne,
Andrew and Danny (cousin Leanne's youngest!)
Nick & Kristen Schulte, daughter of my good friend from WW, Jim Schulte.
Kristen placed first for women. Talented, just like the rest of the Schulte family!
This is Max's spring school picture…love this one!
(two school pictures in a year? crazy. But I love it anyway!)
And this is a perfect ending for this post. I was taking my
4 mile walk a couple of weeks ago and was having
a discussing with Melissa. Again. I needed a sign,
and I got one! See the heart? I just happened to have
my phone with me.
Love you Melissa