I'm not as good about updating as Melissa was, but this is a good time to post - being Breast Cancer Awareness Month...JP's birthday month, and my sister Sue's birthday (Melissa's Godmother).
October is bittersweet. I love it and I hate it.
I love it because I love the change of seasons. I love the smells, the colors, football, rugby.
I hate it because I hate the change of seasons...another season without Melissa. She loved the fall. It was her favorite season. She loved the colors, the smells, rugby. She loved anything pumpkin spice...coffee, candles, food. She should be here enjoying it with me. I should be celebrating my grandson's birthday...and my sister's birthday. WITH them.
But my sadness doesn't keep me from enjoying life. I keep that sadness inside (although I do share a fair amount of articles on losing a child, which might lead some to believe that's all I think about). Don't get me wrong. I DO think about her every day. After almost seven years, I smile more about her life. I try not to think about her death.
I love that her friends still remember. The Kelts still have the annual Breast Cancer fundraiser.
Curt, ?, John
I love that the green FORT shirt is still out there!
Kat (former teammate of Fort's), Donny, Chris, me
me & Angie (former teammate of Fort's)
Donny & (forget his name :( - he's a new Kelt - 2009. Never knew Fort, but knows all about her!
Me & Melissa at a Kelt's fundraiser. This was the week before we did the 3 Day, 60 mile walk in Atlanta!
Melissa & Pauly - he organized the first fundraisers.
Donny, Netti (former teammate of Forts-organized the most recent fundraisers!) and me
I love that her friends still share her story - Jen "Smitty" shared the article on Facebook today. Then one of her best friends from high school - Josh - shared it too.
Melissa & Josh
Her nephews, Andrew & Max remember her too. They made posters about Aunt Fort for the Sprinboro Panther's Breast Cancer Awareness Walk...
If you read the article I posted "The Seven Things I've Learned Since the Loss of My Child".
# 7 was about how we enjoy life even more now because we understand how short life is.
You might not think that, but Donny & I DO find enjoyment in life - with our grandsons, Nick & Mere, traveling, and with old friends who hung with us and new friends we've found through Compassionate Friends. Life is different. We struggle every day with the fact that our daughter is not here (and WE WILL see her again someday-we look forward to THAT!), but we are living our life the best we can. I struggle with the fact that I don't have my daughter to talk to...to call when I want to talk to her...to go on Mother Daughter weekends like we used to. I MISS HER. And I also remember that I have my son to talk to, and spend time with, which we do daily.
We travel-just went to Myrtle Beach for five days - Donny was in a softball tournament.
Spend time with my grandsons - (every time I have them, we go on a field trip!)
I think Melissa would be proud. She would be proud of her nephews. She would be proud of her brother. She would be proud of her friends... We all find a way to keep living and remember her in the process. I think she would be proud of me & her dad too. It's hard to live this life when all you want to do is remember, but you have to live on. There is no other choice.
One more thing, I want to remember my sister Sue. Tomorrow would be her 55th birthday. She was Melissa's Godmother. I miss her every day too - she was my rock after Melissa died. She called me EVERY SINGLE DAY. I miss that too.
Happy Birthday Sue. You will always be remembered! I LOVE YOU!
Sue & Melissa
Sue on her 50th birthday.
Melissa & Aunt Sue
Melissa with Sue at her college graduation
Me & Sue. All smiles.
Melissa - all smiles
Had to add this one too - Mere, Melissa & me. Melissa LOVED Mere. That's why Nick married her. I'm not kidding. Melissa had to give her approval. Oh the stories I can tell about THAT.
One more thing I want to add here. If you haven't had your shingles vaccine, get it. Even before you are 60. One in three people will get shingles. I am one in three. Found out two days before we went to Myrtle Beach that I have them. The rash came the day after I found out - fortunately my doctor wrote me a prescription for an anti-viral med. That helped with the rash, but not the pain. It is nerve pain...hard to describe, but VERY painful. Finally got a pain med to help me sleep. I'm functioning, but with a lot of pain.
As soon as I'm over this, I'm getting the vaccine - because you can get it again. That is NOT happening if I have anything to do with it!
Take care of yourself, enjoy every minute of every day, and get the shingles vaccine!
Love you, miss you Fort. Every minute of every day.