I received a beautiful message from Emily. She was extending her sympathy for our loss...and also introducing herself.
She first got to know Melissa through the article she wrote for the Cincinnati Weekly. She was a genetics counselor, working as a sales rep for the lab that did the BRCA testing. She happened to come across the article when she was in an oncologists office in Cincinnati. Melissa's blog address was at the end of the article. That's when Emily started reading the blog. Then she realized that they had something in common...she went to OU too! And they had mutual friends, although they didn't know each other.
Emily sent me messages occasionally over the last seven years. When I moved dad into assisted living, I posted about it on the blog. Got another message from Emily - she and her husband had just moved to Melbourne!
I had been there several times, but never had the chance to call Emily. Always busy with dad.
We were going to wait and surprise dad on Monday morning when we picked him up for his procedure. I just didn't want to wait - we were only going to be there for a week and I wanted to see him every day. So right after we checked into our hotel, we went to his place. We knew he would be at dinner, which was perfect. We went up to his floor and sat in the lobby outside his room. He spends a lot more time at dinner than I realized. He goes to dinner at 4:30 - thought we'd only have to wait 10-15 minutes (got there at 5). He finally got off the elevator at 6:30....and walked right past us!
As soon as he got into his room, I called him. When I heard his phone ringing, I knocked on his door. He answered the phone saying "hold on a minute, someone's at the door". When he opened it, he had the BIGGEST smile on his face. He was SO happy to see us.
All that worrying for nothing. I was sure the first thing he would say was "did you bring my car?". But it wasn't. We talked for half an hour before he asked about the car. It went a lot better than I expected.
We didn't stay too long because we had to get up early the next morning. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Coasters Bar & Grill - the place Rob wanted to take dad. (Rob helped us find dad's assisted living place). After I ordered, I sent Rob a message, thanking him for helping us find Victoria Landing, how they take such good care of dad and how much he loves it. I hit "send" and literally seconds later he was behind me! He was there and we didn't see him. I posted the story and the picture on FB.
One of the responses to the post was from Emily. She and her husband were there that night too!!!! Since I had never met Emily, I wouldn't have known her if she was sitting next to us. I sent her a message and we decided to meet for breakfast.
Wow. Not only did Melissa have wonderful friends, she attracted wonderful people too...that I have the pleasure to get to know now. Melissa would love Emily. She's a lot like her. I don't think I told Emily that in the almost two hours we spent together with her youngest son, Ryan. We had a lot to talk about. Found out that Emily knows Dr. Romer (in fact had been in Dr. Romer's office - kind of wonder if Melissa was ever there when Emily was there!) and one of her surgeons. Small world keeps getting smaller.
I'm so glad that we finally got to meet. She said "I have two friends on Facebook that I've never met. You were one of them." So glad we changed that!
Meeting Emily was one of the highlights of the week with dad. Spending time with him and his friends and my cousins from Utah & Texas - and cousins from Dayton who happened to be in Florida made the trip even better. And exhausting.
Nick just happened to be in San Diego on business while we were in Florida. He went to see the Midway (the aircraft carrier dad served on in the Navy). He Facetimed us when he was walking onto the ship - it was really cool. Dad loved it!
We got to spend some time with dad at one of the activities they have - they called it Karaoke, but it was more of a sing-along. Although when we walked in the room, dad was front and center with the microphone in his hand! The activities director very gently took it out of dad's hands so they could hear everyone instead of just dad!
It was a great visit. And it ended on a good note too...I had a visit from Melissa the last night we were there! Interesting thing, I got a message from her friend Misti that she had a visit from Melissa the same night! She must have needed to see us as much as we needed to see her.
Had lots to catch up on when I got home. Lots of errands on Monday, the bank was one. Wasn't sure if what I needed to do could be done at the counter or if I needed to talk to someone in the office. So I stuck my head in the office door and ask if she could help me. She invited me in and when I sat down, I realized she looked familiar - so I said that. She said "it's because I was friends with Melissa". She was Melissa's best friend in grade school. Lived down the street. I haven't seen her probably since Melissa was in fifth grade. Always good to run into friends of Melissa's.
And, as always, like Fort did, I end with Andrew.
Before we left, we got to go to Andrew's last football game. It was against the Firebirds. Semi-finals. They lost in OT. Great way to start the trip too.
And it just keeps getting busier...went to OSU vs. U CONN women's basketball game last night, Versailles tonight for a basketball game and meet a friend and his wife for drinks, Thomas Windlow on Friday (I'll post after that) and a wedding this weekend.
Probably good for me to stay busy this time of year. If I stop to think about the holidays for even a minute...
Love you miss you Melissa. Every minute of every day.