Good morning! Thank you so much for your sweet comments about Melody. It is amazing to me how people relate to each other through common experiences even though they may not know each other personally.
Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor, asked about the story behind the "twin blouses" in the blog posting from July 13. I love stories and connections. For those of you who may be interested, I will answer that question at the end of this.
With respect to sweet Melody and the family and friends who love her so dearly, I feel the need to say a few more things. Melody lived a life of influence, and I would never ever want to lower her or lead anyone to believe that I was her one and only true friend. Actually I have pondered across the time I've known her, if our paths would have intertwined had it not been for our son's friendship. Because of them I have been immensely blessed.
Melody still lived near her childhood home in the house that she and her husband purchased to update when they were married. They made a wonderful home full of memories. Melody was loved by her neighbors. She still had friends from her childhood. She'd been friends with dear Becky, a nurse, since the age of 2. Becky was able to accompany her to most of her treatments and appointments. Becky was a tremendous support to Melody and her family through all of this. I could go on and on about her sweet friend Becky.
Melody's family loved and supported her. Her parents and older brother and her in laws all live near by. Melody had remained in close contact with her 3 college roommates. They all lived out of state, but came back often to visit. Her next door neighbor from childhood called her almost daily. She had so many friends.
She and her husband had been part of a large Sunday School class since they were first married. This great group of loving support among many other things, provided meals almost daily through this past year and purchased a freezer for frozen meals too.
Work associates came and helped with house work and laundry. This was hard for someone who was always giving to others.
Melody loved to give gifts and do things for others. Traditions were extremely important to her.
She had a great PART TIME job with Rolls Royce and traveled internationally for them. This year was her 25th year of employment with them. She went on mission trips and taught 4-5 year old Sunday School. She sang in her church choir (approx 80 of them sang at her service...her robe and music was draped over her chair). She was the President of the Parent Teacher organization for the large High School from which she graduated and her teenagers attend. She volunteered in many capacities in her children's elementary schools. Her children were involved in sports and marching band. She never missed an event. Her husband recently finished a degree...she stayed up nights working on things while he studied so he wouldn't be up by himself.
She did not live her life to herself. You always knew how she stood on an issue. It was always black or white...never gray. She was a great public speaker. She spoke on Father's Day. Portions of that DVD were used at her funeral as her final message to all who would listen. It was captivating...inspirational.
It is estimated that 900 people attended her funeral. She was loved by those who were touched by her...family, neighbors, church associates, work associates, school volunteers, and the list goes on.
I truly meant it when I told her, "Thanks for being my friend."
So here is the story of the twin blouses:
May 2008 our oldest children graduated high school. We (Melody and I) both showed up at Senior Awards night, wearing black and white. My blouse was solid white. Her blouse was beautiful. In jest I said, "Melody, if I'd have seen that blouse, I would have bought it first." She said, "Here you can have it." Of course I was kidding, and refused the offer to actually take her blouse though I did think it was very pretty. A couple of weeks later the day after her "actual diagnosis", she called me and said she'd been shopping. The store still had a blouse like hers and she'd bought one for me. She wore her blouse when she came to our son's graduation party that we had for his friends and she brought the one she'd purchased for me.
Of course I put it on! Of course we had our picture taken! Of course I would show you!
And so that's the story of the "twin blouses"!
If you've stayed with me to the end of this very long posting, thank you thank you so much. Those of you who read my blog that I know personally and those of you who read that I've become friends with through cyber world I just want you to know that the intent of this posting is so you could have a tiny glimpse into who Melody was. I don't want to weigh her down to just myself. She has friends who read this blog and I want them to know that I am thankful that they have touched my life too. I am so very very blessed to know you.
My life is richer for every experience the good and bad. My life is richer for every person I meet or know. I try to learn from every moment. I learned from Melody.
Many times, life is hard. But I hope through anything that I may have said today or before that I believe from the depths of who I am that if we seek it, we can find joy, we can find peace and we can have a thankful appreciative heart. Our heart may be broken, but we can have joy, peace and appreciation. Melody would agree!
And so life continues...the routine...the traditions...the experiences, both good and bad. And I seek in all I do to make a difference...to live a life of purpose and intent. When my life is over I don't want to look back with regret.