Almost a Year

It’s almost a year. Almost a year since losing one of my greatest gifts. The year keeps flashing in front of us. We all know the date and fear it coming, June 24th. I will hate that date for the rest of my life. I feel so stuck when I think of it. There is a weight on the anniversary but it’s not like June 25th everything gets better. The day won’t change. I can’t get her back in this lifetime.
The brain is a tough thing. It doesn’t do me a whole lot of favors most times. My brain wants to remind me where we were this time last year. And unfortunately so does my phone. I am very aware of every minute of the last 32 days of Melina’s life. But I don’t want to remember her decline. That is a knife through my heart. It is truly a gut wrenching thought that can drop you and you will never want to move again. Trust me I fight those feelings big. I have to fight my brain to not go down this road. I don’t want to remember the night I lost my baby girl. I have not one ounce of peace in that. So then what?
Someone gave me a gift the other day. It was something they said never realizing the impact it would have. And just in case anyone ever wonders, always talk to a grieving parent about their child. You are never reminding us that they died. Trust me I’m well aware of that. What you are doing is reminding me that she lived. This individual took a second to remind me of Melina and who she still is. He said to me “Michelle I know this is a hard time for your family but I wanted to say to you look what your baby has done and continues to do. Think about how hard this year was, people lost their jobs, the world shut down, everyone is divided, no one gets along, and right in the middle of that storm look what your baby girl has done.” And for the first moment in a very long time I wasn’t stuck.
I can look back and see what my baby girl is doing. I can see the fight she has. I can see the gift she is to so many. We are actively funding clinical trials. We created a fund in her name at Akron Children’s. She truly has never stopped. Melina is affecting people. The messages I get. The number of people that stop and look at rainbows. The extra hugs given, the extra moments to Choose Joy. The love that I feel people have for her is unreal. Emilea said the most amazing thing to me the other day. She asked me why I was sad. I said I’m just missing Melina. Emilea then said but Mommy she is always here. And you know what she is right.
Melina Chose Joy in the worst of life’s circumstances. She Chose Joy because she wanted too. Melina knew her time here was limited. And continued to be better than all of us. So because of amazing people I will continue to tell my brain you can try to take me there. You can try to remind me of the horrible details but I choose to listen to Melina. I will follow Emilea’s lead that she is always right here with us. And everyday especially on June 24th I will look at their smiles and know that is exactly where Melina will always be, right in the Joy. 💚🌈