During our beach trip I received word that a dear friend of mine had passed away. She was sick and in ICU for weeks and simply wasn't getting any better. Her liver and kidneys were failing and all the other complications she suffered from that caused her great suffering. We were friends since my freshman year in high school. The kind of friends who took crazy beach trips together, stood in one another's weddings, traveled to Europe and I had always envisioned would celebrate turning 40 together.
Her life had lots of struggles and we lived far apart, so as the mom of two little ones it was easy to rely only on Facebook for updates and glimpses into her life. I wish now I had made a bigger effort to really stay in touch. If I had, I might have known that all the painful things that happened to her were just too much and she turned to alcohol too often for comfort. I never imagined that I would lose a friend like this at this stage in my life.
I feel blessed that I was able to leave the beach and travel to D.C. to meet up with my friend Alexis and then make the drive to the tiny town in NC where Melissa's mom was from and both she and Melissa are now buried. The trip was a lot harder to make than I expected, but it felt so good to sit around with old friends and share stories of Melissa and try to understand the kind of pain she was in. I was also glad that her friends could be there to support her husband, dad, and brothers as they grieved the loss of someone so dear. Please hold her husband, Michael, in your prayers as he is living out a nightmare right now.
Mel's wedding and the festivities around it were the most fun time I have had perhaps in my whole life.
We took a trip to Italy with Alexis one Thanksgiving week and had a wonderful time.
My engagement party
My wedding day