On Monday evening, many of Craig’s family gathered at our house to share through our tears and sometimes laughter, stories of Melissa and her impact on our lives. It was a special evening, and we are all thankful to Karen for organizing and bringing food, Patty for providing soup, and Tabetha for the wonderful slide show she put together. Today was Melissa’s funeral, and it was a hard day. But the sermon was good, the sun came out specially for her graveside service, and one could feel the love their church family has provided them through these difficult years. There was hope there.
People have asked how I’m doing, and I think I’m doing about the same as eveyone else. Missing her presence and love in our lives, worrying about her children and husband, but also knowing she is free from pain. We all agree that the kids are blessed by a huge support group, and I think they will do well. It’s just hard to understand why it has to be that way, why they have to face this hardship. I’ve been to a lot of funerals, way too many, and have said some hard goodbyes but this has shaken me up quite a bit. One of Craig’s cousins was spot on when she mentioned Melissa will have a ripple effect on our lives. It’s so true, she was that type of person who really inspired. It’s just a tough thing to lose someone like that, and I’m going to carry around some sadness for awhile. I know I’m a better person for being loved by her.
I guess I’ll end this post with a funny moment from today. After the graveside service I was visiting with Grandma Nelson and she mentioned to us that she was planning to have us all over for a dinner to celebrate her 80th Birthday. And I kid you not, before she could say another word, I interupted and in the most incredulous voice asked “You’re not 80 already??” Of course, the second this left my mouth I realized that this was not at all the sort of thing you say to someone you love, but thankfully she has a good sense of humor and I think I just might be allowed to still hang around. I did offer to make cupcakes for her birthday, and I suppose as part of my penetance I should even make them full of gluten. I know she is a regular blog reader and will consider giving me a hard time, and I have accepted that I probably won’t live that one down for awhile. (And I believe she metnioned something along the lines that she could take me, and I wouldn’t dispute that for a second.)