Today is Melanie’s birthday – her 4th one in Heaven. I thought I was going to fly right through this day – no problem! Hey, life is good. I’m feeling strong … until I’m not. It’s just a reminder that no matter how much time goes by our hearts will always be incredibly tender during these milestone days.
As I picked up Melanie’s favorite sunflowers yesterday, while talking with the floral designer, out of nowhere I got emotional and had to stop talking mid-sentence. This is grief and it’s not unusual for it to unexpectedly come out of left field. One of the most common phrases I find myself saying, “God, I so wish things were different” has been uttered multiple times. Today I wish I could take a trip on The Wayback, Mr. Peabody’s time machine, when my girl was on this side of Heaven, and we were living a life that knew nothing about grief.
People say the “Firsts” are complicated, and they are, but you know what? All those other birthdays and anniversaries that come around yearly are still hard to bare, too. The missing never ends. In fact, as the years multiply, I often think of the many things she has missed. Some days it’s hard to believe how much time has passed by. Then there are those other days … the ones that seem as if time stopped, and it was just yesterday when she burst through the back door shouting, “Hey, Momma, what are you doing? What’s for dinner?”
When I post photos, I know some of them are repetitious. I hope those who see them understand that my memories and photographs of Melanie are limited. I can’t go into my phone and select a new photo we may have taken last week or during last year’s vacation. These photos are all the memories I have, and they are ones I will cling to. How I wish I could be a friend of Mr. Peabody & Sherman and take a trip in their time machine, The Wayback. If I could, I’d go back to Bermuda, which was one of her favorite birthday celebrations. Before she ran ahead to Heaven, it was the one place she longed for us to return to.
Considering time travel isn’t possible, today I’m going to create my own version of taking a trip in The Wayback. I will start by honoring her and the beautiful day God gave her to me. I’ll be grateful for the 38 years I was blessed to be her momma. I’ll buy pink balloons to go along with the sunflowers, and some beautiful pink flowers for Melanie’s Meadow. Before heading home, I’ll go to a local bakery and secretly purchase a cake for another little girl who is also celebrating her birthday today. While there I’ll get Melanie’s favorite strawberry cheesecake and then cook one of her favorite meals (maybe chicken divan). After dinner, we’ll spend some time in Melanie’s Meadow, where we will remember her by sharing some of our favorite Mel moments. Today I’m determined to remember the love and not the loss.
Often when I’m telling a story, it’s defined by time that usually begins with “before or after Melanie ran ahead to heaven.” When you have a loved one that is no longer here you tend to measure things that have happened in your life by this time marker. Time is different when your child has died. This means no disrespect to all the other painful losses, but child loss is an out-of-order death. We expect that our parents will die before us but never our children.
Friends, it’s okay to go back in time, in our own way, to honor and remember our loved ones. Grief’s time machine can be sad, but we can also turn the switch and focus on happier times. My beautiful girl may not be with us physically, but so much of her is still here, in our hearts, walking with us every day. Happy Birthday, Melanie. We love and miss you so very much!
6 thoughts on “Wishing for The Wayback”
Big hugs to you today Pat. 💜
A good day indeed to remember Melanie’s love, especially for her family.
Wrapping you in hugs today.
Patty, thanks for sharing❤️. You are helping so many people deal with grief, especially my sisters ❤️
Happy birthday dear Melanie… miss and love you💕