This year was going to be different, only we had no idea how different it would be. There was a lot going on and many people had to work, so we scrapped plans to celebrate together this year. It was going to be the first time in my life (to the best of my memory) that I was at work (or school, in my earlier years) instead of celebrating St. Patrick's Day. I was bummed, but I dressed in green and went off to work anyway.
Only, the day took a different turn. While in meetings this morning, I missed a call from one of my cousins. I presumed she had called to see if I was heading to the parade or celebrating somewhere today, so I didn't think much of it. But when I returned to my desk a couple hours later, I also had a message from my mom saying simply, "Call me at home when you get this." My mom and I often talking during the day, so I shouldn't have been concerned. But I was.
When I called her back, she told me in tears that my cousin's girlfriend (pretty much his wife, in our eyes), had an accident and died. My cousin and I are the same age and have been close since we were babies. He and his girlfriend have been together for more than 10 years and have two young boys together. It seemed impossible. I was heartbroken, and instantly in a fog.
Just like is tradition in our family, we all congregated together. We gathered food and went to be with my cousin, his siblings and dad, his girlfriend's family, and their friends. We spent the afternoon huddled together, trying to process a fresh and unimaginable loss.
St. Paddy's Day will never be the same in my family after this. We will always remember it as the day we loss Melissa. Rest in peace!
|With her youngest, a few years ago at our annual Shamrock Shakes party.|
|Please keep this precious boy (and his brother, in the photo above) in you prayers. |
They are going to miss their mommy so much!