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Showing posts from February, 2017

How children grieve

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My son is 6. My daughter turns 5 tomorrow. Most of their memories consist of Mel being sick. The last two years of their life they spent their Saturdays in hospital rooms visiting their dad. They watched their dad hooked up to IVs dripping chemo in his body. They spent weeks separated from Mel at a time as he was hospitalized. And the last 4 months they saw their dad go from being able to walk to being confined to a bed paralyzed.

And two weeks ago I had to tell them that their dad died. Children grieve different than adults. The day Mel died we came home from the hospital and played with their toys. We watched cartoons. We did arts and crafts. They understand their dad died and is not coming back. But they are kids. And kids play. They watch cartoons. They do arts and crafts.



But they are kids who miss their dad. Mourning and grieving with children is interesting. There are moments when I break down and cry uncontrollably but much of my day is spent being a mom to Malachi and Hannah.…

Mel's testimony

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(This is part of what I said during Mel's memorial service. I wanted to share it in a blog because Mel's life truly was a testimony. So many people want to be applauded and recognized. They want recognition but are not willing to endure tough times. God used Mel in a mighty way. And Mel had to endure pain but in the end Mel made it to heaven and got the greatest reward. His life was a testimony)



Someone sent me a message on FB on Sunday letting me know that she shared Mel’s testimony in her Sunday School class. She told me that she shared how Mel lived for God in spite of what he was going through. During the last two years many, when they prayed for Mel, told him God chose him to be a testimony. No one more than Mel, myself and the kids wanted that testimony to include a miraculous healing. We wanted the story to end with the cancer to be gone, the paralysis to disappear and everything that was lost during the last two years to be restored. But Mel’s life truly is a testimony.…

This is so hard...

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Everything about this is hard. I look at the walls in my house and the pictures and it is hard because they are just pictures and that is all we have left. I look at Mel's smiling face in the pictures and it hurts that all I have left is a memory of my husband. It is so hard not having Mel here. I want to hear his voice and not in videos. I want to see his face and not in pictures. I want to ask him what he wants me to cook for dinner. I want to make plans with him for the weekend. I want him back.



I took the kids to the zoo today and memories of all of the times we went there as a family came flooding back. We took Malachi to the zoo for the first time when he was 6 months old and we have been going regularly since then. As we drove to the zoo this morning, Hannah said "daddy usually drove us to the zoo." The last time we went to the zoo as a family the giraffes had just arrived. We couldn't feed them yet so Mel made it a point as soon as the giraffes could be fed t…

Missing Mel's chest to lie on

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I can't sleep. And I realize bed time is probably going to be the hardest part of my day. I have a 6 year old and an almost 5 year old. Soon I will return to work. I will be busy during the day working and then homeschooling in the evening. Things will distract me and keep me busy. But at night time after the kids are sleeping, I won't have my husband's chest to lie on. 
Mel became paralyzed due to the chemotherapy in September but once he came home from the hospital I would pull up one of our beds next to his hospital bed, pull down the railing on his bed and lay on his chest. When he was able to walk our kids slept in the same bed with us. But once they fell asleep we moved them to the bed next to ours and I would lay on his chest. And I don't have my husband's chest to lie on anymore.
I have so much peace concerning his passing and knowing that he is in heaven but that does not diminish the giant hole I feel like I have in my heart. He was the one I talked to ab…

There will always be one missing from the table

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This morning I stood in my closet for a long time trying to decide what to wear. You wouldn't think picking an outfit would be so painful. Yet every single piece of clothing I own reminds me of Mel.

(I still have this dress. I wore it the day Mel and I officially started dating after talking on the phone and getting to know each other for a few months)

The light blue skirt that I first wore when we took Malachi to get seafood for the first time. Mel was so excited that Malachi wanted to try shrimp, lobster and crab. The dark blue dress that I only wore when we went on dates because Mel's reaction when I wore indicated it was not a church dress. The dress with orange in it that I bought after I had Hannah because nothing else fit and yet he told me I was beautiful in any size. Every outfit represents something I wore when he was in my presence. And then there are a few that he never got to see me wear. And looking at those hurt just as much as looking at the ones he did see me i…

I laid in bed all day

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My parents came in from California today so since the kids had someone to watch them I laid in bed most of the day. I didn't want to get out. I didn't have the energy to do anything. So I cried myself into a nap and when I woke I up I stayed in bed for longer. I looked at videos and pictures of Mel.




Mel often called me his guardian angel.  When he was in the hospital if the nurses were changing his wound dressing he would want to make sure I was right there next to him. Within the last couple of months when his red blood count and sodium numbers were decreasing there were period when he was somewhat delirious. But he would always tell me after that my voice was the only voice that calmed him down. He would tell me he didn't know what he would do without me. But the truth is I don't know what to do without him.



I feel lost. Before Mel got sick any time outside of work and school we spent it together. I didn't desire to have a girl's night out. Mel didn't des…

a widow and a single mom

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On February 13th I was a wife and a co-parent. One day later I became a widow and a single mom.

Two years ago when Mel was diagnosed with cancer and had to spend two weeks of every month hospitalized getting chemo I was forced to do things I didn't do. I was forced to take out the trash. I was the one who had to check the house before bed to make sure all the doors were locked. I set the alarm before going to bed. But those things were supposed to be temporary. He was supposed to get better. Even when he became paralyzed I believed that he would get better. When our air conditioner started messing up a few months ago, even though Mel was in the hospital, I was able to text him to figure out what to do. When the water in the bathroom tub wouldn't turn off in August, even though Mel was in the hospital I was able to call him to figure out what to do. He was the one who took the car an oil change. He was the one who fixed anything around the house. He was the one who assembled fu…

Guilt

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I woke up today sandwiched between two little children and started crying. I so desperately wish this was just a nightmare and that the last two years didn't happen. I want to wake up to December 30, 2014 and have the doctors tell us Mel just has bronchitis not cancer.



Grieving when you have children is a mixed blessing. My day can't be consumed with tears as my almost 5 year old and 6 year old want me to play with them, do arts and crafts and watch cartoons. Yesterday I even went to McDonald's because they wanted a kids' meal. Yet at the same time they are so deeply affected by Mel's loss so scattered in between all of that is me answering questions and comforting them when they tell me how sad they are. Yesterday Malachi sat in front of a picture of Mel when he was younger for a long time and took it with him when we went to Mcdonald's.



I went to the funeral home yesterday. That shouldn't have happened until I was like 90. I had to discuss arrangements fo…

A grieving family

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I have used words during the last two years of this cancerous journey to describe the things we have endured. I thought cancer was brutal but this is worse...far worse.

Words don't do justice in describing how amazing Mel was. Some called him friend. Others called him cousin. To some he was their co-worker.  But I had the ultimate privilege of calling him my husband. And my children called him dad. During our seven years of marriage we spent nearly every single day together. With the exception of a couple work trips we spent very little time separated from each other. When he was healthy, we never felt the desire to have time apart. Mel never needed a "man cave" and I never needed my own space. I was the happiest when it was just the 4 of us hanging out together. Even when he was hospitalized getting chemo every day I saw him. He was usually the first face I saw in the morning and he was the face I fell asleep next to. We spent our days texting each other and talking mul…

Heaven just gained an amazing man (Melchor Lira 1985-2017)

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I woke up a wife today but am going to sleep a widow. My children woke up today with a dad they could touch and are going to sleep with just memories. Mel's body was too tired. Too exhausted. He had fought for so long. And he could not fight any longer



Crushed. That word doesn't describe how I feel. Death is hard. But this was unexpected. We were planning hospital discharge plans last Thursday and the expected discharge date was February 14th. I had no idea that he was going home just not his earthly one.



Devastated. Because I don't know how to go through life without my husband by my side. The Bible talks about what two get married they become one and so I feel like half of me has been taken away. He was an amazing husband. God truly knew what I needed in a husband and while I am devastated I only got seven years of marriage with him, I am blessed to have had those seven year.



Heartbroken. More than the pain I feel from losing my spouse I am broken over the fact that my k…