Keith and I always went back and forth when we first got married on the number of kids we thought we should have. And after Emilea I just knew we weren’t complete. Something was missing. Fast foward and here I am on Mother’s Day and that something is missing. Except now I know exactly what that something missing is. She was hysterical, confident, competitive, high energy, and my strawberry blonde. Melina was everything we always needed. So how do i celebrate a day about being a mom without my baby? How do I celebrate when I am missing a piece? When truly my heart could not feel more shattered. I woke up this morning and knew it was going to be tough. Actually I couldn’t sleep because I didn’t want this day to come. Yet I am here. Yet I have two beautiful girls who deserve all they Joy they have. And they are perfect, my idea of perfection. So how in the mist of all that pain do you find joy? This is what I am learning. That grief can break you. It can crumble you. And most days you can’t breathe. But there are moments when you get to come up for air that are so worth it. There are moments that in the mist of all that heartache that you laugh. That you smile. That you live despite the pain. Today we started very early with a dance competition and I got to watch Klara shine and do what she loves. I got to see her Joy. I got to see how she finds it. And I am reminded that I can find it too. Emilea presented me with a banner that said Mommy. A banner. On a day where I didn’t want to face the word Emmie made sure there was no way I could miss it. That alone is Joy. I got messages from the most beautiful people just acknowledging our Melina and the struggle. They acknowledged my missing piece. Remembering my Melina will always bring me Joy. Remembering my Melina reminds me she isn’t missing, she is always in the Joy. So at 6:30 this morning, on a day I just didn’t want to wake up and face, I walked into Akron, a city that I will forever hate. I found Joy in my pain. I didn’t crumble. I found my rocks. I found the good. And in case I wasn’t sure, they gently reminded me that Melina wants me to find it too. Especially when her Joy filled every shirt on that stage.