This week was challenging. I know I feel like I say that a lot. But this week was different. This was the first family vacation we have taken without Melina. And we found ourselves in the last place she was able to go on vacation with us: Disney.
Klara’s dance brought us to nationals in Orlando. And as always my girls push us. They are my strength. So back at Disney we found ourselves. My heart wasn’t okay this time though. I was missing one. And I couldn’t stop the thoughts “what would she be doing, what would she be saying, what would she love”. And the ride that sat three in a row broke me, there truly was a hole.
To families of four that’s normal and that’s okay. But to this family of five it is an in your face reminder that a third of your heart is missing. And in that moment I started down that hole. She should be here, this shouldn’t be our story but it is.
And right there I felt broke. It was awful. But I kept going and I found myself in the middle of the largest Disney store. I remembered searching that store for her souvenirs last time. And right as I stood there broken, wearing our Foundation shirt, I hear it from a stranger. “Oh I know that foundation I’m sorry I’m from Ohio”. And there she was. Right there in the middle of my broken Melina showed up. I didn’t know this woman. And what are the odds that she found me.? What are the odds that she would approach strangers? And what are the odds that in the middle of all the hurt Melina shows up? Here was a total stranger that took the time to approach us, having no idea she was talking to Melina’s mom and Grandma, that she follows our Foundation. Yes in the middle of the largest Disney store I got to talk about my Melina. And in the middle of the largest Disney store at my lowest moment my Melina showed up to give me strength.
Yet again I am reminded that she should be here but I can’t change that. And yes I have moments of brokenness that hurt worse than I can ever express because that is love. And I can’t change that. But that doesn’t mean Melina isn’t in my present and my future. She is always there. Not how I want, but maybe in more powerful ways. Maybe, just maybe, our hearts will continue to heal and I won’t always see the empty hole or maybe I always will. But maybe I will be able to say I miss her more than life but my baby girl is the cure.
One thing I know without a doubt, without a maybe, is my baby girl will always be the Joy. And in moments that I forget to Choose the Joy she will always be there to remind me. 💚🌈💚