This is the hardest post I've ever had to write. It sucks, actually. But here goes:
Melanie Ridler Desiata
December 30, 1975 - May 21, 2010
I have known Melanie since I was about 13 and she was about 9. Her brother Kevin and I went to school together and she was just the most adorable little sister. She loved us "big kids" - when I was in high school, she used to tell girls her age they better not mess with her or they would have to deal with "the Blakeney sisters" (my sister and I). And she was right. :)
Melanie was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. I won't dignify cancer with descriptions of it and what it did to her - but she fought it to the end. We had a benefit for her where she just completely shined - was the life of the party. It was a blast. Then we had a 40th anniversary party for her parents last year, when we got this awesome picture of a group of us:
This is Tim, Jeremy, Kev (Mel's brother), Shannon, me, and Mel. Isn't she gorgeous? She's even more beautiful on the inside.
When Mel walks into a room, she makes an entrance. She doesn't even have to try to do it - it just comes naturally to her. She's been a dancer her whole life - she walks like a dancer, graceful. This is us being silly that same night, I think we were pretending to be Charlie's Angels... hee hee:
You NEVER would have known what was going on if she didn't tell you. She could have spent the last 6 months in bed - but she didn't. She spent her time LIVING. She did all kinds of stuff - she went to parties and took her kids on trips and just enjoyed life. She continued to worry about everyone else, always trying to make everyone around her happy. She was usually successful, too - how could you not smile when you were with Mel? Look at her infectious toothy grin:
That was from my birthday last year - a bunch of us went to a local bar to see a band, and Mel had recently not been feeling good but she never let it bring her down. She always kept that smile on her face.
This is one of my favorite pictures of her and I from that night:
Mel finally earned her angel wings yesterday morning - she's finally at peace, free of pain, and she doesn't have to worry about us anymore. There are many tears flowing this weekend at the loss of this beautiful girl who many called friend. I haven't gone an hour without sobbing yet - I'm sure that in time, we'll all be able to talk about her with smiles on our faces, remembering the good times and cherishing our memories. But for now, the grief is fresh and the pain is raw. My heart literally hurts. I can't understand how life can go on without her. And I never EVER considered that she might not make it - I never for a second let myself consider any other outcome other than Melanie kicking cancer's ass. I don't think she did, either, not until just recently.
She left behind parents who cherished her, the kind of parents who all of Kev & Mel's friends love. She left behind 3 beautiful little kids - a daughter and 2 sons. My heart breaks for them. She left behind a brother who I simply adore, and my heart breaks for him just as badly - they were very close. This is him and her:
The services are going to be tough to get through, but get through it we will. Someone said to me that it's rare for a group of childhood friends to remain so close into adulthood - we have a rather large group of friends that have been like family since we were little kids. It doesn't matter if a day, a week, a month, a year, or ten years go by - when we are together again, it's like no time passed at all. When we celebrate life's happy events, we celebrate together - and when we suffer tragedies, we feel each others pain. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Rest in peace, sweet angel Melanie. You will live on in our hearts and memories forever. Only the good die young, baby. xoxoxoxo