I don't want to forget any important details, so I'm recording them here.
Melanie always had emotional problems I think, and was often involved in damaging relationships and drug abuse throughout her life. She often had trouble being honest with our parents. She did have some placid periods in her life though, and I was nearly blind to her other side until probably the time I reached college. She was 11 years older than me, and left home when she was 17.
Throughout my childhood I saw her off and on and was SO happy whenever I could see her regularly. She had some rough times and at one point she was renting a little closet-sized bedroom. While she was living there, she gave me a music box for my birthday. She was totally broke and she gave me a lovely heart-shaped music box with my name engraved on it. I treasured it, and would wind it up and listen to it every night. At the time I didn't even understand money and the sacrifice she made to get me that, but I still loved it.
I remember one time when I got to visit her and her "husband" (who turned out to actually be just a roommate/boyfriend or whatever) Rob in their apartment in Raleigh. I came down with a cold and she gave me hot tea with honey in it. She sent Rob out on his moped in pretty unpleasant weather to get me some medicine, I think.
At one point, she got married to a nice guy and had 2 kids and seemed to be living a fairly "normal" life and not getting into any trouble. I was 12 when she had her son, Hunter. During that time, we visited regularly, even when she and her family lived in the Atlanta area, and another phase where they lived in Mobile, Alabama. I remember visits to gulf shores beach, and new orleans. There were many times in my life when I felt she understood me better than anyone else did.
I don't want to dwell too much on the time when everything went to shit so I'll be brief on that. She met the wrong guy, left her husband, was abused by wrong guy, then came to stay with our family for awhile. She was working at waffle house, it was summertime so I was home from college. One weekend we went to the mountains and when we returned, she was gone and my dad's laptop was also. My parents gave her a safe place to stay and that wasn't good enough for her apparently. Pretty sure she was on drugs at that time. That was about 4 years ago I guess. We hadn't heard from her since...other than her writing me a few facebook messages. Not much. Thinking back on it, I think she maybe lost control and never meant for things to happen the way they did. She may have had some "bad" friends over and they took the laptop and she felt responsible and didn't want to face my parents...I don't know, just theories here.
She had her problems, but I always loved her. I'm devastated that I'll never have the chance to reconnect with her, and afraid that she did not realize how much I loved her.
This stuff is difficult to write but necessary. It didn't really hit me until last night...
Your life is yours alone.
Rise up and live it.
- more reflection on my sister