Thursday night, we left home and drove about 5 hours to Atlanta, where we stayed the night at my uncle's old house that he's selling. Friday morning we left Atlanta and drove another 5 or so hours to Mobile, Alabama. We stayed at a Marriott, ate at a horrible seafood restaurant, and got soaked in a torrential thunderstorm. Went to bed pretty early Friday night. Woke up Saturday morning, checked out of the hotel, and went to the funeral home that had my sister. They told us to be there at 9. We got there at 9:10 and there was a car out front but nobody in the building. Bars on all the windows and a gate blocking the entrance to the building. My mom desperately rattled the gate in between calling different employees of the funeral home on their cell phones. Finally a couple guys showed up.
They took us back to see her body. I had to take a look, just to believe she was really gone. She wasn't embalmed or "fixed up" (because they charge $2400 for that), and passed away last Monday, so....honestly I sort of wished I hadn't looked at her. It just didn't look like her and I don't want to remember her that way. But I know if I hadn't looked, I would have always wondered. My mom got a lock of her hair. We made arrangements for her to be cremated and shipped to us, and then we finally left the funeral home. Odd detail: they had a fridge full of coca cola. No other beverage options, just can after can of coca cola. Kleenex boxes everywhere.
After leaving the funeral home, we went to the church where Billy (Melanie's ex husband) had arranged for her funeral to be. Family was ushered into the parlor. I saw my niece Cammile and nephew Hunter for the first time in maybe 9 years. I was afraid to talk to them because I knew they wouldn't recognize me. Cammi is 12 and Hunter is 14. I spoke to them a little before the service, more afterwards.
Cammi looks SO much like Melanie did when she was younger. She's so adorable and sweet! Hunter was a little more reserved with me, which is understandable. I feel like I've missed out on so much and have so much catching up to do. I guess when Melanie disappeared from my life a few years ago, I just gave up on trying to be close to her. I thought she didn't care much about me (which I realize was wrong), and I didn't even realize how much I missed her kids. Cammi and Billy both said Melanie talked about me and said good things about me. Billy said she missed me. If she missed me, why didn't she try to reconnect with me? It makes me SO sad to think she might have been afraid to talk to me...I ALWAYS forgave her for any mistakes she made, and I wanted her in my life.
I've never lost somebody so important to me...and it's really difficult. Can't write any more right now... oh, one more thing.
I had a dream 2 nights ago where I was trying to fly...normally I have flying dreams where I am floating barely 2 feet off the ground and I can't get any higher. This time I dreamed that I took off from a great height and crashed far to the ground. I've never dreamed that before as far as I can remember...
Your life is yours alone.
Rise up and live it.
- long journey