Saturday, January 19, 2013

the four of us


This family photo collage has hung in our hallway for years.

It's extra special to me now because our family will never be the same.
It's only three of us now, instead of four.

God blessed me and Brian with two sons - Philip in 1988 and Timothy in 1990.
This photo was taken in April 1993 when we were vacationing in Cancun.
It was our first "real" family vacation. My mom had a condo there, so we were
able to have free accommodations.

And this photo was taken on Thanksgiving of 2007. Or 2008. I can't remember the exact date.
 I love seeing how both the boys went through their long hair phase. 
That's Phil beside me in the black t-shirt and Tim in the striped shirt.

 This last picture was taken a long time ago - around 1998. Phil would've been 10 and Tim, 7-1/2.
We were at our friend's annual Fall Day party. Wow, was my hair thick and curly!
The four of us were wearing matching sweatshirts from Brian's work. Sorry I had to put
stars over the logos. I just don't think it's a good idea to put too much private info out
there on the internet.

Those family times when the four of us were together were happier times.
But the memories and photos are all we have left, as Phil's life ended in September of 2009.

I'm not sure how to end this post. I could say something that everyone already knows...
"Tell your family and friends that you love them". "Life is too short". "Count your blessings".
Yes, yes, and yes.
But, it doesn't sound good enough. So, I'll do what I sometimes do when my own words
fail me. I'll use someone else's words:

When You Love a Child - Reba McEntire
And year after year
Pictures fill page after page
They never really grow up
Still your baby at any age
And the first time you hold 'em
It's like you feel God's smile
What a smile
When you have a child

You pray that phone call never comes
And if God forbid
How would you live
How could you go on
And on and on and on

And year after year
Close the chapter and turn the page
Blue ribbons and losing seasons
Flipping tassles on the stage
Oh but you don't need a photograph
You've got at least a million
Pictures of that smile
When you close your eyes
When you love a child
Ohh when you love a child


  1. My grandson Reed was 14 months old when he died. Oh my, how I sympathize with you!
    I like this poem:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft starlight at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.

    1. I'm so sorry that you lost your precious grandbaby. Thanks for posting this poem.

  2. Dear Melanie, what a heartfelt and loving post honoring your family and the son you lost. I lost my brother when he was 44, and I miss him all the time. I know it was even harder for my parents who said no parent should outlive their child. My heart goes out to you.

    Blessings to you and yours.


  3. Thanks for your sweet note and support, Claudia. It means a lot to me. I'm so sorry that you lost your brother. My second-born son, Tim, has had a hard time with the loss of his brother.

  4. Oh, this made me want to cry, Mel. The song is so fitting and so true. I have no idea what you have gone through, does anybody? Losing a child has to be the worse thing any parent could go through. It makes me happy that you have these pictures and that they bring back the good times. Thanks for sharing them and your thoughts. Big hugs.


  5. Very nice photo collage. Must be very tough. My maternal grandparents buried three of their four children. Don't know how they did it. All you can say is I'm very sorry.

  6. I'm very sorry! I'm sure there is no day when you don't think of your boy. I always think of my little boy Raphael, who died of SIDS when he was 7 weeks old. What I fear the most is that on January 25 (in four days) nobody will remember his day of death. People just forget. It's been 11 years now ... I wish you that people talk to you about your son.

    1. Oh Babajeza, I am so sorry to hear about the loss about your baby boy. Other people may forget the day he passed away, but a parent never will. Big hugs to you.

  7. I was just going to say...Thanks for visiting my blog today, and read your post. I really didn't expect the ending. How terribly sad for your family. Isn't it wonderful to have those special photos to remember him by? I'm sure you all have wonderful memories to keep him close. I'm so sorry...Balisha

  8. My heart aches for you. So very hard to lose a child.
    Susan and Bentley

  9. Melanie, I am fairly new to your blog. My family of origin was just my Mom, Dad, Sandra and me. We lost Sandra when I was 20. It changed us all-we all loved each other more and stayed true to each other always. Blessings to you and your family-Jemma

    1. I am so sorry you lost your sister. Blessings to you as well.

  10. So heartfelt, I can relate, I have not shared this with anyone on blog world before now, but I lost a daughter. One never gets over it, but one must move on. I don't think I heard those lyrics before, but oh so beautiful and comforting knowing if we really look hard we can feel and see them.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss as well, Cathy. You are right, I didn't know you had lost a child as well. God bless you.

  11. Hi Melanie;
    There is nothing I can say to such a great loss! Except to Trust in the Lord, we will never understand why these things happen to us. The pain must be excruciating, I cannot even imagine it! But I want to tell you and your family, I have been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I am so proud of you! Does one ever carry on as before? Never, but you are doing a great job trying to cope! With love, sadness in my heart for you and love, Nana.

    1. Thank you for such a compassionate note, Nana. You are appreciated.

  12. Thanks for sharing your family! I know how much it all means to you and the pain you felt and stabbing it still gives to loose Phil. I know as we lost my sister and there is always a missing part in your heart. But those memories are precious and can never be taken away.

    Hugs from Holland ~

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Heidi. Hugs to you, too!

  13. Melanie - truly there are no words, I am so sorry for the loss that you feel each day. You are a strong woman to be able to share your feelings so openly here. Blessings to you and your family.

  14. Hi Melanie, I'm so, so sorry. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child. Thank you for sharing your family with us.



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