Spring has sprung

I was taking my two puppies (yes I am crazy) for a walk today and noticed a lot of new growth and life all around my neighborhood. There is a huge pond down the street and it was full of frogs, turtles & huge coy fish. I could hear them splashing around in the water which is the first time this spring. I saw a nest with blue eggs in it ready to hatch and I heard a really loud woodpecker knocking on a nearby tree. Flowers are in full bloom and the grass is plush and green.

Last Spring, Andrew was alive and life was good. I could have never imagined what was to come in a few months. May 12th will be 9 months since I’ve heard his voice or saw his beautiful smile!! That is still so unbelievable to me. How does your son, your baby, just vanish from your life? One minute everything was simple and the next it was completely turned upside down!

Since Andrew has passed away, I am a completely changed person. I feel like I see life from a new set of eyes! Everything is different, everything! I can’t tolerate being around certain people because they trigger my anxiety. I resigned from my job because I don’t have the patience to do what I was doing. The simplest of chores take so much effort. I definitely don’t sweat about the small stuff…I really don’t even think about stupid or petty things anymore. It so doesn’t matter and not worth the energy.

I try so hard to focus on all of the great things my other two children are doing and tell them how proud I am of them often. Watching a movie on the couch with my hubby is a perfect Saturday night now and I love to cuddle with my puppies and embrace their kisses! Things I used to consider fun just aren’t fun anymore. Taking my dogs for a walk is one of my favorite things to do and I didn’t even want a dog 9 months ago.

My main focus on life right now is to get up out of bed and get dressed. Sounds pretty routine but it isn’t anymore. I have to write down a list of things I need to accomplish and try to get a few done. It feels like it’s work to live right now. I am choosing to do the work because it is too easy to stay in bed and hide from the world.

So I’m trying to appreciate the flowers, hear the woodpeckers and see the bright orange coy fish swimming in the pond. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with my head in the dirt. I don’t know what tomorrow brings for me or my family so I’m trying to see the beauty in today. I can’t give up….not for Andrew, Amanda, Michael, Mike or myself. It’s not easy but I’m doing my best.

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My name is Melissa Shelly and I am a 46 year old mom who lives in Newtown Square, PA. I never thought of myself as mighty but when my 14 year old son, Michael was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on August 18, 2014, everyone kept telling me how strong I was. Three years later on August 12, 2017, my 20 year old son, Andrew died instantly in a car accident. Again, people kept saying I was so strong and I actually hated when people would say that to me! I have heard 100 times “I could never do what you’re doing....if my child died I wouldn’t be able to function!”. That’s what I thought about myself until it was me! I didn’t ask to be handed these tragedies & painful traumatic events and I never felt I had a choice....I had to be a mighty leader!! I am a mother of three children and a wife to a wonderful man. We needed to survive and keep hope alive in our hearts! I wish I never had to be strong....but unfortunately we don’t control many things in our lives; however, we can control how we deal with them. It isn’t easy and I have some really bad days but I continue to work on healing and living my life with meaning and purpose. I want to share my pain and my successes with anyone who wants to walk beside me!

6 thoughts on “Spring has sprung”

  1. I know I should not be saying this because it may sound wrong but I love your writing skills. Wish I had what you have. I feel in my heart maybe you have the qualifications to write a book about your Andrew.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy your writing as well. You inspire me to keep the petty things in life in check. I am happy you have those puppies!


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