kindness is contagious

It’s been a very busy few weeks….my son, Michael is graduating High School next week and we have been attending nonstop graduation party’s!! Michael’s party was Friday night and it was a very emotional day/night. We are so happy and proud of Michael; yet, without Andrew here to celebrate it just doesn’t feel right!  It’s a huge void in our family and it just feels horrible to be celebrating without him here with us! I cried a few times the day of Michael’s party and didn’t want to ruin it for him so I just kept drinking & dancing! It wound up being a very fun party and was a very nice night for everyone.

The day after the party both Mike and myself felt so beat up physically & emotionally! We had 3 parties we had to go to on Sat & another one on Sun. Somehow we drug our butts  out of bed and forced ourselves to go! It’s not easy to get all dressed and ready and paint a smile on your face when what you really want to do is curl up in bed and sleep or watch tv. It’s just the way it is now with our new life without Andrew. It’s easier to just hide from the world at home, but it’s not the healthy thing to do… we don’t. We go and talk with our friends and sometimes even have some laughs and then we go home and get back into our jammies and in our beds to watch tv, read or sleep.

I’m looking forward to going to the shore tomorrow for a few days. A change of scenery is always a mood lifter. Hopefully we get a day or two on the beach!!! I find the ocean & sand so relaxing & tranquil! It’s just so peaceful to sit and read on the beach! One of my favorite things to do on earth is to go to the beach! I am very grateful we have this house as our retreat!

Michael has his graduation next Friday, June 15 & I know that’s going to be a very proud & happy day for Michael; however, very sad without Andrew there to participate in the celebrarion of his little brother’s graduation! Andrew would be so excited for Michael! He would be proud that his brother wants to be a nurse! He adored Michael more than  anyone in the world! He was his favorite person….always was! So without bim here to cheer him on is heartbreaking! It makes me so sad but it also makes me very angry! He should be here with us and it pisses me off that he’s not! I have found myself feeling tremendously sad and depressed but also very angry! I feel jipped that my son only lived to be 20! That’s not long enough & it makes me feel cheated out of seeing my son grow up!

Tbis time needs to be focused on Michael so I have to keep moving my focus on him and his happiness! He deserves nothing but the best! He’s such an amazing young man who has been through so much pain and heartache at a young age and now he is leaving for college and majoring in nursing and we are so excited for his future!

So I have to find time to grieve and feel the huge loss and void in my life without Andrew, yet also feel the happiness, pride & excitement for Michael! I’m doing my best at trying to make that work! I love my three kids more than anything in the world! They are my pride and joy and my favorite  people on earth! I don’t know why Andrew was taken away at such a young age and it really is so heartbreaking & painful every second of the day but we have to fight through it and keep living the best we can! I just crave to see him and touch him! I close my eyes and try to feel him….try to hear his voice or his energy! Last night I was craving to feel his presence so bad I went and laid in his bed and wound up sleeping there for the night. I actually slept very well in his comfy bed! If only I could have been cuddling next to my budgy bear (Andrew’s nickname as a baby & sometimes more recent) . I just miss him so much and as time goes by I actually feel worse because I miss him even more!

I still have a lot to be grateful for….I am married to my best friend, I have two other wonderful children who both want to be nurses and take care of people for a living…and they will both be amazing caretakers! They are my world and we are lucky to have each other. We have two beautiful homes and adorable puppies who make us laugh! My mom would do anything she could to help us and does anything we ask of her. We have the best family & friends surrounding us and supporting us! None of this can bring Andrew back but it is a gift to be surrounded by kindness & compassion! It makes me want to continue to live and share the kindness & compassion back with the world!  We all have one life so let’s try and make the most out of it! Be kind! Be compassionate! Love one another! Have fun! Smile and laugh! It’s a gift to others but also such a gift to yourself!! kindness is contagious so let’s all pass it on! Let’s all be kind like Andrew! We don’t know what someone is dealing with in their lives but a simple smile can change fheir whole day!!

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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!

3 thoughts on “kindness is contagious”

  1. Ah, yes, kindness Melissa. you have a lot of that virtue in your heart but your heart – while kind and loving and grateful – is broken. So our hearts that want to live and give struggle because they are sad. You are grateful for your good husband and beautiful children who will become wonderful nurses, compassionate professionals in a world that is far better with their lights shinning so brightly but the mother and father grieve the son they cannot touch, their Andrew.

    Well, Andrew will send you all his strength for the big day and all the days to come and you will feel it. Maybe each day everyone might carry in their pockets a little something that was Andrews and touch it for comfort and continuing courage to carry on.



  2. The Shellys are the definition of kindness. God bless you all. May you feel Andrew’s presence all through Michael’s festivities.


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