There are so many words bouncing around in my head that it’s difficult to begin. But I vow to always begin and strive to finish strong, because if there’s anything the past couple weeks have taught me, it’s that sometimes the very best of us are gone, suddenly, leaving behind our most beautiful families and friends, completely shattered. And because that’s so, living life to its absolute fullest should never fall by the wayside.
So, I’ll put my thoughts down for you to devour and understand, in a way that I hope makes you live life a little fuller.
Whoever says you can’t develop friendships via social media isn’t doing it right.
Those were some very true words (maybe not verbatim) spoken by a wonderful blogger I originally “met” on Periscope.
I’m generally not the type of person who immediately enjoys something the first time I stumble upon it–it took me three-fourths of my college career to like my now husband, most of my adult life to acquire a taste for red wine and generally several plays of a new song on the radio to really appreciate it–but Sarah from Ruffles and Rain Boots is just one those people that I really enjoyed and related to from the first time I listened to her on Periscope.
One of the most powerful topics she brought up, shortly after Melissa Matter’s from Wading Through Motherhood passed, was that of developing relationships on social media.
Although I never had a chance to meet Melissa in person and although my interactions with her were strictly online, it was still such a shock and sadness that came over the community of bloggers and mothers I’m a part of as we found out the news.
That feeling is real. There is no question. And because I had the opportunity to connect with Melissa through her blog and through her platforms, I am so, endlessly, thankful.
She was a beautiful, kind, intelligent and caring person. And her blog brought happiness, helpfulness and a much-needed, relatable and kind outlet to so many.
Live life to the absolute fullest.
Because you truly never know how much time you may have. Since Melissa’s passing, I’ve been kicking myself for all of the little things I complain about and take advantage of. It’s selfish of me to waste the life I have left when so many deserving, beautiful individuals, mothers and/or wives, like Melissa, no longer have that opportunity.
Although there’s no way to change what’s happened, I truly believe we should learn from Melissa’s words: wade out into life and take advantage of every single opportunity because today, we still have that ability. And I refuse to let that go to waste.
Melissa’s writing was so beautiful and relatable. I would highly suggest you take a minute to go read some of her posts. I’d just recently gotten to know her and began reading her blog over the past year, and when she passed, I went to her blog and read back through all the archives I hadn’t seen before. I’m so glad I did.
I want to leave you with one of my favorites. It was her first. It’s simple, it’s comforting and it’s just so encapsulating, appropriate and bittersweet:
When I was about 16, we took a family trip to Hawaii. In Waikiki, the water was warm and shallow; I felt as if I could wade for miles through the clear water. It was then that I cut my ankle on some coral reef. Now, in my mid-30s, I still have a few faint scars on my ankle. The scars are a reminder of the fun I had that day but also remind me that even wonderful things have their drawbacks.
Motherhood is often like wading through unknown waters. You don’t always know what lies beneath the surface, however you keep going. One day, the water may be clear and warm. Other days, it may be frigid and rough. And, sometimes, you may get hurt or even scarred from a bad parenting experience.
Living in Southern California, I’m often wading through the shallows at the beach. My daughter is getting older and venturing out further into the ocean. My toddler son, still timid, likes to splash in the wet, muddy sand. I love experiencing all these firsts with them. As I “wade” through motherhood with my children by my side, I realize there will be highs with the lows, just like the rise and fall of the tides.
May Melissa continue to wade and watch over her children as they venture out further into the ocean of life.
For those looking to extend a helping hand, a GoFundMe page is available here.
To the family of Melissa Matters, I am so deeply sorry. She is a beautiful soul. Please, continue to wade.