The voice is back

I woke up today not knowing what to feel.  While I was in the shower memories flooded my thoughts and took over my body.  One year ago today Owen got sick.  It was the last time I saw his eyes alive.  Forever.

My family and I are bringing the Sussex Public Safety department a meal tonight – as a small sign of our thanks.  I had to stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things … and the voice is back.  The one that screams in the back of my mind as anyone meets my eye – MY SON DIED!  I’m a grieving mother.  He died one year ago today!  How can you sit there and make small talk?  Can’t you see that I am different today than I was yesterday?  But time keeps moving and people keep smiling.  I’m different on the inside … unless you take the time to ask, you’d never know my story by just looking at me.

I’m nervous about bringing the meal tonight.  I wonder if I’ll recognize their faces.  I wonder if they even remember who I am.  Who Owen was.  Will they be happy to see us?  Will is be somber and a time of respect?  I guess I just don’t know what to expect.

I want them to know that I have said thank you to them each and every day for the past 365 days.  Every time I drive past the station on my way to Pick ‘n Save I stare at the sign.  I meditate on what they have given my family.  I pray for their strength and courage.  I pray that they know just how special and important they are.

Most of all, I want them to know that they might not have saved Owen that night … but they saved THREE lives that day.  I want them to hear Josie’s name – I want them to see the face of a girl who they saved yet never met.  If they hadn’t worked as hard as they did – Owen’s heart might never have restarted.  He was without a heart beat for over an hour – they didn’t give up on him.  They are the reason (and with the help of God) that we had five magical days in the hospital.  It could have all been over that night.  We could have returned to our home without our son that very same day.  But we didn’t.  We had just begun our journey.  We were given time with Owen.  Time with our family.  Time to tell Owen’s story.  They were the first to keep Owen’s story living on.

I just really want them to know how much we appreciate them.  I want them to know what an amazing story they are apart of.  Doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, fire fighters, police officers — they all put their live on the line for strangers.  They fight for life and for good all of the time.  And so many times they save a life that they may never see again.  I haven’t stopped thinking about them since May 21, 2011 at about 8:15pm.  I want them to know what an impact they have made on my small life.

I’ve got the first batch of cupcakes in the oven and my iTunes playing.  Hoping that the music gives me the strength to get through today.  May the Holy Spirit help me to express what is on my heart today … may the Public Safety department of Sussex, WI feel loved and cherished.

Love, Mel


  1. So sweet of you to do this for the Public Safety Dept. today. You have amazing strength. Thinking of you, Doug, Jaden and the triplets today and always!

  2. I have been thinking about you, your family and Owen all week. Last night was my sad night. Its good to let it out. Today is better though because I keep thinking about Owen and his angel friends as they smile and celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of their little warrior friend, and that in turn makes me smile. I wonder what a party in heaven is like? I bet they are amazing! While I wish more than anything Owen was here, I find happiness knowing his time is now spent in a place more amazing and beautiful than words can describe. Someday, if we are lucky, we too will get to celebrate this anniversary with Owen and his angel friends. Thank you again for doing such an amazing job sharing your story with us. I find strength, humor and motivation in your words. Love you,

  3. Mel… your meal is a wonderful idea. My dad was a Wauwatosa firefighter for many years and Im sure by my dads experiences that the group will remember you. More likely will never forget… thinking of you all today. Holding you in prayer. As for Owen… well we know hes already home :-/ take care

  4. Thinking of you always. Wow, a year has passed already. It still feels like it just happened. Praying for you and yours, for today to be filled with wonderful memories of your little warrior 🙂 I’m positive Owen is with you everyday and is very proud of the work you’re doing in his honor.

  5. I think its an amazing thought of you Mel. I’m sure they will remember you when they see you. I can’t believe its been one year today since your beautiful little Owen stopped breathing. God will give u the strength to get threw this day. I can’t wait till you post about how the meet was with the public safety department went. God bless you and today is yet another day you and my family are on my mind and prayers. God bless.

  6. Dear Mel, hugs and prayers to you and your family today! Thank you for sharing all your blogs with such heartfelt emotions and explanations of procedures. May you keep reaching and find your purpose in life to keep Owens memory alive. I am an organ doner! Love and prayers!

  7. Melissa – I am thinking of you and praying for you today. You have gotten through this past year displaying such strength and love. I bet Owen is very proud of you and the way you have shared his story and your own so honestly, with so many people, and encouraged the gift of organ donation.

  8. Melissa~
    I have never posted a comment before, but I read your blog every time you have a new post. I can’t even imagine the pain that you have been through this past year. You have accomplished some amazing things this year in honor of your sweet little boy, Owen. I know he must be proud as he looks down on his mommy.

  9. As I sit here holding my baby boy, Clay, I think back to just a few days before Owen got sick.

    We where at your house for book club…the first time I met Jaden and the triplets…what a fun night. At the end of the night you lead the girls in a prayer over my uterus for God to give me a baby.

    It must have worked because here he is laying on me as I write…I think about that evening and what happened that weekend a lot…I pray for you and Doug often. May God’s grace be upon you.

    I was in awe the first time met you(mother of 4 boys)…I am still in awe of you! May God keep you strong these next few days…we will keep you all in our prayers!

  10. thinking of you and your family. holding you all in prayer. tho we have never met, i know you are a strong woman. Strong in FAITH and strong in FAMILY . going forward in life, we all know how proud your Owen is of you. every time you reach out to others, his light shines brighter. hugs for you always.


  11. I’ve never commented on any of your posts but I’ve been following your blog for a year now. I’m sure the list of people that have reached out to you are far too long to count but I too, have been touched and heartbroken and shed tears over your story. When I heard your story, sweet Owen was still in the hospital and my triplet girls were in the NICU still. It terrified me, broke my heart and made me ever weary of something happening to one of our triplets too. But your strength, your faith and your deeply touching words were incredible. The perspective you’ve always had has been an inspiration to me. I want you to know that you and your family have been on my mind for a year now and I pray for your continual peace and strength. Every feeling and thought you express is so real and honest and what everyone in your situation would be going through too. Your little Owen is FOREVER yours and one day you WILL get the opportunity to raise him again and I know he’s looking forward to that day! You’re never alone. Hang in there. You are so blessed and loved!

  12. I started following this blog one year ago and was extremely sorryto hear of your loss. You and your family have done a great job celebrating Owen’s life rather than dwelling on the hurt and pain of your loss. You seem like such a caring and loving family. I hope that someday I can be half the mother as you are to your boys and create such a loving environment for my children to grow up in. Your faith and love for God through all of this has also been truly inspiring. Rather than doubt God and his love, you have realized the great plan God had through sharing Owen’s story and gift. Keep up the great work!

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