Melly Was Here

wife, mother, teacher, runner, writer, lover, fighter


I love New Year’s Day.  I love new beginnings.  Starting fresh.  I always make resolutions.  Sometimes, I keep them and sometimes I totally forget about them by January 5th.

In the past, I’ve heard of people choosing a word for the year.  A word that sums up what the year’s goals will look like.

I love words.  They are powerful.

I’ve had a wooden statue of the word, “Hope,” in my bathroom window for years.  Having a child with autism and strongly believing that autism is treatable, hope is a big word for me.

I call Lance my rock. Rock: strong, unbreakable, something to hold on to when the waves are crashing around you and threatening to pull you under.

I have chosen the word, “focus.”  The verb.


The Webster’s definition:



: to cause (something, such as attention) to be directed at something specific

: to direct your attention or effort at something specific

: to adjust (something, such as a lens or a camera) to make an image clear

I need to focus. To direct my attention and effort.  To make an image clear.  On Lance (bowchickawowwow), the boys (always), my job (what’s the next step for me?  Graduate school, maybe?).   I need to focus on getting this house purged and organized and maybe ready to sell (ack!).  I need to focus on my running (600 miles in 2014.  Oh, uh huh, that’s what I said).  And, I really need to focus on my writing.  I miss it.  And it’s time to stop thinking about it.  I need to focus – FOCUS – and get it done.

I’ve got a few friends who are joining me.  What about you?  Want to play? What’s your word and why?  Tell me!


11 Things I’ve Learned By Being Happily Married for 20 Years


20 years ago, I married the love of my life.  We were young and poor.  The day we got married, a co-worker of his mother told us to remember how much we loved each other when we were splitting a can of biscuits for dinner.  We did. When things got bad (and they did, because that’s life) we remembered.  We remembered why we were together.  Because we love each other.

Now, while love is the cornerstone of any long-term marriage – and I truly believe that – love is not the only element of a successful marriage.   So, without further ado, 11 Things I’ve Learned Being Married for 20 Years:

  • Love him.  Don’t try to change him.
  • Talk him up, never tear him down.  Talk him up to him, to your kids, to your friends, to his friends, to your mom, his mom.  And make sure he really hears it.
  • Be thoughtful.  The little things mean a lot.
  • Notice the little things he does for you.  And thank him for them.
  • Don’t take everything personally or read into things.  If he left his socks on the bathroom floor, it’s not because he doesn’t respect you or because he thinks you’ll pick them up.  He left his socks on the bathroom floor because he forgot to pick his socks up off the bathroom floor.
  • Sex.  Have it with him.  To be closer and to express your love.  Don’t use it as a weapon or a manipulation.
  • Just be nice to him.  Even if you’re angry.   You can be angry without being mean.
  • Respect him.  Respect his ideas and his feelings.
  • Laugh together.
  • Be interested in his passions and invite him to participate in yours.
  • Dream together.  And, then make a plan to make those dreams happen.  Then, do the work. Together.

The Loves of My Life (in order of appearance) – Butch


Butch is my oldest son. He’s 11 and in the fifth grade. He’s a beautiful blue eyed, freckle faced boy. The only thing more beautiful than his sweet blue eyes is his heart. He has the purest heart of any child or adult I know. I don’t know how he ended up that way, with Lance and me as his parents, but he is. He never lies. He always seems to know the right thing to do. He wouldn’t dream of judging someone because of their looks or their differences. He is also the most forgiving person I know (that comes from his father’s side, not mine). butchflower

He scolds us when we swear and he tells me to turn off music that he feels is inappropriate for his brother and him.

He loves his family and would rather hang out with us than anyone else. He is still affectionate and never goes to bed without giving us a hug and a kiss.

He is desperatley clinging to his childhood. He claims he believes in Santa and he opted himself out of The Sex Film at school (he didn’t even bring me the permission slip because he said he just was not interested).

Sometimes looking at this kid is like riding in a time machine back to visit 11 year old Melly.


He is an animal lover like me. When Scout got into a huge bag of garbage and spread trash all over the house, he cried. He was so worried that Lance was going to want to take her to the shelter, where we got her. He said, “I just don’t want her to get thrown away again.”

He’s a writer. He has countless composition books filled with various subjects. Dinosaurs and dragons, insects and plants, plane designs and sketches of places he wants to visit.

He doesn’t want to go to college out of town because he doesn’t think he’ll be ready to leave his toy dinosaurs. He feels guilty when he doesn’t play with them.

We were worried about Butch for awhile. Early elementary was very difficult for him. He hated Kindergarten. He struggled socially until last year (his second go ’round in the fourth grade). He was diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability in math. He is now in fifth grade. He has found his group of friends (sweet, nerdy boys) and his teacher describes him as a leader. There is no evidence of the ADHD. Don’t know what happened to it, but his teacher, when reading his IEP, thought she had the wrong kid’s file. Although math is his weakest subject (like his mom) he is still pulling A’s in math and the rest of his subjects.

There aren’t enough words to describe how proud I am of this kid. He is going to be a good man, he already makes the world a better place. I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in his life. It is my hope that he keeps that sweet spirit, even when the world tries to take it away.  I hope that he is always true to himself and what he believes in.

I love you, Boo.

1 Comment »