Memorial Day Weekend



I am exhausted after a busy memorial weekend with friends and family.  I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful weekend.


We decorated a number of graves this weekend including Jason’s.  (I can’t believe it has been 4 months since his death!)  On the way home from decorating Jason’s grave we listened to some of his favorite music like “The Drop Kick Murphy’s” version of Amazing Grace.  As we listened to that song I was instantly transported back to the day of his funeral.

After Jason’s casket was lowered into the ground many of us took turns shoveling dirt onto it.  The traditional bagpipe tune of Amazing Grace played until the end and then Jason’s version finished up.  (All of this was Jason’s wishes.)  Even this 50 something mother and grandmother liked it!  Here it is if you would like to listen: Drop Kick Murphy’s Amazing Grace

Jason’s death was a senseless one.  He left us way before his time.  He left a wife, two children and a baby boy due in September.   On January 19th Jason lost his battle to drugs when he over-dosed on heroin.  The day after he was to enter a drug treatment program.  And that same day Shelly found out she was expecting their 3rd child.

Wingmen forever

I have always loved this picture of Jason.  It was taken at his wedding.  He was so emotional as he watched his sweetheart Shelly walk up the aisle.  Ron (his dad) performed that ceremony.


Our youngest son Sean wrote his obituary one of the most fitting obituaries I’ve seen.

Sean is an aspiring writer and was just made an editor for the UVU student paper.  Many of you have already seen the article that Sean wrote about his big brother Jason, entitled “Wing Men Forever”.  This was such a touching article that I would like to share it with you again.

The pain that comes with the loss of someone so brilliant, someone with so much potential can not be described.  But somehow we are finding a way to move forward.

Ron said to me many times, “If Jason dies and I did not do everything I could to save him I will never forgive myself!”  No one tried harder than Jason’s father.  After his death Ron went through Jason’s text messages and counted over 200 messages from us.  “Where are you?” “Are you okay?” “We love you!”


If you have found yourself trapped in an addiction, please get help!  If you can’t do it for yourself do it for those who love you!  Each one of Jason’s  “surviving” family members are doing just that – surviving.  The pain of his loss will go on and on.

To help us through our grief we have discovered that there are ways that we can reach out.  We plan to support and sponsor groups like USARA (Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness).  We will speak about addiction and recovery where ever we can.  I plan to look for ways to help others like Jason who are searching for a way out before it is too late!

Please go to USARA’s web link.


Each one of us are affected by drug abuse in some form.  Either we ourselves are addicted or we know someone who is.  We cannot bury our heads in the sand any longer.  There are so many ways that we can fight this battle.  I would love to have you share with us how we can do more…

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7 Responses to Memorial Day Weekend

  1. Erin Hiatt says:

    That is so sad… 🙁 I didn’t know he had passed.

    • melanie says:

      I’m sorry you had to find it out like that! This has been such a long time battle for our brilliant and beautiful boy!

  2. Very beautiful dear Melanie, I’m sure this was a difficult day for you. We are STILL going through these issues with our oldest who has been clean 2 years and got her 6 yr old twins back after so much hard work, and just went through a relapse- she’s doing better but as you know it is hard, hard, hard….. I love you already and look so forward to meeting you- I know we will…

    • melanie says:

      My dear friend Debby, we’ve never met and yet I love you like a sister! Please have Michelin give you a hug from me! You truly know the heartache and pain of addiction. I pray that your daughter will get the help she needs and find her way back. Our battle as parents never seems to end even when the nest is empty. loving wishes to you and your family!

  3. Mel and Ron, there are no better parents than you anywhere, One year ago on Memorial day we lost our beloved niece. Too much pain, not enough faith in tomorrow. Every time I remember our dear daughter in law and now our niece, and your two, I say a prayer of thanks that even one saved is worth all of the hard work, and those who could not beat the battle have been given another chance in the next wonderful place where they will be free of pain. We’re so sorry, and know you won’t ever forget the pain you are feeling now, but it will get easier. I’m praying for you both, and the rest of your wonderful family. I hope you find comfort in all of the love sent your way. Thinking of you, Judy

  4. melanie says:

    Thank you so much Judy, your words bring so much comfort and direction. You and Karl have been through as much or more than we have! I hope Karl is on the mend! We love both of you. Mel

  5. Milestones along the way. Karl is back to his old self, and feeling “wonderful”; Oldest grandson just graduated from high school in Vancouver Washington with honors and two classes away from Associates degree! He is 18 years old. Other three grand children all made 3.5 or above grades. Two more taking drivers education, and fourth will be taking it next year. Here come 4 new drivers, Oh my goodness. Youngest son off pain meds for 3.5 years, just got a letter from Columbia College, telling him he made the Deans’ List for last two semesters, will be getting his Associates soon, and is working on being accepted to Law School, after obtaining his Bachelors degree! Thought you could use some good news from me for once! Love to all J

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