My wife, Nancy, has been best friends with Melissa for over 20 years. They were college roommates and their friendship has only grown since college.

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Nancy and Melissa

Yesterday, Nancy and I attended a “Life Celebration” for Melissa’s mom, Honey, who passed away on July 15th. The very first thing I learned yesterday was that her name was Victoria, or Vicki. I’m sure that at some point I had learned her name, but in the past 15 years, I’ve only known her by her nickname Honey, so that’s how she will always be remembered to me.

It was held in a private room at a bar near where she lived, and attended by friends and family. It was much like a traditional wake, minus the over-indulgence in booze that sometimes happens at other wakes.
Melissa and Honey
Melissa and Honey, on my wedding day, May 22, 1999

One of the planned events was to have folks tell personal stories about Honey that that others might want to hear. I absolutely had one story that was funny as hell, but not appropriate for that time or place. I brought it up to Melissa and we both laughed about the story, but agreed it shouldn’t be told there.
Maybe a post at a later date.
About 30-40 minutes into the stories from family and friends, I started to get choked up and excused myself. I realized I actually DID have a story that should/could be shared, so that’s what this post is about. I also realized that

  • my own unique way of telling stories verbally means that it usually takes 10-15 minutes to tell a 3 minutes story, and
  • I would never have been able to keep my composure enough to even keep it to 15 minutes

This is the story I wanted to tell yesterday, but was not able to because I became a blithering idiot just formulating the story in my mind.

When I first met Honey, I swear I was meeting my mom’s doppelganger. Her friendliness, her warmth, and her outgoiningness (IT’S A WORD!).
And, holy shit, her ability to chat with ANYONE.
To be frank, I was honestly scared as hell to put my mom and Honey in the same room together. They would be able to talk about anything for hours and hours on end. This proved true when we all went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival together and they sat down with some drinks!
When I met Honey, it was during a time in my life that I hadn’t had as much contact with my mom as we each had wanted or should have had. My father had recently died — and there’s no real way to paint this nicely — but that caused friction in my relationship with my mom. I had to deal with things my way and mom had to deal with things her way. A lot of times our ways didn’t marry up. Mom and I didn’t talk nearly as much as we do now (I’m actually delaying a phone call back to my mom right now so I can write this).
Every time I went over to Melissa’s (and eventually her husband, Luke’s) house and hung out with Honey, I realized that I missed my mom. Over the course of a few months of hanging out with Honey, I realized I needed to do something. I reached out to my mom and we now have one of the best relationships between a mother and son. I treasure this relationship.
If it weren’t for Honey, I may have lost my mom as much as I had lost my dad. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
To Melissa, Justin, Cathy, Mitch: You lost your mother and I am so very very sorry for your loss. The only reason I drafted this was to let you know that your mother was awesome and motherly to me. Thank you for introducing Honey into my life.

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