Sunday, May 15, 2011

March 20, 1978 - April 12, 2011


"How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us."

--Fred Rogers


Texas Spitfire. Stealth Bombshell. Melanie. Lots of different names that she's been known by. Also by Mommy, Lover, Sister and Daughter. Any of us who have been around here for any amount of time know her. Then she went away. Then she sort of came back this past winter.

Sadly, she won't be coming back anymore. Stealth died last month. I only found out by stopping by her Facebook site, and read the comments of friends and family who had left them. I did a quick Google search on her full name, and there they were. Links to her obituary. The obituary is a bit sparse for my liking. There are some pics and a nicely made video. But nowhere did I find any of "us" in the comments on FB nor in the memorial page. I think I might be the first of "us" to know anything.

And I feel badly about that. It's no secret that she lived a troubled life. Much of which she brought on herself. She tried to crawl out of it. And when things started to look up for her, something else would knock her down. But never out. Sadly, when she attempted to come back to Blogger, and the HNT community, I think she didn't realize that things had changed. She'd burned a lot of bridges at one point, and people weren't inclined to forget it. Too many of us didn't take the time to bring her back into the fold. Myself included.

Stealth was a four-time Mystery Guest, and got her hands on the OsShirt a few times. She also appeared a few times over at OHNT, though was still a bit modest over there. She was well known for her late night video chats too! I think that she was a pretty decent photographer, and often surprised us with the shots she took. One area that few people knew about was her painting and other visual artistry. The girl had talent! She played the oboe in high school (and was pretty good), loved hard rock music, was actually quite grounded in her Catholic faith, but knew how to party. Health-wise, I know she'd been in the hospital within the past couple of years, but with that gap of being away from us, I'm not entirely sure what for...

I feel privileged to have met her in person. She was so excited when I told her that I was going to celebrate my 50th birthday in Dallas. She immediately took it upon herself to be my personal guide for the weekend. All of us partied hard. But on the actual night of my birthday, the two of us spent a very low-key evening in the West End of Dallas. Talking, laughing, relaxing. I don't think she did enough of that as she got older. She was able to be herself, and it was a side of her I didn't know existed before then. In spite of the massive partying, and the trip to the strip club, and the constant drinking, that night was, without question, the highlight of my trip.


But now she's gone. She's left three kids and a fiancé behind. And lots of friends. In spite of the fact that we'd fallen out of touch, I still considered her a friend. That's why I feel like I've been kicked in the gut. I wish I had done more to keep in touch. Mel, I'm gonna miss you.

Added: I urge you to check out Mark Leslie's post about Melanie's death. The guy is a writer, and expresses what I think many of us are feeling far better than I ever could...

27 comments:

Joanna Cake said...

Such a sad post in so many ways... xx

Get8More said...

Truly very sorry to hear of this... may she rest in peace.

MinorityReport said...

wow.
heartbreaking post, O's.

Daisygirl said...

So sorry to hear about this. Very touching post O...way to young to be an angel.

singedwingangel said...

I came into HNT too late to seeher but from the pics you have posted I have missed what would have been a wonderful person. How sad it is that no one knew until too late.. My condolences to her family and to you Os, you have wonderful memories ..

Cheeky Minx said...

I'm so heartbroken. For you, for her family. And for us because she possessed the kind of talent, sass and fire that had her standing tall... xxx

13messages said...

I remember her name and blog pretty well, but never really got to know her. Such a young age and with kids to miss her. So tragic and sad.

Thanks for what you wrote about her. It was very touching.

Hoochie Mama said...

I really am shocked to hear about this. It's hard to believe...

Gucci Mama said...

I'm still in shock since you told me about this last night. I didn't know her well, but what I did know of her was that she was that beneath the exterior, she had a giant heart.

I am sad for her, sad for her babies, sad for those who knew her and loved her.

What a sweet and touching tribute you wrote for her.

Phain said...

It's hard to know what I'm supposed to do or say or how I'm supposed to feel. Sad? Of course. Helpless? Eternally so now. She used to call me at all hours of the night. Sometimes I would answer & sometimes I wouldn't. She helped me through a really rough time in my life. I wish I could have done the same for her. My heart aches.

Blondage said...

She could make me laugh until I got a migraine. I got to the point where every time she called me I took pre-emptive tylenol. Man she was cool. I loved her. Damn I'm still so floored by this.

She would have loved this tribute Os.

Dana said...

Not what I expected to read tonight, but something I needed to read.

In these times where internet friendships blossom so quickly, and often end abruptly, many times over some perceived wrong, this is a not-so-gentle reminder that the people behind the screen are very real - with very real feelings.

We'd all be better people if we tried a little harder to forgive.

Margaret said...

She was my age. Way too young to die. May her family and friends find peace.

Cosima said...

A star just left earth and traveled to sky. The pictures you posted are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh no!! This is heartbreaking! I know she struggled but I always hoped she would find her way. I hope she is at peace now. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.
Thank you Stealth for all the times you reached out to me, you had a really big heart! May you RIP Sweet Girl. The world has just experienced a big loss.

Maureen

Midwestern City Boy said...

Reading this makes me so very sad. Everything happens for a reason; I just wish I knew what it was. My heart goes out to her family, especially her children.

Jon said...

Thanks Os...
Sometimes you read tributes to people and know that it all can’t be true, but this lady was very special. She had her problems, just like we all do. Actually some of her's were much more difficult than the average person could stand, but she was very strong.

I was very lucky to have met Melanie on her way through Colorado a few years ago. I got to spend a lot of time with her that week, and I feel privileged to have known her.

Now I need to put a play list together of all the music she introduced me to, and go through some pictures we took.

Mark Leslie said...

Thanks for posting this and for your email earlier this week informing me of Melanie's loss.

I met Melanie through your HNT community and am a richer person for having known her, for the memories of the way she has made me laugh, cry and think over the years through her blog posts, pictures and comments.

Thanks for providing this way for people to connect and to become friends.

S said...

Rest well, dear Melanie, thank you for touching me. I will remember you fondly dear.
Thank you Os, for letting us know.
Susie

TUG said...

This is simply shocking and sad. She was always kind to me. I am heartbroken for her children.

Os, nice remembrance. I'm sure everyone can look past any differences and mourn her loss. Mark's write-up was very touching as well.

Anonymous said...

I had a blast meeting her in person & "stealing" your shirt from her. Thank you for introducing us. I will definitely miss her.
-NoOneInParticular

mellowdee said...

I went to high school with Melanie and lost touch with her afterwards. Hearing of her untimely death is so sad. I cant seem to find any more information on why this happened...and there is only so many people you feel right asking about this...regardless. Rest in Peace, Melanie, we we will all miss your beautiful smile.

GrrlTragic said...

A sad day, indeed. I think of her often, I had no idea. She used to call me her blog-twin, back in the day. She went through hell on earth, I can only hope that whatever took her came fast and painless and I pray that wherever she is now is a safer and more peaceful place. She was tough as nails but as fragile as a butterfly's wings. Rest well Stealth, godspeed and goddess embrace you. Blessed Be.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry to say I never knew any of you, but I know from the time I met Melanie 6 years ago, you all were a big deal to her. I loved Lanie since the first time we met and was with her on the day she passed. we were both so very happy. had planned to marry in June. She was just too beautiful a soul to stay in this shithole world any longer. I will always love her. And I will miss her so much until the day I see her again... Michael

BTExpress said...

My condolences on your loss Michael.

X. Dell said...

So very sad indeed. So young too.

A while back, I wrote that HNT was a cybercommunity that in many ways acted as any bone-and-flesh meatspace would. The fact that you got to meet her in person, Os, perhaps demonstrates the fact that those two spheres of social interaction are far from inseparable. I can feel the sense of loss and pain in your post here, and in the thoughtful comments that follow.

My best wishes are of course with her and her family. They're also with you and others of her cyberfamily.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Os for this confirmation, though it saddens me.

~ Pyrhonik