OCEAN SPRINGS, Mississippi — Melissa Roberts Lee was a lifelong proprietor of Ocean Springs and a longtime clergyman during Magnolia Park Elementary, initial as a clergyman and after as an partner principal.
A dear member of a propagandize community, Lee was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Nov 2012. Her family, friends, colleagues and many others from a village and opposite a Mississippi seashore rallied to her side, combining “Team Melissa” and holding large fundraisers to assist in her battle.
Sadly, Lee succumbed to cancer on Sept. 23 during a age of 43. But it was something she left behind that told a story of a special person.
Lee, realizing a finish was near, penned her possess conspicuous acknowledgment — a touching letter on her quarrel with cancer, her family and friends, and a sign to those left behind to welcome any day.
Her difference were review during a Sept. 26 use by her sister, Amy Roberts Hunt.
“She gave me a difference a integrate of weeks ago and asked if we would share them during her service,” Hunt pronounced Friday. “After a service, we was bombarded by folks seeking me for a duplicate of them. Even folks we didn’t know contacted me given they had listened about them.”
Here are Melissa Lee’s difference in their entirety:
Not many people feel like they need to have a voice during their possess funeral, though those of we who know me good know that we like to have some control, and we always have something to say.
Since Nov 2012, we have been on a crazy journey. we contend WE given I’ve never once felt we was in this alone. we am so beholden for that. It’s been a prolonged journey, and we have felt upheld and desired a whole way.
To get started, let’s usually contend what we all are thinking: Cancer. Really. Stinks! we meant there aren’t indeed difference to news how terrible it is. It’s a misfortune kind of disreputable burglar that steals time, memories, happiness, normalcy, experiences, relationships, and futures.
We’ve all asked “why” and questioned a fairness. Many times, my annoy and disappointment with cancer have taken over and those disastrous thoughts climb in. Especially when we would demeanour behind on a life we was vital BC — Before Cancer. we had all we ever dreamed of — we was a abounding 40-something with amatory family and friends, married to my best crony and soulmate, 3 beautiful, healthy children, a career vital out my dream of moving educators, and in what we suspicion was a best figure and health of my life.
Well, surprise! Things can change with one alloy appointment, one phone call, one medical test, one pathology report. It would have been so easy to park myself in a permanent state of annoy and resentment, though we kept reminding myself and being reminded that we could not let a evils of cancer take over and win. we was adult for a fight.
I theory from your viewpoint it might seem like we didn’t do a good pursuit with a quarrel part, given this is being common after we have changed on to a opposite tour due to my health. Well, we don’t see my essence withdrawal my harmed physique as defeat.
I’m certain by now you’ve seen obituaries or Facebook posts that contend things like “Mrs. Lee mislaid her long, tough conflict with cancer.” we don’t wish any such matter compared with me and my quarrel opposite this evil. we wish people to know that cancer might have shop-worn my body, though my essence will never remove a quarrel to a evils of this disease. That’s what we motionless early on. we knew we wouldn’t be on a earth forever, though we also knew we was going to find a approach to get by this though vouchsafing cancer win my physique and my soul. My essence belongs to someone else.
I have lonesome a evils of cancer and a disastrous feelers that strech out to destroy not usually a body, though a essence of a patient. Not to discuss how it creeps into a mind and essence of friends and family. But what we would like we to know is what cancer did to urge me and my life. Yes, we listened correctly. There is a certain that can come from this disease. Cancer doesn’t wish we to know this. It wants to be feared as a physique and essence stealer, though we wish we to know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
We have had a eyes non-stop to so many blessings during this journey. we can't demonstrate a thankfulness my family and we have felt for a friends and village members. The prayers, acts of kindness, and impassioned munificence have been a fuel to keep us going on many days. we trust that this tour has caused certain change in a lives of many as they have celebrated my onslaught and schooled to be grateful for a smallest of things in their lives.
An additional certain aspect is a changes in my possess personal faith. Thanks to my parents, we was brought adult in a home that finished God and church a primary focus. we grew adult going to church and following a traditions of my Catholic faith. Before cancer, we would have described myself as a prayerful chairman who reputable religion’s purpose in my life. we didn’t, however, put my finish trust and faith in my attribute with God.
Through a trials of my illness, there were many pain-filled, dim days. we schooled by those practice that we truly indispensable to open adult a new form of attribute with God. On some days we am certain my family questioned my faith given we was truly ruin to understanding with, though overtime this improved. God brought me PEACE and HOPE. Sometimes my request was as elementary as “God assistance me!” Other times, we would have prolonged conversations with him and feel his palm running my life.
Many of we don’t comprehend that God achieved a spectacle for me. In Feb 2015, my doctors sent me home from a sanatorium on hospice care. we was told to get my affairs in sequence and that 4-6 weeks was my power life expectancy.
Well, we knew that a alloy didn’t make a final call, and usually God could do so. we was unhappy though during assent during a same time if that was to be God’s plan. we knew my honeyed family was watchful for me in heaven, and that we could trust God to take caring of those we left behind. That doesn’t meant we gave up, given my prayers took on a new intensity. we prayed for recovering and some-more time with my children.
I prayed to see Drew graduate, to see Anna Brooke’s dance recital, to be with Owen for his 9th birthday, and to applaud my 20th marriage anniversary with Joey. Well not usually did God answer those prayers, he surpassed them and gave me a full year and several some-more months as a bonus. we saw a full year of propagandize events- Drew’s beginner year, Owen incited 10, Anna’s 8th class dance group activities, another anniversary, and nonetheless another changed Christmas and Mother’s Day with desired ones.
I have vacant my medical group by overcoming many obstacles, though we know it’s God’s palm not mine. we can’t negligence a intercession of a Blessed Mother and large other saints who have listened a prayers and pleading. we remained on this earth as a outcome of prayer. That is my miracle. Cancer can’t take that. Cancer can’t kick that. Cancer did not win.
I unequivocally need something certain to come out of this knowledge for all who have hold me adult and prayed for me or usually review about me on Facebook. Please value a life and time we have. Know that there is zero improved than a normal Monday or idle Sunday. we have lost what normal feels like. Tubes and IVs make normal impossible, though YOU are sanctified with normal. Blessed with being means to go for a run or take your kids on vacation. Blessed that we can eat out during a grill and even go to Walmart.
Don’t ever protest about your normal given there is someone circuitously who is praying for it. Keep your family initial and maintain certain relationships. Forgive. Be kind. Help others. Try and reframe a disastrous and find something positive. And many of all know that we need a attribute with God to make it in this world. Prayer is powerful.
So my sleepy physique is done, though my essence is a survivor. we am not here in body, though know that my soul’s tour continues interjection to my faith. Please don’t weep a detriment of my body. we wish we to applaud a continued life of my soul! we will see my honeyed family and friends again in a subsequent life. Thank we for your love, thoughts, and prayers.
Melissa Roberts Lee
Lee is survived by her husband, Joseph Lee, and their 3 children: Drew, Anne Brooke, and Owen.