You know Melissa George Night at the Huntsville Havoc game?
You know the event we have each year in memory of my daughter to raise money for Melissa's Fund?
You know the night I've been posting about and urging everyone to come to?
You know one of my most favorite nights of the entire year?
I didn't go.
Yeah. I couldn't believe it either.
Last Saturday started like any other day. We had pancake breakfast. Later in the day, I took the girls to a birthday party.
All was fine.
Once we got home, I told Chris I wasn't feeling great and wanted to lay down. I fell asleep and when he woke me up, I felt terrible.
Still I was determimed to go to the game.
I told Chris to go ahead and I would be there by the time the game started. I got ready - all the time feeling as if I would hurl at any moment. I finally got dressed, got my makeup on, stood up and immediately had aches and chills running through my entire body.
That's when I realized - I was going to miss this most special night.
Oh, it's not about the game (although I was looking forward to watching it and spending the evening with our good friends and their families). It's about the way I feel when I'm at that game.
I feel so close to my daughter.
To see these guys wear special NICU jerseys and to see people in the stands wearing the ones from years' past just makes me feel so close to Melissa. She is so a part of that night.
And that is what I didn't want to miss.
I called Chris and told him I couldn't make it. Then I crawled into the recliner next to the fireplace and felt very sorry for myself. But once the gas logs reached 82 degrees and I was still shivering, I realized it was time to go to bed.
Stomach viruses are never fun, but on that night of all nights? I just couldn't believe it. I was just so depressed.
But my sweet husband and sweet friends took plenty of pictures for me, and Chris came home with so many heartwarming stories.
First of all, we raised close to $40,000!! We will use that money to purchase a Giraffe Warmer and other items (to be determined) for the NICU. I couldn't be happier about that!
My most precious moment of the night involved AC and her "boyfriend" Travis. When it was time for him to auction his jersey, he asked her to come on the ice with him and help. As you can see from the pictures, she was beaming! What a great guy!!
Also, Travis recently had surgery so while he has been out, #82 Justin Rohr became her favorite. After the game, Justin gave LB an autographed game puck and he gave AC his stick! He autographed it: "To Ann Catherine, you're my biggest fan!" AC was beside herself. Those tough guys have such big hearts!
Thankfully, that nasty virus has made its way through our home (we all four got it at one point) and it is gone. Good riddance!!
Here are some pix from that night:
How cool are these jerseys?! Those footprints are of actual babies who have been in our NICU. I just love them! AC and Melissa's footprints are on there. That makes me happy.
Ann Catherine dropped the puck with Lily Baker by her side. This year we invited everyone who had purchased a jersey on Melissa Night in the past to come on the ice for the puck drop. I love that! We are so grateful to those who have supported us in the past by buying jerseys and were so touched that they could join us for the puck drop.
AC and LB with Chaos (AC hugging him?! She has come a long way!)
Chris and his girls
This is one of LB's classic looks. I love that face!
LB and her daddy!
A team photo! On the front row are some special families who support our NICU each year and their precious NICU babies. Thank you Brandy, Anna and Melissa!
And to all of you who support Melissa's Fund, Thank You from the bottom of my heart! You are the reason why the fund can provide life-saving equipment for the NICU. Thanks for your support!!