When Preston and I began dating, two of his best friends were women. Beth and Melissa. Beth lived locally and it didn’t take long before she insisited on a one on one meeting with me to make sure I met her standards and passed her “sniff” test. Obviously, I passed being that I’m married to Preston now. 😂. Melissa lives in a bordering state, two hours away. Both of these ladies hold a special connection to me. More about Beth in another blog. This one’s about Melissa.
Not long after Preston and I started dating, he came to me heartbroken about his friend. She had gotten married several weeks earlier. The newlyweds were traveling on their motorcycle, with other friends, when a freak motorcycle accident happened that killed her husband. Melissa sustained injuries and survived.
Under these tragic circumstances, a beautiful friendship formed between her and I. Despite her circumstances, she’s one of the most positive, uplifting people that I know. During Preston’s journey, her friendship and support was unwavering. She knew the right questions to ask, and seemed to have a 6th sense when it came to knowing that I needed a break. She’d drive all the way from her hometown to the hospital and sit with Preston just so I could go downstairs and eat or catch a nap.
Before Preston fell in rehab and ended up in the CCU, Melissa had been to see him on Game Day. Preston bleeds Carolina Panther blue. Truly bleeds it! He loves his Panthers. Anyway, Melissa shows up in his hospital room with the ENEMY’S jersey on, the Denver Broncos! Preston was so upset! I snapped a picture of them and you can see for yourself how upset he is! I have no doubt that had he been able, he’d have kicked her out of his room. 🤣.
A few blogs ago, I shared about the day that Preston woke up from his coma. It was truly a gift from God to be able to witness it. That particular day, Melissa was there to witness it with me. She remembered so many more details about that miracle that I did. I asked her to share it from her vantage point. Here’s her unedited version:
Let me introduce myself. My name is Melissa, I’m one of the “other women” Kim inherited when she married Preston and am now one of her Crows.
Preston and I have been friends for 12 years. I’ve always considered him my best male friend. When he met and decided to marry Kim, although we’d never met, I couldn’t have been happier had I been the one getting married. This is a woman who’d prayed for me when my husband died because Preston asked her to. I knew she was a Godly woman for Preston to have chosen her. I had prayed so many times that God would send the right woman to him. And not only did He send her to Preston for a wife, but to me, for a friend.
Fast forward to May 2015. Preston had had a heart attack and subsequent quintuple bypass surgery in February. Kim and I had communicated through text during that time and some before, but had never taken the time to meet face to face. We live two hours apart. So we decided that life is short and made a lunch date. We talked for hours that day!! We had so much to talk about. It was for me, as if I’d known her for years!! There was no awkward silences, no false friendliness. We were very comfortable with each other. Well, maybe after she got over being shocked from me hugging her fiercely and her not being a huggy kinda girl! 😂 Long story short, we were fast friends and had a genuine connection.
On November 1, 2015, I woke up about 2 am. As I am a super-heavy sleeper who hardly ever wakes up until my alarm goes off, this was very unusual for me. I did what every person does in the middle of the night when they can’t sleep, I checked Facebook. A seven word post from Kim scared me wide awake!!! “If you’re up, Please whisper a prayer.” Kim is not a drama queen, she is not a woman to over react or cause unnecessary worry. I knew something was terribly wrong for her to have posted those seven words!!! Even though it was early, I sent her a text never expecting the next few short texts. Brain bleed……… air flighted…….. he might not make it. She was talking about one of my longtime, dearest friends! I was scared. I was at a loss as to what to do or type or say to help!! To comfort her. All I could do was pray. I knew she had so many people to talk to and update and I didn’t want to bug her. I kept my phone with me continually!! I needed those updates. And slowly they came. He had pulled through, but so many unanswered questions remained. Was he going to be ok? Would he be the same Preston we all knew and loved? There was a lot of unknown, but things looked good!!
I went to see them a week later. Preston was doing very well. He certainly didn’t seem like the one who had been given zero chance of survival only a week before! I was able to see him. He was weak, but was talking, he knew me, he was eating and I helped feed him. I had worn a Denver Broncos T-shirt bc I knew how he loved his Panthers and it made him cry. The only difference I could see in him was that he was emotional and would cry at the slightest of things. He was carrying on conversations normally other than that. The next night was when he fell! Everything changed. During the time Preston was in the CCU I went to sit with him two or three times. He would answer us by squeezing our hands, so we knew he was still there. We would talk to him. I read him the sports page of the newspaper. I watched the game with him and thank God his Panthers won. (I’m thinking I would have lied had they not won)! Then on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving, I’d gone up to sit with him that day. Kim came later in the evening just to check on him and tell him goodnight. We’d decided to walk to the parking garage together. I stepped outside Preston’s room to give them a moment alone. I’d been in the hallway for maybe two minutes when I hear Kim calling my name!! She’s telling me to come in the Preston’s awake. I walk in the room and Preston is awake. His eyes wide open as if seeing the world for the first time!!!! I’ll never forget it. I was truly seeing God performing a miracle at that moment!!!! He was awake and alert. Kim stared questioning him, what color shirt am I wearing. If it’s white, squeeze my hand. Nope. If it’s orange squeeze my hand. Nope. If it’s blue, squeeze my hand. There was the squeeze. He could see!!! That moment will forever be one of my favorite memories. I couldn’t forget it if I tried. I am so thankful God allowed me to be witness to that. And that is where Preston’s journey to wellness began anew.