We Painted the World Orange!

We painted the world orange yesterday. I hope we did Owen proud. The church was flooded and it was a sea of orange. He was smiling.

The empty hole hit me when I realized I would never … ever … see his face again. From now on I only have pictures. On Thursday, I had the next day to see him before his surgery. When he went to surgery, I got to see him afterwards. After his surgery, I got to see him at his funeral. Now I’ll pick him up as ashes in a ceramic jar. Ashes. Dust.

When I walked onto church the first thing I saw was this ridiculous white hat on his head. I wanted it off. So we did. The body didn’t look anything like Owen. His lips were wrong. His ear was sagging. His head lumpy. That was not my child. We brought over a large picture so people could really meet my Owen. I almost shut the casket, but thought what would that change? Nothing. Leave it open so people could see the doll named Owen.

At 4:30 we had to cut the visitation line off. The sea of people just kept coming. Doug and I wanted to meet and see them all. Everything just happened for me. The line formed by itself. Drinks would appear in my hand, people reached out to hug me. Motions without much thought. Then it was time to start the service.

We asked those around to step out so we could be with our family. The partition was closed. We circled wound Owen. Jaden was in my arms. He didn’t want to be quiet, kept acting a bit crazy. But he wanted to be there and I wanted to hold him. We prayed, Jaden included. Then it was time. I took the cross out of his casket to hold during the service. They pushed me to the front of the family line. The mourning mother followed by her supporting family. I was to sit one chair in from the aisle. Shoes clicked on the tile floor, my parents each held my arms.

I found my chair, with tissues. We all stood. I watched Doug walk with Owen, his hand on top of the casket. The bagpipes started, and Doug lifted Owen. He carried our son in his arms, just as you would a sleeping baby. I was so proud of him. So very proud. Doug and I tucked in our baby for the last time. Then the service began.

Doug and I both chose to speak. Who knew Owen better than his parents? As I stood with Doug I didn’t know where to look. Was I strong enough to make eye contact with people or do I just look over doug’s shoulder at the paper? I looked up. People were sitting out of the church, the was no more room. There was so much orange and I realized so many more faces were there that I’d hadn’t seen yet. So many more people to thank.

Then it was my turn to talk. It got easier. I spoke right to Owen. Finding comfort in his picture. I hope he heard me and I hope I did him proud. The rest of the service was so special. The message was perfect, a little laugh and a few heavy moments. The music was my favorite –where I could sing along and raise up my prayers. How blessed we felt to have people honor him in such a perfect way.

Then it was over. The finger foods were out. More hugs. More greeting and more lines formed to talk to me. I wanted my family. The time in the hospital was so intimate and I didn’t have time to be with them. But we made it. By the end Doug was dragging me to get going. Dinner was waiting at the restaurant. He was right it was time.

I lost it once at the restaurant. The first person in two weeks told me no. How selfish am I? I didn’t ask for much, I don’t think, through this whole thing. I just wanted a little more time. Don’t let it be over quite yet. Just 30 more minutes. Or if you need to go, then let the others stay. Just don’t create another goodbye just yet. Your life will begin as normal tomorrow. You will go back to work and pick up where you left off. My new world just begins tomorrow. I start to build, I start to maybe feel. I just wasn’t ready for it to be over. The voice that yelled from my throat was not mine.

The night did eventually have to end. We went back to my parents house for a few more drinks. I lasted until my body started to shut down … literally falling sleep sitting up. And with that I slept. Slept long and hard.

Today is my first day in my broken world. Never to lay eyes on Owen’s real face again. Here goes nothing.

Love, Mel

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68 Comments

Filed under Owen's Funeral, Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa

68 responses to “We Painted the World Orange!

  1. Jessica

    My heart breaks for you..nobody should ever have to burry a child. We thought of you and your family yesterday, and thinking of how hard this has to be on you as a mother myself I can’t imagine going through what you have. I wish there was something to do some way to bring little Owen back to you. But all I was able to do was dress my own boys in orange yesterday and light a candle in honor of your little warrior. I know thats not much, but know people all over are thinking and praying for you.

    • Amy

      I am so sorry.. there’s no way to begin to tell you how much. I’ve never met you, or your beautiful angel, Owen, but I saw a post on Facebook and followed it here. I have one child, a little girl, just nine months old, whom we adopted last August. I cannot imagine no longer having her in my life, and since they first placed her in my arms when she wasn’t quite two days old, my world changed, reading things like your story – changed. I feel things more deeply – sorrow, joy, all of it. And I feel your sorrow. I cannot imagine it, but I feel it. I hope you’ll allow me to bear just a tiny part of your sorrow for you to help make your load a little easier. God be with you and your family. Amy, Dan & Ainsley Hardesty

  2. Claudine

    You dont know me. I followed a link from another blog. I dont usually respond to blog posts. I just had to. I have 4 months old twin girls and reading your posts of the last weeks just made my heart swell up with sadness for you and your family.
    You dont know me but I will remember your story. You dont know me… but now I know Owen and hos story… and I will remember him.
    Claudine
    xxx

  3. The world really was painted orange! I know that some ladies on Facebook were going to collect pictures uploaded from all of the people they knew around the country that were wearing orange yesterday for Owen. It’s AMAZING.
    I never know what the “right” thing to say is, but I wanted to say something to let you know that we are here for you and supporting you, so I simply am saying what I feel. I hope that is okay! I am so glad that Owen had a warrior’s ceremony, he so deserved that! You deserved that! You have been so strong and your faith so unwaivering through all of this. You are such an amazing person. And you will prevail. You will get up each day and spend time with your boys and love what you have. You will always miss little Owen. Always. And it will hurt. But you will never ever forget him. Many many ((((HUGS)))) your way on the first day of the rest of your life. Continuing to pray for you and your family, today and always.

  4. My heart is breaking as I read this. I am so, so sorry you had to go through that. I have never seen such strength as I have seen in you and your husband as you have blogged about your experiences. I know there will be many, many rough days ahead and I pray that God continues to give you strength, peace, and comfort. May He continue to surround you with an out-pouring of love and support as the Body of Christ reaches out to comfort you during this time.

  5. Diana Rose

    I’ve been wearing orange a lot this week, and my room is orange. I think of your warrior son all the time now. His face will forever be engraved in your memory, etched and chiseled in the depths of your heart. His fragrance is always there with you. Prayers for you.

  6. Sandie Pfeiffer

    Mel and Doug:

    Just have to respond to this heart wrenching post to let you know how amazing the funeral was yesterday for your little Warrior Owen. You made him very proud of his amazing parents and he will be forever with you as your own very special Angel. He is also living on in 2 other children so he is not gone. Why he had to make this sacrifice at such a young age, we will never know, but God chose his life to make a difference in the world. Just the fact that you have people responding to your blog from all over the world, is a testimony of his being special. His picture will be forever in your minds and hearts.

    There is nothing anyone of us can say that will ease your pain but God will surround you and help your family during this difficult time .

    The service was just beautiful and you did the best job possible of honoring Owen.

    As one of your church family, we will continue to pray for your family and be there for you if there is any small thing we can do other than contribute to his memorial.

    God Bless You and Hold You

  7. kimberly

    Melissa,

    Again, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks as I read your posts.

    You will see Owen’s face again in Heaven. Doesn’t that make you look forward to being there so much more? How great our God is for creating a place that we can live with Him and our loved ones for all of eternity! Praise the Lord – Owen is already there, waiting.

    The rapture could happen tomorrow. God may appear with the sound of a trumpet to bring us home. Or next week. Or next month. You may not have to wait long to see your sweet Owen’s face. One thing is certain, Owen won’t be waiting long to see him mama again because Heaven is timeless.

    Look to God, lean on Him, look forward to seeing your sweet boy in Heaven where you will live together with him forever with the rest of your family.

    I pray that God gives you a peace that surpasses all understanding, a peace that only He can give.

    Love in Christ,
    Kimberly

  8. You are strong, so strong. You are a warrior yourself and you will make it through this, although never the same. You are still a triplet mom with 4 children, only one is an angel now. And Owen has never been as proud of you as he was yesterday and will be from this point forward. You are simply amazing. Rest in peace sweet baby boy! The world has forver been painted orange for you!

  9. Kimberly

    There are no words to ease your heartache, but please know that so many think of you and pray for you. I read your blog for the first time yesterday; it was linked to a blog I read regularly. Though it is a little late, I wore orange today. A small, silent tribute to such a strong life. I will continue to pray that God brings you comfort.

  10. Melissa

    I’m a Mom of 7 (including a 2 week old) in Southern Wisconsin. I just wanted to say how deeply sorry I am for your loss of your beautiful son. I know that I don’t have any words I can say that will magically take your pain away, but please know that our family of 9 is lifting your family up to God.

  11. Melanie

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My heart is breaking for you. I can’t begin to imagine the pain you are feeling. It’s comforting to know you are a believer … He will be with you every step of the way.

  12. Julianne

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Your pain and agony are so apparent and my heart truly goes out to you. As a mother, there is no greater tragedy that I could imagine than my child leaving me to go to heaven before the time that I see fit. (i.e. as an old, old man after living a long life..isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?) Nothing you’ll be told will make you feel less empty, I’m sure. But continue to remind yourself of all of the wonderful things Owen did in his short little life and in his death. He was part of the wonderful package that brought you his 2 brothers. He was able to give the gift of life to other people in his death. And the best of all, he is sitting in Jesus’ lap with angels, looking down on your family, protecting all of you. Maybe this is why God put him on this earth, to become one of your family’s protectors. I’d like to think so. When you’ve healed a little, read “Heaven is for Real”. It will put a smile in your heart and give you wonderful, peaceful images of where Owen is today. I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss and I will be praying for you daily.
    Love, Julianne, a fellow mother and a pediatric nurse

  13. Jessica

    We all had ourorange on honoring your little warrior! The service sounds like and amazing tribute to an amazing little boy. May god and Owen help heal today and all the days yet to come. You and your family will be on my mind every day for the rest of my life. You are an inspiration to us all. Hold your head high and know that Owen is so proud your is mommy!

  14. Valerie

    Mel,
    You don’t know me but I have been reading your blog this last week. My heart aches for you and your family. My niece passed away when she was just one week old. I have watched my sister feel a lot of the same emotions. I wish I could say something that could heal the hole in your heart, the ache in your arms, I know that only time will lessen the pain. I know that God loves each and everyone of his children. He will give you the opportunity to raise Owen, you will be able to hold him in your arms again, even if it is not in this life. Know that Owen loves you, you are his mother and when you are at your lowest be still and feel him next to you, he will be there .

  15. I have never met your family have been following your story. I could never begin to understand your grief or feelings but know many, many people now know how wonderful Owen was in his way too short time here on Earth. Know that it’s OK to say it’s horrible and unfair because it is. No one should have to survive their child . I also have triplets so I can understand how your new world is going to be so difficult. Tonight, my triplet boys will pray again for your Owen and your entire family.

  16. Katie

    Although my boys and I only wore orange for one day for Owen…he is painted in our hearts forever! For a little guy who never even “walked” on earth…he sure did leave big footprints!!

  17. Tracy

    I am yet one more person who your story has touched. You didn’t ask to be a mother of multiples, but God chose you for that amazing job. You also didn’t ask to be the mother of an angel, the mother of an angel who gave the gift of life to others and whose story has touched so many people. I am so sorry you have had to endure such pain. I am the mother of twin girls, and I just can’t fathom how you are expected to go on without your Owen, and yet somehow you have to. I wish there was something I could say but I know my words are hollow. Just know that I, along with so many people you will never meet, are praying for you and that your beautiful Owen will carry on through all of the lives he has touched.

  18. monica hopping

    Take it one day at a time. That’s all i can say. One day, one step.
    It will get better, let that be your mantra.
    Don’t push yourself too hard, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
    Keep your strength, courage, and sense of humor in tact… but let the feelings come and go as they please… there’s no controlling them… and why should you!
    I hope only the best for you and your family and every bit of my energy is being sent to you to uplift yours.
    Best wishes, many prayers, and much love,
    Monica

  19. Scott and Sheri

    Mel and Doug you came to mind as soon as I woke this mornig. I often find the day after to be harder than the funeral. It is when reality begins to hit, and others go on with daily life. I placed Owen’s picture on my night stand to remember. I want to remember to pray for your family daily as you move forward. Thanks for sharing Owen’s story and your story too. There is something special about words that help others to put things in perspective. Thanks for letting us walk with you in the journey, we will continue to walk with you.

  20. Susan

    You will see his face again, and he will be even more beautiful than you remember him. I have a feeling he’ll be the first to welcome you when you reach heaven. God is taking care of him now, and I know He is also taking care of you. May He bless you and your family. My family and I continue to pray for you. Your story has touched me in a profound way, and I am awed by your strength.

  21. Kristin

    I saw your blog through a friend’s facebook post and have been following your posts for the past week. First, I am so sorry for your loss. Second, you are the most beautiful person I think I have never met. Your children are so lucky to have you as a mother and role model. You touched me. I don’t know you, I don’t have any kids. I can’t relate to your situation but still, I am inspired by you. I admire your strength, ability to share your intimacies and the hope that you give other people through your writing. Your writing is beautiful. The fact that you wrote during this time is beautiful. Through sleepness nights and days with little hope, you wrote. Through sadness and despair, you wrote. I hope you continue writing– through the days that you are strong, the days that you are weak and hope that you will soon have happy days to write about. There are thousands of people out there who are pulling for you and your family, including me. I wore Orange yesterday for Owen and I am in California. I couldn’t help but notice every spec of Orange around me yesterday and think about Owen and you and your family. Owen was put on this Earth for a reason, a reason you may not know, just yet. Today is the first day of a new life for you and I have no doubt that you will conquer each day ahead with Owen’s warrior mentality!

  22. Harlowe

    I found your blog from another blog that I have been following since the loss of my friend’s baby to SIDS in February and I was surprised to see that you are also in Wisconsin. I have to say, I am so sorry for you loss. Owen is such a perfect beautiful baby, and he is so blessed to have such a loving family thinking about him all the time. I hope God brings you some peace in this horrible tragedy, and I hope it also brings peace to know that he will live on not only in your heart but also in the bodies of other people. Again, I am so sorry, praying for your family.

  23. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    ~DearSarah

  24. Mary

    My heart ached for you as I read this post. I am praying for you, one mother to another, that God grants you peace and comfort. That you find some comfort in knowing Owen is in Jesus’ embrace … even though we both know you’d prefer he be in your arms.

    My boys and I wore orange yesterday and got some questions about it. I told them about Owen. I didn’t think you’d mind if I shared your boy with my little world. (((hugs))) to you.

  25. Jeanette Mercado

    Oh Mell,
    My heart just aches for everything that you have gone threw. I am so sorry for what you had to go threw yesterday. I’ve always said a mother should never have to burry a child. I knwo this was one of the hardest things ever to do. God bless u Mel, Doug and kids. I know going home without Owen is going to be something so hard to get over. I don;t think I would ever be able to handle something like this. I have a 1yr old baby boy who I just love with all my heart and soul, after reading and following your blogs for the past week I’ve just been so sad. Owen was beautiful. You guys did not deserve this. God is giving you all the strength to move forward. God bless his 3 other bothers and hopefully they will understand one day why God took little Owen. I wore Orange yesterday in his honor. May he rest in peace. We love you all so much and have your whole family in our prayers and thoughts. God Bless. I will continue to check your blogs. I was waiting for this one all day. I will always be here if you ever need anyone to talk to, as I;m sure everyone that reads this will.

  26. I am so sorry for you loss. I know at the time it might not make you feel better…but you will see your little boy again when the time is right. I read your blogs and I can’t stop crying. Thank you for blogging about your experiences. May God bless you and your family in this hard time. And as it will be rough for you and your family, just know he is looking down on you, your husband, and your beautiful boys you have with you. Again sorry for you loss.

  27. patters

    My heart also aches for you and your family. I cannot imagine how difficult today is for you. I also don’t know you but feel as though I do, I was touched by your story and went all the way back to the beginning of your blog and read about all the wonderful memories and times with your all your boys. I shared your story with my husband and he also wore orange yesterday and I put an orange polo onesie (much like the ones the triplets wore in the Easter photo shoot) and jeans on my little guy. It was the first time in A LONG time that he didn’t poop through an outfit. I am thinking that Owen maybe had a little something to do with that. So thank you Owen, Tucker’s mom and his wash machine appreciate a day without blowouts 🙂
    I will continue to pray for your family and also to read your blog hoping to share in the happy stories of how the boys grow up learning about the impact that their Owen had on the world. May The Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face upon shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May He look upon you with favor, and give you peace. Amen.

    patty

  28. I first heard of your story through a triplet mom’s group on Facebook. I read through your blog crying and my heart breaking. You are such an extraordinarily strong and brave woman. I have an 8y/o, a 3y/o, and GGB triplets that will be one on the 9th. Our thoughts were with you and your family yesterday. Know that the Hayes’ family from Rochester, NY was wearing orange for your little warrior. Thank you for sharing your story and for letting us know your beautiful baby Owen.

  29. Kate

    Mel,
    As we drove home from the visitation, my 7 year old caught my eye in the rear view mirror and said, “I feel so sad for his mom and dad”. I told him that when he feels that way he should pray to God for Owen’s mommy and daddy to feel less sadness in their hearts. We prayed in the van, in the traffic, and we hope that some of our words were heard and can help.
    I have not experienced your tragedy. I miscarried a baby, which is a different loss, and all I can say is that it really sucks. When it comes down to it, it just sucks. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it can’t ever change. Please, let yourself be mad, let yourself be weak, let yourself be whatever you are feeling. Letting it out and giving it up to God is the best way to move on to the new normal. There will be lots of happiness and love in your future, I can tell that just from your blogs. There are so many people ready to help you, ready to send you love, ready to pray for you and your family. Ask, and we will do what we can…

  30. Amy

    We do not know each other but your family is often in my thoughts and always in my prayers. I found your blog through my cousin on Facebook last week and have been following your journey. Your strength and grace amaze me. I have asked my friends and family to pray for yours in the days ahead. May your memories give you peace at this time.

  31. Danielle

    I too first heard of your story through a triplet mom’s group on Facebook. My tears run down my face as I read the posts. My heart hurts for you and your family. I’ve written and rewritten several comments to your blog the past week …. never posted any of them because they seem so pointless, useless in the face of what you are experiencing…a loss so great that my words feel insufficient. You are such a strong woman, mother to share with us so honestly your raw emotions. You and your family are in my thoughts and I hope that the love and support from countless strangers in some small way helps you cope with the pain of losing precious warrior Owen. The Nelson triplets wore orange for Owen yesterday and the color will forever remind me of him and your love and strength.

  32. Teri

    Owen”s funeral service was amazing more laughter than tears.Almost everyone had on orange….shirts, scarves, jewelry, ties you name it….all different shades too. It was beautiful. So many pictures of Owen and his brothers and family. I did not stand in line to view Owen….I wanted to remember him in his pictures. The service was moving. It was a tender moment when Doug carried Owen’s casket to the front of the church, in front of a large picture of Owen. The service was a tribute to little Owen. When you and Doug spoke it brought tears to my eyes, you had so much love to share for your son. The video of Owen certainly showed what a cute little guy he was! The music was soothing. I just was so glad I could be there.! Everyone seemed to hold it together until we had to sing “This little light of mine”. Not a dry eye in the place! I felt like I had to do something so I baked and baked to bring something to the reception. Good thing since there were a lot of people there. All in all it was a beautiful, tender tribute to Owen. Thank you for sharing this important event with all of us. Remember everyone is praying for you as you go back to a new routine without Owen. May God watch over you and bring you peace.

  33. Amy

    Melissa – Shortly after I read your most recent entry, I walked out my back door to water flowers while my boys napped. I had barely set my feet down on the step when a monarch butterfly flew right past my nose. He landed on a chair nearby for a moment and I thought about how happy and carefree and…ORANGE he was! In the last week or so, thinking of Owen and your family has brought me to tears. Today, thinking of Owen as I saw this beautiful creature made me SMILE. I believe God uses things in our world around us as symbols to bring us messages of peace – maybe when you see a bright, orange, monarch butterfly you can be reminded that Owen is happy and carefree with “wings” of his own in Heaven. I know he is smiling down on you!

  34. I just heard about your story early this morning. I am a fellow triplet mom and my heart just breaks for you. We are a day late, but we are wearing some orange in honor of your precious little man. He reminds me so much of my boy triplet. So chill. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you begin this new journey.

  35. CJ

    My daughter is two days younger than your boys. I found you through Linus’ moms. My heart goes out to you. Losing a child is a hell no mother should ever have to experience…which I also know first hand. So I want to give you a small piece of that music you spoke about in a previous post. Owen was a beautiful child. His pictures have brought smiles to my face and tears to my eyes. What a wonderful testament of His love. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Fly high, Owen. It is VERY apparent you were greatly loved.

  36. Amy

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I only found your blog last night, but I sent my daughter to daycare today with orange on. You and your family are in my prayers.

  37. Aleigh

    I work with your cousin perry and he shared your incredibly sad story with me. I am so sorry for your loss. Owen was very lucky to have such amazing parents and family. Your faith and strength is so amazing to me. I lost an unborn baby last august and it took me many months to accept it but your faith and strength gives me and others hope. Thank you for sharing your story and precious Owen with us.

  38. Amber

    My thoughts and prayers continue to be with your family during this difficult time. My son Colt and I wore Orange for Owen yesterday. I’m so happy to know that do many people went to the church to honor Owen. May he rest in peace and live on through all he has touched.

  39. sherry merritts

    dear Mel n family,

    there will be many dark and tear filled days ahead, but i feel that in time, you will have figured out something to do, so that Owen will always be remembered. you already fought so hard to have his organs donated, but there is a lot more to your story. just give yourself, your husband and boys time to heal and take a deep breath. owens story is not done, but only just begun ! prayers and God bless all of you !

  40. Katie

    You don’t know me, but I just want to say how sorry i am. I followed a link on facebook and started to read your blog last night and just finished it. I just want to say I will always remember Owen and his story. I know that his brothers will always remember him. Owen is looking down from Heaven and watching out for all of his family. I want to say again that I am soooo sorry for your loss, he will always be remembered.
    Katie

  41. Michelle

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I lost one of my triplets at the age of 16 months; due to an awful accident here at home. Our little Jacob will always be in our heart. He always lite up any room he went in; always a smile on his face. I miss him dearly and would do anything to have him back; but I know GOD had plans for my little Jacob. When we first found out I was pregnant; we were told we were having Twins; at 22 weeks; we found out we were having Triplets. We were so excited but also scared at the same time. Wow it was amazing to see all three of them after they were born; Baby A Identical Boy, Baby B Identical Boy and Baby C Girl. The were born at 36 weeks with no problems and went home with my husband and I 4 days later when I was released from the hospital.
    Again my heart goes out to you; I feel your pain and it’s a long journey ahead of you and your family. I’m here if you need to talk. God Bless you and your family.

  42. My heart is breaking for you and your family. Words are simply not enough. I wish there was more that I could do. Just know that a stranger in Seattle, WA., is thinking of you, Owen, and your entire family.

  43. Sarah

    You don’t know me, I’m a friend of Kari Boerst. She and I work together at Froedtert Hospital. She told me about your family, I am so sorry. I found this blog on her facebook page and read your journal entries. You brought me to tears with your kind and moving words about your son and family. It was amazing to hear about all the orange people wore in rememberance of your son. The power of prayer can do amazing and wonderful things. I lost my first husband to cancer 9 years ago. I had so many wonderful people in my life to help me through and it sounds like you do as well. I will keep your family in my prayers,and hope you find peace. Just know that your little warrior is sitting with our father in the place that he needs to be. God Bless. Sarah Nickel

  44. I am sending prayers, I have no doubt you made Owen very proud. You write your emotions so well. I have walked in your shoes, I my little girl at just 9 days old, the smallest of my quadruplets. You will have a new normal, there will come a day when you wont choke back tears at the mention of his name, talking about hime will get easier, for me, the pain of the loss is still as deep (2.5 years since), but talking is easier. Talk about Owen everyday to everyone you meet and remember the next time you see him you get to hold him forever and never have to let him go again.

    God Bless You All.

    Continued prayers,

    Mary

  45. Amanda

    My heart goes out to your family. I have cried and prayed for you guys every day since I read your story. I am also a mother of triplets & I cannot begin to imagine life without one of them. I dressed my girls in orange yesterday in rememberance of Owen… and I will always think of him when I see that color.

  46. C.H.

    Melissa,
    I was there at the funeral last night but you dont know who i am. I was at the dinner, but we didnt talk. I wish i couldve ran up and hugged you but i felt quite small in the sea of orange that knew you personally so well. I came to keep jake occupied, and most of all to support your son. I sat in the far back and heard you say such strong words and you inspired me and i wanted to let you know that. You were smiling after the funeral at the brewhaus. I just looked at your happy face and felt like whatever my life threw at me, i could be strong through, and smile. You dont know me. But you most likely will in the future. Today i debated with a 54 year old friend of my fathers about abortion and the thought made me sick at how someone could kill there baby after what you have suffered. Sorry for rambling, but i want you to know you inspire me melissa. You do. Stay strong, i know you can. God bless you and your family.

  47. Leah Huber

    I am praying for you and your husband and children, praying to everything I believe in, praying you will cope and keep going until you begin to reconcile your new world. I am sending you love. Leah, fellow mommy of triplets.

  48. Keri

    What a wonderful sight it must have been to see the sea of orange at the service for your little man yesterday. I will think of Owen every time I see orange now and he will be remembered by so many. He and your family have touched so many lives and continue to do so by sharing his story. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful boys! You will see Owen again and until then you will see him in so many things everyday…the smiles and hugs of his brothers, your memory and those precious pictures you hold so dear. I think of you often and wish you well on your journey. Keri, NY

  49. Be bless and may God be with you and your family! I’m praying for you, your husband and children. Death is hard to deal with but, may God comfort you!

  50. Rachel Cummingh

    Melissa,

    I am so incredibly grateful to you for sharing this experience with all of us. I pray that I can be a strong and faithful mother like you one day if I have children.

    We all have a purpose in life – whether big or small – wow do big things come in small packages sometimes! Not only has Iwen given the gift of life to three other people who can go on to touch the world, but your story has affected so many. Owen had a very big mission and I get chills thinking about the ripple effect his life with have on the world.

    Thank you for sharing this precious gift with us.
    Rachel in Madison, WI

  51. Tamara Whelan-Malone

    You literally painted the world Orange. People from every state wore the color proud and posted for everyone to see. That is just a small testament to the lives you and your Owen have touched. Although you now only have photos, your son will live on in perfect memory in your heart in your soul and in his brothers. My wish for you is that you see a little piece of him everywhere you go, in everything you do. That he comes to you daily to remind you he is always with you. My wish is that you feel enveloped in his spirit and comforted in his memory. Hold on warrior momma, you are going to make it through this. It may take a lifetime, but you all will be together again. Still praying…

  52. De

    My kids and I wore orange for Owen and had oranges for snack. We hope we made him smile!

    Peace,
    :)De

  53. Teresa

    We’ve been thinking about all of you non-stop…I wish we could have shared in celebrating Owen’s memory by wearing our orange in person with you yesterday, but we did here in Tulsa. 🙂 Wishing for peace to engulf you in these days ahead…your family and story has touched our lives forever. Continuing to lift you up!! ❤

  54. Mandie

    Melissa
    I found your story through another blog. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain you and your family are going through. I sit here and cry for a child I will never know but that has had a big impact on my life. I have twin boys and can’t imagine what would have happened had I lost one of them. The concerns you share are valid. Not wanting people to mistake the fact that your remaining boys are twins. Even the thoughts of how much easier it is going to be now. It is all okay and all a way for you to cope and get through this. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I didn’t get to wear orange on the day of his funeral because I was not aware of him but tomorrow I will wear orange!

  55. Donna

    Someone else already said it perfectly…I dont know you , nor Owen but you and He have impacted mylife in such a huge way. That is his legacy. He came to you, to us for this…to do this…to bring all these people together. What an amazing task for such a small boy huh? You should be proud. You are amazing, your job here is not done..you still are Owen’s mommy and his memory and what he has done in his short life will live on through you. God bless you all.

  56. Heather

    My heart breaks for you in the loss of your precious Owen. I read about your blog on The Triplet Connection. I’m the mother of quadruplet boys, and you’ve been in my prayers since I first read your story. I wore orange for Owen in Alabama. Owen’s short life has touched many, and the testimony of your faith will resonate through the hearts of many. Prayers to you and your family.

  57. Gabrielle

    Thank you for sharing this and your thoughts from today. I pray, somehow, each of your posts I read will lift even a little burden off you and replace it with a feeling of peace.
    I am so very sorry you have lost your precious baby boy. I pray for your comfort.
    We continue to leave a soft light on for your brave little warrior Owen.

  58. Sheri

    Dear Bissing Family;
    Did you ever hang onto something for years on end and wonder why? It has no purpose and I certainly would not wear it anywhere!!! But yet , the old faded orange t-shirt with the bleach spot always ended up back in my drawer.After reading warrior Owens story, I also wanted in some small way to honor this child who was truely a gift from God. But what could I do? Then came the ah-ha moment!!!!! So the search began for the old raggity faded t-shirt ( complete with the bleach spot). I found it crumpled in the corner of a seldom used dresser drawer, and proudly put it on. Although it didn’t look very good, it was ORANGE and that is all that mattered.First stop( yes, I did wear it out as I ran errands) was the grocery store, where my only purchase was—— A big ORANGE. Next stop was Mc Donald’s for my favorite frappe—- oh wait, I”ll have an ORANGE soda instead. Upon walking into Menards I got some wierd looks and then realized that the bleach spot was a perfect CIRCLE. How cool was that— a circle that I believe stood for Owen. I finally had found the reason that I hung onto that faded orange shirt for so many years.
    God bless you Bissing Family— you are all such an inspiration.
    Rest in peace Baby warrior Owen
    P.S My old shirt was laid to rest in honor of your precious child

  59. Nikki S.

    Melissa, the world was sure painted orange, here is a link of a video we made for your Owen. We all think of you and your family everyday and on June 1st, more then ever. Our babies were in orange and here is just a small preview of how much we care and love Owen.

  60. Jayne

    Bissing Family:

    We’ve never met, but I wanted to add my condolences to the loss of your handsome warrior, Owen. I grew up in Green Bay, and now reside in the Fox Valley, and have been following your story since reading Owen’s tribute obituary in the Press Gazette. My prayers and tears are with you as you navigate this difficult time adjusting to becoming a family of five instead of six, here on earth. While no one can understand why this was God’s will, take comfort in the fact that your three sons have the best guardian angel. You have been raised up in prayers in so many hearts across the nation, and I wish you God’s guiding grace as you work through this difficult time. My two daughters, age 3 and 1, wore orange in honor of Owen several times this past week. Stay strong and take lots of time to grieve and hold your boys. I will be thinking and praying for you.

    Sincerely~
    Jayne Vosters
    Freedom, WI

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  62. Tina Tessar

    I wore orange that day an thought of baby Owen an the family all day. My prayers an thoughts are with you an your family. Mel you are such a strong women I know that I could never be as strong as you if I had to bury 1 of my children.

  63. Clare

    My little boy wore orange for your little boy. Strength, prayers and loving thoughts to you and your family at this horrendous time xx

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