As many of you know a year ago today, we lost our dear friend and fellow co-founder of The Thinking Moms’ Revolution, Melanie Baldwin.
So many of you rallied to support her husband, Tim, and son, Luke. We cannot sufficiently express our gratitude for your kindness and generosity. A woman who could best be described as a flesh-and-bone-saint stepped up to help Tim care for Luke. Over the year she has blessed us with many joyful pictures and stories depicting a growing, thriving, happy little boy.
As we do every year at the AutismOne conference in Chicago, many of the Thinking Moms converged with the phenomenal moms of TEAM TMR, to plot world domination and discuss all things related to the health and healing of our amazing children. Over one of our lingering lunches, it was inevitable the topic turned to Mel.
“How is Luke doing?” One of the TEAM moms, asked. The energy immediately changed. We turned from our biting banter of vaccine court decisions and parental rights rallies to something so much more important, our beloved and departed fellow medical freedom fighter.
As the topic rose and deepened, our heads fell in unison in an automatic gesture of respect. We discussed what it was like producing the blog without her — the responsibility now squarely on the Prof’s shoulders. We talked about how she left us. We talked about the resilience of her family and how beautifully they were carrying on with life, despite the cavernous loss of the center of their family.
We were trying to fight back the tears, to remain positive. Many of us had speaking engagements after lunch, important think-tank discussions to attend. We had to hold it together. The energy shifted again. We turned from talking about her absence to discussing what her presence had contributed to all our lives. “She was so resilient; she fought so hard for recognition and acceptance in her church. She was so kind and respectful, but you did not want to mess with her. She was not going to roll over when it came to acknowledging what happened to Luke. She was not going to step back from the truth.”
Because of her steadfastness, we took our first book in an entirely different direction than we had originally planned. Her voice was a defining voice. She brought to us a particular brand of southern sophistication, genuine faith, grace and propriety that would have otherwise been lacking. She was so damn funny. No matter how we tried, we just could not get her to cuss.
She started the Revolution.
During these heartfelt acknowledgements, and our natural expression of gratitude for the privilege of having known her, a shining white butterfly flew across our table and promptly landed between the eyes of one of Mel’s biggest fans, International Ambassador for the Autism Hope Alliance, Heidi Scheer. After landing a smooch on Heidi’s nose, she literally disappeared, taking flight high above the umbrellas that shelter afternoon diners from the glaring sun.
“We love you, Mel!” The entire table shouted up to the sky, hoping our combined resonance would reach our butterfly friend.
We all gave our speeches with puffy red eyes, and runny mascara . . . just as Mel would have wanted us to.
~ The Rev
If you wish to donate to the fund for Melanie’s son, Luke, click here.
For more by The Rev, click here.