TELL US ABOUT YOUR STORY. HOW DID YOU MEET?
I was speaking at a college and career service event in March of 2007 when my husband saw me for the first time. It would be another eight months before we actually “met”. My husband came up to introduce himself to me during a church service in November of 2007. Our conversation was only 15 minutes but it was the beginning of our story together. In March of 2008, an entire year from the first time he saw me, he asked me for my phone number and we started talking to each other on the phone. I lived in California and he lived in Texas and we were in a long distance relationship until I got a job in Texas and moved there. We got married in August of 2009 and had two children, Malachi (born September 2010) and Hannah (born February 2012).
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND?
Mel was an amazing husband. We didn’t really exchange gifts for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries but we would write each other letters. I have hundreds of letters and cards from my husband that I cherish so much. He was so selfless in everything he did. He was an incredibly hard working man and would do anything for me. I could see in his eyes just how much love he had for me. He was an amazing father as well. My heart breaks that the time my children got to spend with him was so short. He got up with them in the middle of the night when they were babies. He stayed with them in the nursery at church so that I could hear the sermon. And as they grew older he continued to be an amazing father. He worked 60 hours a week, went to school full time and was part of the music team at church but family was everything to my husband. He could be found on the floor building forts with Malachi and Hannah. He would make the voice of their favorite cartoon characters. Their favorite thing was when Mel would put them on his shoulders and walk with them.
WHEN DID YOUR HUSBAND PASS AWAY?
Life was busy but going well for us and then in December of 2014 he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. My husband ended up receiving eight cycles of chemotherapy in 2015 and was in remission. The remission was short lived because in April of 2016 the cancer returned. He received six more cycles of chemotherapy in 2016 before becoming paralyzed as a result of the chemotherapy in September of 2016. Sadly, Mel passed away February 14, 2017.
HOW HAS HAVING YOUR HUSBAND IN YOUR LIFE FOREVER CHANGED YOURS?
There are so many things my husband taught me. Most of all, he taught me what living for God in the midst of difficulty looks like. My husband never complained when he was getting cancer treatment. Over the course of two years, he spent hundreds of days in the hospital. He was hooked up to chemotherapy at times for twenty-four hours. He was told multiple times negative reports from the doctors. He ended up paralyzed, unable to move his arms and his legs and was like that for 4 months. But he never complained. He was tired. He was hurting. But he was the strongest person I know. He spent two weeks out of every month in 2015 in the hospital getting chemo but when he was out of the hospital he would always attend church. In the middle of the night when he was at home I could hear him praying in our bedroom closet. Even when he became paralyzed I would wake up to hear him singing songs, worshiping God and praying. My husband was such a great example of someone who loved God. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, he declared that no matter what happened God was still good. And he lived those words every day for two years.
There are no words to adequately describe just how missed he is. But I am thankful that God called him home and ended his pain. As my daughter says, “In heaven, daddy doesn’t have cancer anymore and can walk again.”
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
MELCHOR (MEL) LIRA
1985 – 2017
If you would like to bear witness to the love your husband brought to your life then we would love to share your story here on the blog! Not only does writing your story honor your spouse and help aid in your own healing process but it also helps to encourage others just like you and me. For more information and to submit your story please click here.
To honor Melchor’s life make sure to share his story with others!