Melanie’s Makers, friends, and family,
Made with Melanie, my feature documentary about my amazing wife, Melanie Ham, is finished and premiers on her Youtube channel Friday, July 29th at 8:00 am PST. –> https://youtu.be/4btY1aacgto
I’m so proud of this film, but I’m also very present in the fact that our whole family is trying to navigate this deep grief.
It’s a strange thing sharing such a personal experience with you all, but it’s something I and my family feel strongly we must do.
Creativity and Grief
I miss Melanie with all my being. Creating this film has helped me sort through so many of the wonderful memories I’ve had with her, and I hope this visual telling of our story will help some of you who love and miss her too.
A quick special thanks to my co-editor and long-time friend Tyler Gates. He really helped me go through footage, helped organize such a massive amount of content, and helped me craft the story. He was also in the trenches in a personal way as he knew Melanie and was a generous colleague to work through this trauma with. Love you, friend!
Good Things, and Hard Things
While I spend a good chunk of the film talking about the happy days of our early years, how she developed her business, and her passion for all things crafting, crochet, and quilting, there are moments in the film that may be hard to watch.
This documentary could be triggering for anyone who lost close ones to this insidious disease.
Inviting You Into Our Journey
It’s impossible to separate her tragic ending from her story. I filmed a lot during the last year of her life on my iPhone.
You’ll see private moments that we’ve never shared with anyone.
Some of these memories are painful and I’ve included some of the most vulnerable moments in my life. But I feel it’s important to share in order to see the magnitude of Melanie’s strength.
Some may wonder, “why would I film and share such intimate moments?”
First, as I discuss in the film, Melanie wanted her whole story told – including her cancer journey. She told me on many occasions that she trusted me to do it the right way.
Melanie signed off on all aspects of what we’re sharing here (which is why she allowed me to film everything).
Second, I’m a storyteller, and I’ve always believed the power of film is such an important way to remember those we love, honor the values they stood for and move that into action.
Lastly, our whole family has watched and approved this film.
A Legacy Beyond Cancer
Cancer is a horrible disease and sometimes as a society, we refuse to look at what it does. We look away from death.
My dear wife stared death right in the face and lived the best she could. Melanie is my hero and those of us still here can learn how to live better by witnessing her fierce fight for life.
Melanie lives on in our memories, by her family, by this film, and by the legacy she’s left to all of those who have followed her through the years and the lovely, amazing quilts, crafts, and other creations you continue to make.
I’d like to say a special thank you to Don and Lisa, Melanie’s parents, and their spouses Belinda and Larry. You have been so supportive, loving, and helpful through this process, you are genuinely part of our family and I appreciate you. I can’t imagine how hard this has been for you too. Love you.
Arms Around Family
Thanks to my mom and dad, Warren and Avah, and my sister Rachel and her husband Byron. Your immense support and love are truly how every family should be.
Thanks to A.J. and Claudia, Ashley and Dave, Gavin and Christina, and the rest of our family and friends for your undying support, the dinners, the gift cards, the babysitting, and the impromptu calls and cry sessions.
A huge thanks to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center team. I truly believe you gave me the most possible time with Melanie and you are all my heroes. Thank you for all you do.
Thanks to Pastor Todd Smith and the wonderful people at Crossroads Community Church.
Lastly, I want to thank all of Melanie’s Makers, followers, quilters, friends, and her whole internet community. Your love and support from all over the world really helped sustain us through some dark days.
Made with Melanie Ham
I know Mel would want to thank Jesus for welcoming her into his arms after a fight well fought.
Please enjoy the film. I hope you share it with others if it moves or inspires you. Much love to you all! For Melanie.
– Robert Ham and family
P.S. If you’d like to assist Melanie’s family, there’s a contribution PayPal link here. Your funds will help with remaining medical bills, children’s college funds, fruit popsicles for the kids, or a beer for Robert. 😉 Thanks for your generosity!
Wednesday 24th of August 2022
Thank you Robert for sharing the documentary about your wife Melanie. I just watched it tonight.also cried a lot of tears. What a beautiful soul she was.The love that you and her showed for each other was amazing. A friend of mine had the c.. word, it had no mercy.. and sometimes we just don’t understand. Just know their are people still praying for you and your family. God Bless
Monday 22nd of August 2022
Thank you for your documentary about the life of Melanie. Your beautiful wife gave so much of herself to others, including sharing her crocheting and sewing skills with the world. She has inspired me so much. I'm grateful her legacy lives on in her videos which I hope you will keep on YouTube so she can continue teaching people like me who just recently discovered her tutorials. God bless you Robert and family.
Tuesday 9th of August 2022
Thank you for sharing this incredible story. It must be so painful. I am a maker. I make quilts. Melanie's jelly roll quilt video gave me the knowledge and confidence to go for it, during the pandemic. Sewing kept me sane. I owe that, in part to Melanie's videos. Thank you. I'm so sorry for your enormous loss.
Monday 8th of August 2022
This is such a beautiful tribute and a reminder to love with all of your heart no matter what. I loved learning about the Alaska adventure - as I too am currently in Alaska, husband is on a 365, and I’m measuring the time in yardage, with crochet & quilting. Melanie’s Alaska sentiment made me laugh out loud - we said the same thing, anywhere but Alaska - but here we are! Hugs & support to the Ham Family!!!
Monday 8th of August 2022
This was such a beautiful story. Thank you all for sharing this. I cant stop crying. She was such an amazing, beautiful and inspirational person who spread so much love and creativity to many.