Melanie’s Makers, friends, and family,
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 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!