Longtime Westport resident Martin Mellin died on December 22, 9 days before his 68th birthday. He contracted COVID-19 while recovering from knee surgery in the hospital.
His son Ethan wrote this tribute:
Dad, I love you so much. Whether it was school, sports, music — anything — you were my #1 fan. You gave me everything I could ever need in life and more, just because you cared and to show me you loved me.
By high school, when my friends thought of you the first image that came to mind was your lawn chair on the sideline of one of my sports games. It was a running joke, but I see now that you took pride in your reputation, because it signified how present you were for every moment in my life.
As a kid, you were in that lawn chair for every baseball, football and basketball game since I could walk. You would beg to read my school essays — no matter how boring — just because you were proud.
As an adult, you always called me just to ask about my day, work, the stock market, Yankees, Giants, Kelsi, Lyla — it didn’t matter what we talked about.
“Just tell me what’s going on,” you would say. All you wanted in life was to see Jedd, Julia, and me be happy and be loved, because at the end of the day our family brought you more joy than anything else in the world.
I think that is the hardest part about losing you. There are so many beautiful things in our lives left to look forward to that I know would have made you so freaking happy. Julia’s high school graduation; the start of Jedd’s law career; retiring and growing old with Mom now that us kids are all grown up, Kelsi’s and my wedding. becoming a grandfather…
It’s hard to imagine a life where you aren’t around for these things, and it’s going to feel pretty empty for a while. But I know that we will all carry you deep in our hearts for the rest of our lives. So while it crushes my soul that we won’t have any more moments together in person, I have to remember that you will still be watching and loving on us every single day. I love you, Dad.
To “06880” readers:
Just as we thought he was better and days from coming home after knee surgery, things rapidly took a turn for the worse.
On December 16 my dad was placed on a ventilator. That night was the last time I got to hear his voice.
Six days later he passed, suffering no physical pain.
In the US, 3,238 other lives were cut short by this pandemic the same day as my dad. Like him, each of those numbers is a person — someone with a story, a family, friends, a future they will no longer see.
It breaks my heart. We are so close to the end of this awful year, but we can’t become complacent and give up on the things that we know will save lives — that will prevent even just one more story like this one.
Wear a mask. Social distance. Be with family if you can do so safely, but don’t let the pain of missing your loved ones today potentially lead to a lifetime without them.
I would sacrifice anything in the world to have one more day with my dad.
What would you sacrifice to be with yours?
Marty Mellin is survived by his wife Nisa, sons Jedd (Staples High School Class of 2012) and Ethan (Staples ’14), and daughter Julia (Staples ’21).
(Hat tip: Jeff Mitchell)