Community Block Party Helps Young Widow With Three Boys

By Marie Gilmore

Melanie Brockmeier is a young mom of three beautiful, healthy boys. She lives in FishHawk, works, plays, and seems to have a great life. But, the young mom lost her best friend and soul mate last year after a tragedy took his life too early and she only found out about her newest son, after her husband had passed. But, thanks to her neighbors, rallying around the family to host a community block party fundraiser, and her sister-in-law with the help of the Long Island Medium, she is satisfied that her husband is aware of their third son and is watching over the family.

The block party will be held June 21, 6-9 p.m. at 15858 Starling Water Dr. with silent auction, bounce houses and FishHawk’s own resident DJ, Jake Dela Cruz. Donations before the event are being accepted at Kids ‘R’ Kids FishHawk location.

Last September, the Brockmeier family went boating for the day. The kids were tubing when dad reached over to steady the rope attached to the tube and cut his foot on the anchor.

The cut required surgery and due to complications following the surgery, Brockmeier passed away at home.

The day of the funeral, Melanie wasn’t feeling quite herself and took a pregnancy test and discovered she was pregnant with the couple’s third child.

Noah Leon was born April 22, and Melanie, who lived with her husband in Bloomingdale, has now moved with some family to Starling in FishHawk and she would like to stay. Noah joins big brothers Brodie, 6 and Carson, 4.

The young couple did not have a will or life insurance when Leon passed away, so the upcoming block party fundraiser is making a big difference in the day-to-day needs for the young family.

“It all started with good friends Melissa Franklin and Cara Jahnke,” explains Melanie. “They came up with the idea of having an event and started contacting people in the community.” After a few calls explaining the situation, and with the help of Robert Greenwood and a few other FishHawk families, a giant block party event has been scheduled.

“I am currently out of work,” explains Melanie, who will return to her job at the The Vanguard School in August. “We didn’t have life insurance or a will when the accident happened and a trust fund was set up for the boys. The fund means the most to me.”

Melanie grew up  in Valrico, went to Durant High School and went away to Florida State. She met Leon, who grew up in the Tallahassee area and who received a full scholarship to play football at Northwestern University where he won championships as an offensive lineman and always played as number 67. The couple got married in 2006 and moved to the Bloomingdale area. Leon was a commercial realtor and football coach.

“If we could teach young couples anything,” said Melanie, “ It would be to live the best life that you can live and to be prepared because something could happen. We didn’t have a will, we didn’t have life insurance, we never in a million years thought something could happen. Be prepared as a family and have the important discussions.”

After Leon’s passing, Melanie started watching Long Island Medium on the Learning Channel. Her sister-in-law contacted the show before Noah was born and arranged for a reading with the show’s medium, Theresa Caputo, who was in Florida to film the season opening show for this year.

During the reading, Caputo confirmed that Leon knew about his third son and was watching over the family, which gave Melanie some comfort.

The episode is available at www.tlc.com. Contact Melanie at melaniebrockmeier@gmail.com.