Think of Melissa -- March 11, 1984 to September 22, 2002
In Collective Remembrance

January 30 | Cabin Games
Melissa use to come to our cabin at Caribou Lake. Alot of times we would play cards or games at night. We taught Melissa how to play Blood & Guts. It is a card game where you get two cards and bet on your hand. She would always bum money from Rodney & I to play. She was usually pretty reckless with her betting but she always seem to come out ahead at the end of the night. She would keep her winnings and the money she had bummed. She was kind of sneaky that way. I guess we were a bad influence teaching her to gamble... so it served us right :^)
Remembered by Jennifer | 3:16pm | 2 comments


January 29 | repayment
Driving home from errands last night, I remembered the week last march that Melissa spent in Fairbanks. I convinced her to come to work to help cut out thousands of laminated recipe cards. Then I took a few days off and we went all over town.

One night while at Damon's I let her take the car to run to my apartment to grab something she needed. She was taking an extremely long time and I worried that she had gotten lost. Only later when leaving Damon's for the night did I realize what took her so long: she had stopped at a gas station and filled up my tank.

It was one of the sweetest things she had done for me. I wish I could repay it.
Remembered by Valette | 11:03am | 2 comments


January 28 | The smallest things
It still amazes me the things that bring memories of Melissa flooding back. At work people tend to snack on microwave popcorn. Someone happen to burn some and it made me think of Melissa. She use to make microwave popcorn & drink orange juice. The only thing was she liked the popcorn burnt! I think she did it just so no one else would eat it. It would always smell so awful and I teased her about it....I would still like to...miss ya Mel
Remembered by Jennifer | 12:31pm | 0 comments


January 25 | Ponderings
Losing Melissa has been very painful for me. Adding to the trauma is having to watch the people I love experience the same pain. It's comforting to know I'm not alone, but I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
Remembered by Damon | 7:54pm | 0 comments


January 23 | Choc-o-holic
Rodney and Melissa are hands down the biggest chocolate fantics I have ever met. I started subscribing to Bon Appetit in 2001 and the Christmas time magazine had a chocolate cake on the front that looked so good I decided to try making it. It required 5 different kinds of chocolate and it was pretty much flourless. Of course I needed some experts on chocolate to try it, so I invited Mom & Dad and Melissa to come over & taste test. Mom & I could only eat half a piece because it was so rich...Dad ate his whole piece...Rodney & Melissa finished off the cake, all the while asking where the chocolate ice cream and syrup were! Masissa-I sure hope manna is made of chocolate!
Remembered by Jennifer | 5:01pm | 0 comments


January 21 | Denny's
One year I drove Melissa & Valette to Anchorage to go the the state fair. We went out to eat with John & Heidi and after much ado we ended up at Denny's over on Dimond. It took forever to get waited on, we tried to order a couple of things which they were out of, our waitress was extremely rude & it took a really long time to get our food. When it came it was awful!!! and to top it all off most of it was cold. I had ordered french toast and accidently, at first, spilled some syrup on the table. As the meal went on we started glueing dishes and salt & pepper shakers etc. to the table with syrup. Melissa thought it was the funniest thing and before the meal was over everyone was particpating. Our final act of stickiness was to leave the tip, a penny of course, stuck to the table in syrup. We laughed about it all the way home and everytime I would ask Melissa where we should eat when we were in Anchorage she would always laugh and say "Let's go to Denny's" :^)
Remembered by Jennifer | 4:16pm | 1 comments


January 17 | Empty Playground
Melissa, I've really been missing you a lot this week. I miss how being around you made me revert to a 5 year old. It didn't matter what people thought. We would be amused at the stupidest things and behave in the strangest ways. I felt like the world was a playground when you were around. Since your death the world is something much more scary and unsafe than I could have imagined. I miss you. I need you. My world will never be the same without you.
Remembered by Damon | 2:45pm | 2 comments


January 16 | seat of honor
When Melissa and I were little, the family got a coupon or something for a free family portrait. We got all dressed up and trekked down there. I think I was six or seven, she three or four (before we both got glasses).

As the photographer arranged and rearranged us for a kids-only shot, I remember desperately wanting to sit on Rodney's lap. I ended up sitting on his left. In a chair, no less.

Guess who sat on his lap.
Thatís right: Melissa.

I was so jealous and mad that she got to sit on his lap and I had to sit next to him.

That photograph still hangs on Mom and Dad's basement wall, and every time I see it, I think of how unjust it was that I had to give up that lap for her.

Looking through other family pictures prior to the funeral, I saw a nasty pattern unfolding.

Until she was about twelve, Melissa was perched on someone's lap. Rodney's, Dad's, Grandpa's - it didn't matter. She had the seat of honor, and I had bupkis.
Remembered by Valette | 7:18pm | 0 comments


January 14 | Riding
Melissa loved to snowmachine and it never matter what machine she was on. She started out on an old Kitty Kat that had seen alot of abuse from her older siblings, moved on to a Pantera that was just as beat up as the Kitty Kat all the while just content to be riding. She was hooked and needed a machine with more power and some suspension. She would try anything and she loved to switch machines. One ride last winter we had been riding everywhere and there was great powder, Melissa & I traded machines. She was on her Phazer and I was riding my 700 Mtn Max which has quite a bit more power but also weighs quite a bit more. She had been jumping & just having fun on it when we went across a sidehill & she had a hard time because the machine is pretty heavy. She ended up on her side under a spruce tree...laughing and mad all at the same time. We had to cut the tree down to get the machine out. I wish she were here to get stuck under another tree...or stuck anywhere for that matter :^) Love ya Melissa
Remembered by Jennifer | 3:46pm | 0 comments


January 10 | The New Car
The Rodeo...Black, Bold, Badass. We drove by that car everyday when it was for sale over at Walrath's, never even noticed it. One day, James Parker told us of this amazing SUV that he just HAD to have...the Rodeo. I think that very night, Missa decided that it was to be hers and asked Val about it. Probably two days later it was hers. I don't know if she actually liked the car at first or just decided that James couldn't have it, but she did look good in it! :) AND THOSE STUPID SEATCOVERS!!! She OBSESSED over finding those seatcovers for months! And when we finally find some...she can't decide on those or the cheetah print ones! PICKY PICKY! :) I miss her so much!
Remembered by Carrie | 2:49am | 3 comments


January 09 | Think of Melissa
For Melissa's service we all wanted to have some music that reflected how we felt as well as celebrating Melissa's life. I was in the shower when I remembered a song by Christopher Cross called "Think of Laura". I found it on an old album...yes vinyl record...we played it and decided it would be perfect if we could find the music. Damon searched the internet and was unable to find it so he sat down with a recording of it and listening to it over and over was able to play it on the piano and Bridger played it on the guitar. Knowing none of us would be able to play or sing it at the service, Damon & Bridger went to the church to practice and record it. In the end, Damon, Bridger, Rodney and I recorded it and it was played with a wonderful picture presentation of Melissa's life during the service. I think about the song often...

Think of Melissa

Every once in a while I’d see her smile
And she’d turn my day around
A girl with those eyes could stare through the lies
And see what your heart was saying

Think of Melissa, but laugh don’t cry
I know she’d want it that way

A friend of a friend
A friend ‘til the end
That’s the kind of girl she was
Taken away so young
Taken away without a warning

Think of Melissa, but laugh don’t cry
I know she’d want it that way

I know you and you’re here
In every day we live
I know her and she’s here
I can feel her when I sing

Hey, Melissa, where are you now
Are you far away from here
I don’t think so
I think you’re here
Taking our tears away

Think of Melissa, but laugh don’t cry
I know she’d want it that way
When you think of Melissa laugh don’t cry
I know she’d want it that way

Remembered by Jennifer | 4:08pm | 0 comments


January 09 | State Fair
I was just looking at some old pictures of us at the fair together in Palmer in 2000. It was awsome I finnaly had someone to ride the rides with me. She made me go on all the rides I was afraid of...of course! We went on the "Gravitron". Uhhh..I get the chills just thinking about it. My mom would never let me ride it before because she had heard that someone had gotton hurt on it, but of course Mel and I convinced her to let me go. Oh man do I regret that!!! Well after that horrifing ride she made me (literallly) get on the swings. I keep telling her that I would get sick but she was always like no way you'll be fine......yeah right! Just at the end where we started slowing down I felt stomach saying "I Told You So"! I told her and she started laughing at me! We got off she pulled me out of the ring and then I "Projectile Puked" right at her and she jumped out of the way it hit right smack dab in the trash can, and of course leave it to Melissa to embarass me even more "ewww, you almost hit me" while laughing her head off. Oh man I miss you but not the puking! love you.
Remembered by Misti | 2:22pm | 0 comments


January 09 | Dinner
We all know Melissa had strange eating habits, especialy when she was younger. Bread, Dip bars, candy, and cheese were the substances that kept her alive for the first few years I knew her. As she got a little older she became a little more adventureous and began to try a few new things. In August, Melissa and I drove to Anchorage and went to the Sourdough Mining Co for dinner as we both love the corn fritters they serve there. Looking over the menu to decide what to eat we decided on munchies instead of dinner. We ordered some corn fritters and some nachos. I was not surprised about the nacho request due to the chips and cheese. What surprised me was when the nachos came they had bbq meat and black beans on them (neither of us read the despriction on the menu, after all nachos are nachos...right) and Melissa ate half of them! I made nachos last night and thought about how glad I was we shared that dinner.
Remembered by Jennifer | 11:53am | 0 comments


January 07 | Ice Park
It's freezing today and it made me think of the ice park. Every spring (spring being a loose term up here) people come from around the world to create beautiful sculptures in ice.

When Melissa was visiting for spring break we all (Bridger, Valette, Damon, Dana and Melissa) debated going to the Ice Park. We finally decided to go and did we have fun! We started the tour in the Kiddie Park (of course). We went through the ice maze, slid down the ice slides, climbed on the ice train, tried to ride on the ice merry-go-round (it was frozen stuck, go figure) and basically had a really great time.

At one point Melissa and Bridger climbed through the "ice worm" - a hollow, long, square tube of ice. I took this fabulous picture of Melissa looking up through the clear ice - she had this great smile and looked like she had been frozen in an ice cube.

We walked through the rest of the park and admired all the art - people really have great imaginations! We ended up not going back that evening to see all the sculptures lit by colored lights.

I'm so glad now we made the decision to go to the park. We have wonderful pictures and I have this great memory of Melissa to hold on to. It scares me to think we almost missed the opportunity to make this memory.

Melissa, I love you and miss you very much.
Remembered by Dana | 3:27pm | 0 comments


January 06 | first boyfriend
Melissa's first boyfriend was named BJ. A few different times they were caught kissing behind the church after morning service.

She was 6, he 5.

Our mom watched him after school a few days out of the week. This time together brought them closer as a couple.

I found then one afternoon sitting with toys under the pool table upstairs. They were "french kissing" - their lips were pressed firmly together and they were each moving their heads from side to side.
Remembered by Valette | 2:02am | 2 comments


January 01 | constructing the Taj Mahal
One year for Christmas, Melissa and I had each gotten a 3D puzzle. Mine was of the Eiffel Tower, and hers was of the Taj Mahal.

I had mine completed in a few weeks with little help from anyone, though Melissa would sometimes sit by me and complain while I matched pieces.

Hers was going much slower and I offered to help, relishing the challenge of the four small towers and the domed roof of the Taj Mahal. I could see she was having great difficulty with it, but she would have rather tossed hers in the fire than have me help.

On a couple of afternoons I would sit down and place a few of her pieces without her knowing. At least I thought. I had put together so much of her puzzle that she knew I was working on it against her wishes.

That was a Christmas that Damon and Dana were visiting. She asked Damon if he would help her with the Taj Mahal, and he agreed.

I sat on the couch and watched her undo all of the pieces I had placed - the entire dome and a few towers. I did nothing, but neither did she. Damon put it all back together.
Remembered by Valette | 3:43pm | 0 comments


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