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

June 24 | Out to Sea
Melissa and I loved to swim in the ocean on warm summer afternoons. One particular dip in the Kachemak Bay stands out.

It was the weekend before our youth group was to leave for a mission trip to Mexico; it was mid-August. I was 17 and she 15.

I drove to the beach on the Spit, making sure we had plenty of towels for the drive back. We stopped about ten to twenty feet from the water’s edge and removed extra clothes, shoes, socks, and our glasses – as was our custom.

We waded into the water slowly, enjoying how the cold water was affecting the other’s facial expressions. When we waded in up to Melissa’s neck, we each took turns convincing each other to dunk our heads under.

We swam around for a little bit – the ocean was much too cold to stay in for too long – and then headed back towards the sandy portion of the beach to sprawl out and sun-dry.

When we got out of the water, we had a hard time finding our pile of stuff. While we checked the tide book and thought the tide was still going out, it had come back in. Our shoes and clothes were under only about six inches of water.

My glasses were gone.
We looked all over for them, but the tide had carried them off.

Since I am blind as a bat without my glasses, we decided that the best thing to do would be for Melissa to drive us back home and explain the situation to our mother.

Because she was too young to have her driver’s license, I stressed the entire way home. I nagged her about doing exactly the speed limit, stopping completely at stop signs, and not attracting attention when we passed police vehicles.

We made it home safely, and ended up going to Anchorage a day earlier than the rest of the youth group in order to try out a one-hour optical office and get me glasses for the trip to Mexico.
Remembered by Valette | 4:23pm | 2 comments


June 16 | Playing Dress Up
I remember having a lot of fun with Melissa and Valette when they were young. I would dress them up in Dad's shoes, Rodney's sunglasses, Marty's cap, the blanket from the back of the couch... I would then show them off to whomever would pay attention. I never played with dolls, but my sisters were the next best thing. I practiced my unique sense of fashion while they got to show off how cute they were. Everyone was happy.
Remembered by Damon | 6:22pm | 1 comments


June 07 | Rope Light
We recently received our stuff after moving. When unpacking I found Melissa's rope lights which she had lent me for my 30th Birthday Bash. They have become my outward way to express my grief. I turn them on whenever my mourning is particularly bad. Seeing them again brought on strong emotion. I've not been able to even consider where to put them because it brings on so many tears. In an odd way I feel reassured that I've not "gotten over" Melissa's death. I feel strangely comforted to know that her death and her life still have such an impact on me.
Remembered by Damon | 1:16pm | 1 comments


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