This page is dedicated to my Angel!
I would like to share some of my beautiful memories of this special young lady who touched my life so deeply!
I baby sat Melissa for two years while her Mother worked. During this time, we formed a bond that not many grandparents are lucky enough to have with a grandchild. Early every morning, her Daddy would bring her (wrapped in a comforter), to the door, and I would exclaim, "Oh, another UPS delivery!" She would giggle inside the blanket and then we'd go lay on the bed...we sometimes fell back asleep, and sometimes lay there talking. She was just learning to talk, so I recorded most of our conversations. I told her nursery rhymes so many times, that she was able to tell them back to me. Her favorites were..."Jack & Bill", and "Humpy Dumpy". I taught her the alphabet, and made up silly stories for her. Her very favorite one was "The Magic Mouse", a silly ditty shared only by the two of us. One time when she fell, I told her I planned to replace all my sidewalks with marshmallows...so that she wouldn't skin her knees when she fell. She giggled about that, and reminded me of it whenever she fell. We made SO many memories in that two years... and I thank GOD for every one!!!
"Morning visit to Gram's"
Melissa loved babies...and young children. At the time of her death, she was a teacher's aide for first grade students. This confirmed her decision to become a teacher upon graduating. She baby-sat all the family's 'little ones' and those in the neighbor hood. When Ashlee was born...she was so excited... another baby to nurture and love. She would have made a wonderful mother... it breaks my heart to see someone her age with a child now. I had so many dreams for her.
This is Melissa holding Ashlee on the day Ashlee came home from the hospital after 101 days!!
Also, Melissa holding Ashlee in her pool!
Melissa called me one evening and asked my help in putting together an oral presentation for school the next day. I told her I would video tape it so that we could improve upon it. After several attempts, and much laughter...she perfected her candy wreath presentation. We giggled through the replay, and she made me promise to erase the tape. That's the only promise I never kept with her. AND I am so glad that I did... for now I have her on tape, laughing, talking, and having such a good time with me. (She never liked her picture taken as she got older...but this is a favorite of mine).
"The smile that warms my heart"
In January of 1995, Melissa turned 16! This was a very important birthday for her... for driving was her passion! I remember taking her for her driver's permit. Her Mom and I sat on one side of the room while she sat on the other. Her Mom told me not to look at her...but my eyes kept drifting back to her. We would roll our eyes at each other, which was our way of communicating. She was telling me that this was 'a piece of cake'. When she finished, she stepped up to the examiner and was told that she had 'aced' the exam! She took her driver's test on February 16th.. her Dad took her for that test, and it's a memory that will live in his heart forever! He was bursting with pride when they returned home!! We were all so proud of her driving abilities. Three short weeks later... she was gone. A picture of her 'pride and joy'... her '87 Escort...is on the backside of her gravestone.
This is Melissa's 1st attempt at driving!
For Melissa's 16th birthday, her parents hired a hall, a D.J., and invited all her friends and family. There was a lot of food and a good time was enjoyed by all present. Seven weeks later, we all came together again at the same hall... this time for the luncheon served by the church ladies after her funeral service. While the first gathering filled the hall with laughter and joy... the second gathering produced a river of tears.
Melissa was very close to her cousins. She and Chad were only 4 months apart in age. After her death, Chad did something that made me extra proud of him! He had been inducted into the National Honor Society the previous year, and took it upon himself to approach his principal and all of his teachers with the request that Melissa be posthumously inducted into the NHS too! They all agreed, and at the service, her parents were presented with the certificate of her acceptance. It was a 'bittersweet' evening.
"Melissa & Chad 'helping' with the Gingerbread House" at Gram's.
"Jason, Chad & Melissa on Halloween"
"Another year with Michelle, too!"
I have many more memories of this beautiful treasure in my life. Perhaps, one day when the tears stop falling like rain... I'll share more. (Tho' I don't see the tears stopping anytime soon.)
Updated April 8, 2002
This Midi is: "LOVING YOU"
"Some say you are too painful to remember...
I say you are too precious to forget!"