Friday, February 10, 2012
I’m heartbroken. My good friend and former roommate, Melissa, went home to be with Christ this morning. In October she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She died today…almost exactly 5 months later.
Cancer stinks. It stinks on so many levels, but today it stinks because it took the life of my awesome friend.
I first met Melissa back in 1997 (or 1998) when I was working for World Changers. We had a project in Norfolk, VA and I met this girl who was interning at the Southern Baptist Convention office there. 2 years later Melissa worked for World Changers in the national office in Atlanta, GA. I wasn’t working for them anymore, but I did get to meet her again when I stopped by the office to say hi. Little did I know that soon we’d be roommates.
Melissa moved into the Martin Mission House a year after I did. She was coming to Boston to be the new campus minister at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell (UMass Lowell). We instantly hit it off (although if you didn’t instantly hit it off with Melissa then there was something seriously wrong with you).
This picture makes me laugh. Not so much the picture itself, but the story behind the picture. One Saturday Melissa and I decided to go for a road trip. We were going to just get in our car and see where the road took us. Since this was in the days before GPS, we got lost…really lost. I think we drove around for 4-5 hours and didn’t have a clue where we were. I honestly don’t even think we had a map in the car (because we were really smart like that). Somehow we came across this pumpkin patch. They had mountains and mountains of pumpkins that you could climb. I’m pretty sure we got our picture taken at the top of one, but I can’t find that picture. What I did find is this picture. Melissa had the greatest smile.
This picture was taken on yet another adventure drive. This time, we at least knew where we were headed. We decided to go to Salem, MA and learn all about the Salem Witch Trials. (Did I mention that we were dorks).
Finally, this picture…this is probably my favorite picture from my Boston days. We were the 3 roommates at the time and several of us from church headed to New York City for Thanksgiving. I had never been to New York before, so this Wyoming girl was very excited! We woke up early and headed downtown so we could see the parade, and stayed in the city all day. It was FREEZING! By the end of the night we were a pretty cranky group and were ready to call it a night. Suddenly this wonderful Santa entered our lives. He had one-liners that had us cracking up for weeks. Even now when I think about him I laugh. You can even tell by this picture that we had been laughing. It was a great ending to a pretty crappy day.
I have several other pictures of Melissa from our time in Boston, but these are my favorites.
My heart aches with how much I miss Melissa. I want to see her smile, just one more time. She had a smile that could light up a room. I know a lot of people say that, but with Melissa it was true. She has forever changed me.