Melissa the Great

Kelly Lewis

Melissa was a beautiful 17 year old who was finally coming full circle in life. She was becoming comfortable in who she was and where she was. Her stepfather was stationed in Kansas so that is where the family had to move. Melissa made many friends and had a very sweet boyfriend. All of this ended so quickly when on a Friday afternoon the Bronco she was a passenger in rolled and Melissa was the only one to die.

I live in Michigan and Melissa came to stay with me for a school year two years back. I only remembered her as a little girl because that was what she was when my husband and I moved away. When she stepped off the plane at fifteen years old I was surprised to see this beautiful woman-child emerge.

I call her Melissa the Great because of the strength and determination she carried with her. She never allowed anybody to take advantage of her. She had many hard times in her life, some dealt to her, some she brought on herself, but as she grew I could see she was overcoming all the obstacles. My heart is breaking because I'll never know the adult women of who she would have been. She was so bright and witty. She could make you laugh even when you were angry with her.

She was her mother's only child. Their bond was so thick you could literally see it. The intensity of emotions between them was a beautiful, sometimes scary, thing to see. The pain I feel is but the tip of the iceberg for Tami, her mother.

Melissa changed a lot of people's lives. When you were around Missy, the weak got strong, the meek got loud, and the underdogs became the top dogs. I believed she could climb the highest mountain because she believed she could.

We are lucky to have had Missy for the seventeen years we had her, I wish more people could have known her. Maybe this essay she wrote two months ago can give people some insight to who she really was:


You know it's kind of crazy how life goes. Sometimes things can be so perfect you would think nothing could ever go wrong. Sometimes things can be so bad that you cannot believe this is happening to you.

I think a lot of people confuse life with happiness. Some people may think you have to have a perfect life to be happy or that if you have a bad life you're unhappy. In some cases this could be true, but not all. You see, true happiness is inside of you. It's in what you think, feel, say, do.

If your life is unbearable and you let it get to you then you're giving in. You are letting happiness escape you. On the other hand, I don't think you should have to be happy when you're not. Sadness is good for the soul. I know I'm probably the worst person to give advice on this and should probably take my own but I'm learning from others.

Someone told me to make the best out of what you have and I guess that depends on what you have. It just makes me realize that you cannot change people or things, you can only accept them and live with it.

I always let other people get me down and I shouldn't, so about a month ago I made a promise to myself that I'm going to be happy. I can't let others choose how my life is going to be.

Melissa Ghesquiere, 8/13/80-------11/21/97

Thank you for letting me share my experience with Melissa with others. Her star shines on.

Kelly Lewis

You can send email to Kelly at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 11-21-97
date of post 3-13-98

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW