Remembering Melissa (fireworks)

Melissa and I were teammates at work. We were paired together as a tw0-person team shortly after I started working at Slingshot. We worked pretty closely together. I think it is safe to say that we became pretty good friends.

I found this picture on my work computer today. It’s left over from our time as teammates.

One day while we were skyping each other, one of us lamented the fact that while Skype has all kinds of crazy emoticons, they don’t have a fireworks emoticon. We agreed that Skype needed a fireworks emoticon. So we created our own.


This became our go-to emoticon when something was going really well and we thought it was worth celebrating. You know how some teammates have special handshakes or high-fives or something like that? This was our special high-five.

When she left the company, the emoticon changed a little bit. Every once in a while, I’d send her a message. “(fireworks)” – that’s all it would say. It meant “Thinking of you. Hope you’re doing well.”

Then, I discovered this about a month ago:

Animal bobblehead

This was a big deal. Melissa had told me on several occasions that she wanted an Animal bobblehead. We honestly weren’t sure if they actually existed. But we did know that the very idea of an Animal bobblehead was a pretty cool idea. So I let her know about it right away.

animal bobbleheads

After my post about my Chewbacca bobblehead, I had decided that I was going to go buy an Animal bobblehead and give it to her. I was going to do that this weekend. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to give it to her.

I was saddened to discover this morning that Melissa had passed away today. I don’t really know any details. I think it’s safe to say that all who knew her are still in shock. I know I am.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today. Life’s too short to put things on pause. Let your friends know you care while there’s still time. Hug your loved ones a little bit tighter tonight. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. So let’s make the most of today while it’s still called today.

You will be missed, Melissa. Sorely missed.
Shoot, you already are.


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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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Mark Thomas

Matt, I’m stunned and when the stun wears off I’ll forget it was a veil for a deep sorrow. Thank you for the meaningful post. Melissa appreciates it, of that I’m sure.