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An Open Letter To My Late Husband

Today means you've been gone eleven years...

Facebook suggests to me all kinds of things about you. It’s your birthday, send Adam your best, or maybe you would like my page and I should invite you to follow it. And the memories. I love and hate those. I can’t remember if Facebook was the thing it is today when you were alive, but I do remember you saying that it would be the perfect place for bored housewives to share their kid stories with each other. You’d be amazed at what it is now.

I don’t need Facebook to remind me of you, though. You’re on my mind almost all the time. I still live in the house we built together. You’d be horrified that the walls are no longer white. I finally got that stainless-steel refrigerator that we argued about. That’s only mostly because they’re standard now and they weren’t back then. The girl’s rooms have changed from the soft pastel-colored, stuffed animal filled toddler wonderlands that you would recognize. They’re now filled with makeup and too many clothes and scented candles (gasp!) and all the trappings of young girls right on the cusp of becoming young women. Aidan – now Ellie – is leaving for college this year. Wesley is feverishly planning on how to use our old “summertime” bedroom for her Patchuli-filled gypsy retreat. Where Aidan looks like you, Wes makes up for it in her hippie ways, so similar to yours. I haven’t opened her world to Phish yet. Maybe someday.

Always My Superman....

Your friends are still around. I watched as Darren’s Sprinter van pulled out of here just yesterday. I think he may have been here getting mom’s help for curtains for his project van. It’s as fancy as he is. He’s still fantastic. I just talked to Chris this morning. He always comes to my HVAC rescue, no matter where it is. He sometimes even drives the four-hour one way to fix heat or air at the yurts – and drives home the same night. I guess you’ll be happy to know Harkey is still on the extreme side. He says he does it to get away from the craziness of Ada-Rose and her virtual schooling, but I know he doesn’t mean it. He’s an awesome dad, just like you were. Lori and Lisa just posted tons of your pictures online today and have everyone talking about you. It’s great to hear everyone’s memories of you, especially today, when I miss you most. And let’s not forget Shane. Shane is a part of my world almost daily, and even though I’m sure I’m not quite the conversationalist you were for him, it makes me feel good to talk to him at least a little bit like you did every day. Thanks for setting up a squad of protectors for me. I’m sure you had no way of knowing, but I needed them.

Our "Little" Family Just Before You Were Gone....

I often wonder what you’d think of our life without you. Would you approve? Would you think I’m crazy? I know for sure that the girls would have fewer “rights” if you were still here, even though they think I’m over-bearing! I’ll admit, it makes me laugh inside when they say things about how strict I am, knowing how you would have been. And it makes me sad that, even though you would have been strict, you would have also known just what to do with these teen-aged girls. There are tons of your former students out there that would agree with that. Maybe you were the real Velvet Brick.

I’m doing that thing we talked about right before you died. I’m renting yurts. I know you weren’t exactly a fan because you thought there would be no way to manage them from a distance. Turns out, there was a way. I have Kathy, Richard and Eugene. You’d really like them. It is a little time-consuming to be driving up to the Smokies all the time, but I don’t mind. Every time I go, I remember the times when I used to drive up there almost every weekend to see you at Western. It feels like almost everywhere I look, there is a memory of you that’s way better than those Facebook ones. Like when our raft caved in the center over Nantahala Falls and you shot out of the boat like Superman. Or snagging a Little Debbie from Wesser Store, just like you used to when you hiked the area. And the flowers – every time I see those weird mountain flowers I remember how you made us take little brown paper bags and catch the seeds to replant because “you can’t just steal the flowers in a National Park, you know”. There are many more, but I’ll keep those between you and me.

You And Me Probably Around 16 Years Old....

Somehow, I think you do approve, though. Even though I can sometimes see you shake your head in half-joking disapproval at some of my crazy ideas. You showed me the place in your own special way. You made me stay here instead of running away. Your memory reminded me of “our” mountains in North Carolina, and I see you all around Sky Ridge. Other people see you there, too, even if they don't realize it. It’s just that you look like ferns to them. I left those there for you.

If You See Ferns Around Sky Ridge, They're Native And They Were Adam's Favorite....

I remember you, even all this time later. And I love you still.



I. Love. Your. Heart. Just beautiful, Melissa.



Tracy Sherrill
Tracy Sherrill
Mar 18, 2021

Wow. I never had the pleasure to meet you Melissa but I knew Adam through Lisa, Lori and Chris. Beautifully written. I think of Adam helping me climb 181 on my first epic adventure with the Harley Bandits. I moved away 12 years ago to Weatern NC. I will now think of Adam and your love when I see those ferns on my daily hikes through the Pisgah. Tracy


Sylvia Hinson
Sylvia Hinson
Mar 17, 2021

One of the most beautiful eulogies I have ever read. He will always be in our hearts.

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