Memorial website in the memory of your loved one

This memorial website was created in memory of our beautiful daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and friend Melissa James.


Melissa came into our lives on March 23, 1977. It didn't take long before we knew that she was an ambitious, highly motivated, energetic little girl. When she set her mind on something, she followed through. As she grew into a young woman she maintained those qualities. She became very business minded and goal oriented.

Her passion for dance was noticed very early in her life. She began dance classes at Tonies Dance Workshop at a young age and continued through graduation. At the age of 19 she found Dance Unlimited.


Melissa dedicated her life to teaching dance to children. They were her children. She loved them all and wanted them to become beautiful dancers and be successful in life whatever their dreams were.

When Melissa wasn't on the dance floor or planning recitals she was usually found spending her days on the beach, either doing promotionals, modeling or local commercials. Melissa's pictures were featured in local Panama City Beach magazines such as Alvin's Island and See.

Melissa was a very sweet individual who cared about everyone. She was funny and the most courageous, strong person you could know. When she entered the room, everyone took notice.

Melissa loved God and gave her heart to him at a very young age. She loved her family and friends very much. She had a special bond with her niece Kaytlyn. They loved each other so much and spent very much quality time together. Melissa planned to be her dance instructor. Melissa was also close to her nephews Seth and Gabe. They were always excited to see her and knew that they were in for a good time.

Melissa was a classy dresser and loved to wear hats. She loved baking cookies and she always had to make just enough for that day so they would be the freshest. She loved to joke around and make people laugh. She loved to surprise her family and friends when it was their birthday. It always was a special time for her.

On December 13, 2005 Melissa was to board a plane from Las Vegas to Newark to spend Christmas with her family. She never made the plane. Two people that she thought were friends viciously murdered her.

Melissa leaves behind her mom Maura and her dad Dennis along with a sister April, and her brother Mike.

Words cannot express how much we all miss her. Our lives are forever changed the day she was brutally taken from us. We will never see her get married or have children of her own. Melissa will never see her niece or nephews grow up. We were all robbed of her love and friendship. Until we are together again, we will cherish all the memories we have of Melissa and the joy she brought to all our lives.

"There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous Judge will award me on that day." 2 Timothy 4:8

God's Word says we are to forgive as He has forgiven us. Forgiveness isn't easy but it is God's way and when we respond in obedience healing will come.  If we don't forgive we become tied to that person and it leads to bondage and results in bitterness, anger and depression.  I have chosen to forgive and allow God to use me and my grief to reach out to others. Forgiveness doesn't mean that what was done is okay.  When we give our pain and sorrow to God then he can use it for His glory and in the midst of our grief comes peace and joy. 

For if you forgive others when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:12, 14-15).

The test of whether we have forgiven someone is not whether we remember the incident but in the attitudes and behaviors we exhibit. We know we have forgiven someone when we are no longer controlled by the pain... In other words, we remember the occurrence, but it no longer has power over our thinking and behavior.

Forgiving is better than forgetting, but God does both. Micah 7:18-19 describes God's style of forgiving. Don't you love it? God doesn't stay mad at us because he loves to show mercy and compassion. Instead he stomps on our confessed sins and flings them into the ocean. What vivid and liberating images! And then he does what we can't do: "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, amd remembers your sins no more" (Isaiah 43:25)

God's style of forgivens serves as a model for us as we attempt to forgive with mercy and compassion; we don't need to worry about forgetting.  (Marilyn Meberg)



When I Get To Heaven

At last I reach my final home
The gates swing open wide
I get a glimpse of glory
I can't wait to get inside.

An angel beckons to me
I hurry up to him
He opens up a golden book
And lets me look within.

I see my name is written
On the page that he turns to
He says you finally made it
I've been waiting here for you.

He points in one direction
And tells me "go that way"
So I start my tour of heaven
The place I get to stay.

I see the many mansions
And walk the streets of gold
And hear the angels praising God
Just like I had been told.

And then I spot my loved ones
They've been here many years
We hug and kiss each other
All smiles, there are no tears.

I look around for Jesus
I know He'll soon appear
I want to kneel and praise Him
He's the reason I am here.

He took upon Himself my sins
He paid the price for me
And by His victory over death
He finally set me free.

Free from all my worldly sins
And the evil Satan sent
Jesus came into my heart
Because I did repent.

I'll finally get to thank Him
When I bow before His throne
For all the times He carried me
When I couldn't walk alone.

I'll dwell with Him in heaven
With no sorrow, tears or pain
This was His promise to me
When to this earth He came.

There are many mansions up here
There's room for all of you
So to join us all in heaven
I'll tell you what to do.

Accept Jesus as your Savior
He will wash your sins away
He's waiting here to greet you
When you join us here one day






  

WE MISS YOU MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY!

 

     

The Loss Of A Child

The moment that I knew you had died,
My heart split in two,
The one side filled with memories,
The other died with you.

I often lay awake at night,
When the world is fast asleep,
And take a walk down memory lane,
With tears upon my cheek.

Remembering you is easy,
I do it every day,
But missing you is a heartache,
That never goes away.

I hold you tightly within my heart,
And there you will remain,
Life has gone on without you,
But it never will be the same.

For those who still have their children,
Treat them with tender care,
You will never know the emptiness,
As when you turn and they are not there.

Don't tell me that you understand,
don't tell me that you know.
Don't tell me that I will survive,
How I will surely grow.

Don't tell me this is just a test,
That I am truly blessed.
That I am chosen for the task,
Apart from all the rest.

Don't come at me with answers
That can only come from me,
Don't tell me how my grief will pass,
That I will soon be free.

Don't stand in pious judgment
Of the bonds I must untie,
Don't tell me how to grieve,
Don't tell me when to cry.

Accept me in my ups and downs,
I need someone to share,
Just hold my hand and let me cry,
And say, "My friend, I care."

Beautiful Kaytlyn 2008

 

 

 



 

Kaytlyn 9 years old

She's growing up so fast. She misses her Mickey Lissa.

I LOVE MY BROTHER!!!

AND HE LOVES ME!!!




MELISSA AND MIKE




FOR SAMANTHA AND MELISSA 'S FAMILY .... FROM ROSETTA

I'M RIGHT HERE IN YOUR HEART

When tomorrow starts without me, and I'm not there to see.
If the sun should rise and find your eyes, all filled with tears for me; I
 wish so much you wouldn't cry,the way you did today, 
While thinking of the manythings we didn't get to say, 
I know how much you love me,As much as I love you. 
And each time that you think of me,I know you'll miss me too; 
But when tomorrow starts without
 me,
Please try to understand. That an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand, 
and said my place was ready In Heaven far above, and that I'd have to leave behind, All those things I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye,
For all of life, I'd always thought, I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for, So much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible, that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared, And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, Just even for a while,I'd say good-bye and kiss you, and maybe see you smile,
But then I fully realized, that that could never be, For emptiness and memories, Would take the place of me.

And when I thought of Worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven's gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, From his great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity, and all I've promised you.Today your life on Earth is past, But here it starts anew.I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last, and since each day's the same day,There's no longing for the past. 
But you have been so faithful, So trusting and so true, Though there were times you did somethings, you know you shouldn't do.

But you have been forgiven, And now at last you're free,
So won't you take my hand And share My life with Me?"
So when tomorrow starts without me, Don't think we're far apart, for every time you think of me,

I'm right here in your Heart

 


"And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:7 

 



DANCE, MY MAR, DANCE
EMBRACE THE MUSIC AS IT FLOWS
WAVE YOUR ARMS AND KICK YOUR LEGS
AND POINT YOUR LOVELY TOES.

DANCE, MY MAR, DANCE
BEFRIEND THE MOVING AIR
LET IT CARESS YOUR EVERY CURVE
AND STROKE YOUR SILKY HAIR.

DANCE, MY MAR, DANCE
PIROUETTE AMONGST THE CLOUDS
YOU'VE SHOWED US ALL WHAT YOU CAN DO
SHOW THE ANGELS NOW.

YOU'VE MOVED ON FROM THIS IMPERFECT WORLD
MOVED ON, GONE FURTHER, ADVANCED
BUT FOREVER YOU'LL LIVE INSIDE OUR HEARTS
AND FOREVER IN HEAVEN YOU'LL DANCE.


~ JORDAN SIMONEAUX ~

*IN LOVING MEMORY OF MELISSA JAMES*

I LOVE YOU, MY MAR 

           




              

A Poem For Melissa to comfort her family! / Pat Katrick (Aunt)
Dear Melissa,

Please ask the Lord to send us
A peace beyond this world
Today our hearts need mending
Which is only what God can do!

As we all wait for the day
When we will be together again
Dancing and rejoicing
With our loved ones which will never end!

Far beyond our understanding
A mystery to us all
In time it will be revealed by God
How you came to answer His call!

His Glory shines through you
As all the Martyr's do
His Wisdom we must trust
For He allowed this path for you!

Dear Melissa be with us this day
Lift the heaviness of our hearts
Our prayers are lifted up to you
In turn send us comfort, peace and joy!            









 

 

 

 

Cousin Sarah's Dance Recital 2010

Another beautiful dancer!!!!


YOU WOULD BE SO PROUD OF KAYTLYN!! SHE'S GROWING UP.

CHRISTMAS 2008 PICTURE.

 OUR LIVES ARE FOREVER CHANGED WITHOUT YOU








Are you with her when she's dancing, in her room alone?
Are you with her when she says it's my Mickey on the phone?

Do you see her smile when she's remembering something sweet?
Can you see her playing dress up with your shoes on her feet?

Do you hear her cry, her hearts as lost as mine..
Do you hold her close and whisper everything is fine?

She tells me that you come around all the time to play.
Can't you see her mom? She's right there saying hey!

She says you were there, playing dress up too..
Don't put that over there Mooomm! Mickey and I aren't through!

She says she can hear you, and everythings okay..
One day we will go to heaven and be with her to play.

I know it must be you showing how much you care,
Thank you for being with us, it means so much that you are there!

~Samantha~


YOU ARE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER!!!





LOVING AUNT FOREVER MISSED






WHAT DO I THINK OF WHEN I THINK OF YOU?

by Maura James

What do I think of when I think of you?
Your beautiful smile and eyes so blue!

I ask the Lord every day to help me through,
the rest of my life without you.

I know you’re praying for me every day,
talking to the Father in your own sweet way.

What do I think of when I think of you?
Rainbows, blue skies, sunsets in view!

You’re missed more than words can ever say.
I think of our memories each and every day.

I picture you dancing amongst all the angels,
with beauty and perfection in angelic chorals.

What do I think of when I think of you?
Fresh baked cookies on a summer afternoon!

A trip to the mall to try on hats,
having our nails done engaging in chat.

A beautiful ballerina light on her feet,
with beauty and charm and everything sweet.

What do I think of when I think of you?
A clear starry night giving way to morning dew.

Birthday celebrations in your own special way.
Dipped pretzels, strawberries and a hot fudge sundae.

Bargain shopper, classy dresser and shoes galore.
Bikini lover, avid book reader hanging at the seashore.

What do I think of when I think of you?
My daughter my friend I can tell anything to.

A beautiful rose unfolding its petals.
The delight in a box of cherry cordials.

A day filled with crafts and learning to crochet.
Trips to the library
on a dark rainy day.

What do I think of when I think of you?
My baby girl who use to love Winnie the Pooh.

Who grew up to be such a blessing to me.
Who’s name in Greek means honeybee.

I’ll see you soon, one of these days.
Then we will be together forever and always.




             

"I know my angel's looking down
at me from up above
As I am looking up at her
and sending her all my love"
                                           

 


 














MELISSA


With Melissa there is no longer pain.
With Melissa there is no blame
With Melissa there is no hate.
For she is now beyond heaven’s gate.

With Melissa there is no evil.
My Melissa jetes in angelic fields.
My Melissa is not hurt by negative remarks.
Only her friends and family left with broken hearts.

My Melissa is in the presence of a forgiving Father,
For Melissa she desires only our love for one another.
My Melissa is dancing even more then before
With plies and glissades across heavenly golden floors.

From Melissa are the memories we will never forget.
Through Melissa is the strength we carry on and yet,
My Melissa is in the Father’s embrace,
As we boldly come before the throne of grace.

For Melissa there is now happiness, peace and joy.
And Melissa the angels she will now employ!
As Melissa’s work on earth is done,
The heavenly host of heaven resounds.

My Melissa her soul is now at rest.
And Melissa no longer has to pass any test.
My Melissa now sees everything so clearly.
And prepares for the arrival of the ones she holds dearly.

We rejoice evermore that she is finally home
And our comfort is only through God alone.
He holds every tear that we cry in his hand,
Through every heartache God understands.

God speaks words of comfort in my times of grief,
Assuring me that he’s in control and I must believe.
He is close to the brokenhearted as the Psalm says,
I’ll reach out to touch his heart each and every day.

Thank you for trusting me with her for 28 years,
I laugh when I think of her humor through tears.
She brought so much joy to every ones heart,
And our faith in our God will never depart.

Written by Melissa’s Mom 





Melissa's beautiful stone where she is buried

    

These pictures below were taken at the desert in Las Vegas where our sweet Melissa's body was found.  It was a very emotional time but also a time of healing. There is now some beauty where evil took place.

   

In Memory of our sweet Melissa

         

It was so hot in Las Vegas and the temperatures were around 105 but when we arrived at the desert God provided a cloud and cool breeze for us.

There was a beautiful sunset that made a very sad and emotional moment a place of peace and serenity.

 

 

 


 

AUNT PAT, MOM, BEST FRIEND SAMANTHA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Click here to see Melissa James's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
Melissa  / Tony James (none)
I was so sad on seeing this tragic story unfold on Snapped. Like so many others I had to know more about Melissa and was so delighted in finding this beautiful website in remembrance of her. There are so many ifs in life. I'm not going to get into an...  Continue >>
Sympathizer  / Tara Riley (None)
I saw Melissa's story on OWN (Dateline) and it made me cry for this beautiful young woman taken too early. My prayers and blessings go out to you, her family, her best friend. I'm comforted by the fact that she is with our Father. HE had a reason for...  Continue >>
Thinking of you..............   / Sharon Bare (Admirer)
Melissa, I have come to your site so many times in the past few years. I want you to know you will never be forgotten. You have touched so many lives. It just breaks my heart for the way in which you were brought to us. You are an absolute inspirati...  Continue >>
sad story   / Dewayne Mckinney (none)
Seen the story on snapped such a sad tragic event,she was such a beautiful young girl,how 2 people can be so cruel,this story touched my heart,betrayed by people she thought were her friends.my heart goes out to her and her family,shes in a better pl...  Continue >>
So sorry for your loss...   / Laura Miller (none)
I just watched what happened to this poor girl on Snapped and I had to look up the information on Melissa. I also lived in Panama City (1998 -2000). It sounds like her memory will live on as she was a very talented and well rounded person. She has pe...  Continue >>
Maura / Stuart     Read >>
I miss you so much!  / Samantha A. (Friend)    Read >>
Justice for Melissa!!!!  / Maura (Mom)    Read >>
Hi my girl!!!  / Maura (Mom)    Read >>
Dancing Angels  / Alisa/Jessica Spivey (friend)    Read >>
Peter 4:12-19 Keep faith in God!  / Samantha     Read >>
Missing You  / Maura (Mom)    Read >>
God was there and is here  / Maura (Mom)    Read >>
Sorry / Christian Kidd (none)    Read >>
A poem for Maura  / Kellie Luck (Deepest Condolences )    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
 
Melissa's Photo Album
Music Box Ballerina
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