Melissa took copious notes on everything she did. I have her notes all over the house, written on the back of envelopes, in the bottom of drawers, written on our chalkboard walls, taped to mirrors. They were reminders to herself about various things she had to do that day, or prayers to the powers that be for this or that. They are literally everywhere I look. Little reminders of what she was thinking, what she wanted or needed from life. Some of the notes are years old, some were from that day. Each one is a little piece of her personality.
Melissa was reading To Kill A Mockingbird when she left. I in turn picked it up, to get a view in to her thoughts in the days and weeks prior. I finished the book last week and immediately started looking for my next one. Those of you that have been to our house, or have heard me talk about it, know about our master bookcase. Melissa made a decision about four years ago to organize our books not by subject, author, or title, but by color. Yes, color. All the red books go with the red books, green with green, and so on. It looks cool, but in practice can be annoying if you need to find something quickly.
There is a wisdom to this system of organization. It promotes reading, intellectual curiosity. You may be looking for say Catch 22. To find it you have to remember that it is white (or maybe it was blue?). As you are searching you may come across Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee and pull that instead. It's a thoughtful little maze that she's left me, one that I will never grow bored with.
I narrowed my search for a new read down to three books - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, A Separate Peace, and A House Made of Dawn. I don't know what compelled me to pick it, but I went with A House Made of Dawn and was almost immediately rewarded. On page two I found a note from Melissa that perfectly encapsulated my emotions:
...and that right there is why I married her. In a single sentence, likely written in 2002, she managed to fully describe my feelings on a lonely Thursday morning in 2016. And in the process completely amazed me. She was able to send me a message that while this feels like the end of the world, it is just one thing and someday it will be ok. Yes, it is a big thing; but that's all relative, isn't it?