As I have done many times in the past I headed over to Newton Farms at Freshfields Village for lunch. I like to order either a wrap or a sandwich from their sandwich bar in their deli. On many occasions a lady named Melinda would serve me. Melinda was very professional and good at her job. On several occasions I was able to strike up a conversation with her as she was making my lunch. I have been visiting with Melinda for almost 5 years now. Every time I visited with Melinda I enjoyed the short time I had to speak with her. On several occasions Melinda shared her faith in God with me since we have that in common.
When I walked into Newton Farm today I noticed that Melinda was not working as she usually does. As a matter of fact it occurred to me that I had not seen her in the last two or three times I had gone to the sandwich bar. I asked the young lady who was fixing my sandwich where my friend was and I was stunned by her response. The lady told me that Melinda died on February 16th and had been shot and killed by her boyfriend on Johns Island. I guess I just assumed that Melinda would always be working at the sandwich bar and that she would be there when I would come in to order my lunch. It never occurred to me that her life would be prematurely snuffed out by a random act of violence.
My thoughts go out to Melinda’s two teenaged daughters who are now living life without their mother. The news story about this horrible tragedy stated that Melinda was a mother who loved her girls and would enjoy taking them to downtown Charleston to go shopping. I am hopeful that Melinda shared her faith in God with her girls and that they have a support system at church that can help them work through the grief. I will forever miss Melinda and the time that we shared talking over the counter at the sandwich bar. I know that her co workers will miss her a lot as well.
Life is precious and so are people. All people are precious no matter how different they might appear on the outside. I am thankful for the limited time that I was allowed to spend with Melinda. Having learned of this tragedy has reminded me of how important relationships are both in my family but outside of my immediate family as well.
R.I.P. Melinda you are loved.