A defining moment is generally a loss that has a profound impact or that affects our life in a memorable way. It is stashed away in our brain and resurfaces often. This is a difficult article for me to write, but it will be an honor to tell Melissa's friends. There may be some who read this and will understand, if they too have lost a child.
My first defining moment was in 1942 when we were at war with Japan. I was a senior in college and had a very dear friend by the name of Jim. Jim was of Japanese decent. He was standing on the bottom step as he was boarding a large yellow school bus. He looked back, waved at me and in a soto voice, said "Jack, you are going to work twice as hard during your lifetime because instead of two of us, you will be the only one." We had both been accepted to medical school, but he was leaving on a bus for some unknown destination. That was our last goodbye.