Beloved Mother, Sister, and Daughter Taken Too Soon: An Angel Story

By Jenn Rockefeller

Strong-minded. Courageous. Fearless. Giving. Loving. Those are just some words that Joe Williams used to describe his sister, Milli. 

Melissa (Milli) Williams is one of the angels Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence (BTSADV) is honoring this year’s Angel Fund, which funds scholarships in each angel’s name. These angels lost their lives to domestic violence and to help raise awareness and honor their memories, BTSADV holds an annual campaign for angel families.

Sadly, Milli was taken too soon and became an angel back in September 2013 at just 22 years old. Despite it being over five years since her death, Joe said he still asks why. 

“Still to this day I question God’s decision, why my sister and [why] not someone else.  But the truth of the matter is, everybody is loved by somebody and it would be selfish of me to think I should be excluded from the pain and hurt of losing someone so dear,” he said.

Milli’s sister Teikoa also mentioned Milli’s loving nature.

“[Milli] was such a free spirit. She was loving, but was not a pushover. She was loyal as well as receptive to what was going on around her,” she said. “I want the world to know that my sister was an incredible person! She had to go through life and did things her own way. She was such a loyal soul!”

Milli’s twin brother Michael remembers her as a fighter and protector. 

“I would want to say [Milli] was a fighter, literally and metaphorically. She was a protector who needed protecting. She was tough AND tender. She loved hard,” said Michael, adding that despite leaving this Earth so tragically, Milli did so with “great cause” and hopes she will be an example for other people experiencing the same thing.

Milli’s mom summed up Milli by saying she “was one of a kind. Hard working, loving, beautiful in her own way, thoughtful, a loving mother. Her daughters were her heart! I miss her so much!”

Often, those outside of the situation can see the warning signs that something is amiss. But Teikoa said she never noticed any because she [Teikoa] was in the military and didn’t live near Milli. 

“There were, however, some behavior[s] that I heard about where she was acting a little differently than normal,” said Teikoa. 

Teikoa added that she spoke with Milli about three weeks prior to her death and found out about the restraining order and that Milli had broken things off. 

“I asked her if he ever hit her and she said yes. That was the first time l had ever [sic] heard about any abuse. Milli experienced extreme loneliness, and regret. She found herself in a situation and did not feel as if she can [sic] trust anyone to get her out of it because she was so self-sufficient and strong she felt that she can take care of it on her own. Later after her death, l found out she was afraid of him.” 

Teikoa never knew that Milli was in danger, so she never talked with her family about supporting Milli or helping her get away. She just told Milli that she was glad Milli put a restraining order on him. 

“I am so honored and feel empowered to be raising money to help others in my sister’s name,” said Teikoa of the annual Angel Scholarship program that BTSADV organizes. 

You can participate in the Angel Fund no matter where you live by donating to Milli’s scholarship. Your active presence from July 1 to 22 could make a huge difference in the life of a survivor. You can find Milli’s scholarship page here or text “Angel2216” to 71777.

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