By now you know a little bit about Melissa. The jewel in the whole story of her life and her book is how she is a magnet for drawing people together. Truthfully when I became her PCA, in my mind it was an in between job situation. Almost eight years later we are still together. I say the teacher is both student and teacher. We are that to one another both student and teacher. I often call Melissa my Master Teacher. I don’t just say that it is my truth.
I have never heard Melissa say a harsh word about anyone.
Each day I am with her she tells me she loves someone in her life. She names names! I love mom, dad, Mike, Rick, Kim, nieces, nephew, people at SCIL. Former pca’s. I hear, I love Rita, Karen, Kathy ( my bff) On and on it goes. Melissa has a heart full of love.
She thinks about a lot of things. She’s very deep as a matter of fact. The fact that she can’t articulate it well does not remove the depth of thought. She is deeply concerned when others are troubled. She is very mindful of her own place in this life.
She understands that just because her short term memory is weak that does not remove her efforts.
Most of the characters in her book are people in her life. Mom is Stripes the zebra. She knows that her and mom have a connection that goes beyond words. The turtle, Haven is Janine her PCA,( me). She knows I move in a calm that doesn’t cause life to seem overly jazzy. Melissa is the rare white lion. She knows what a rare gem she it. Ikkos the very tall giraffe is her speech therapist Kari Star of Buzzards Bay Speech Therapy.
Snowball was conceived as a speech therapy tool. Kari used a computer, animals and a story line to help with communication and memory. Unless you see this in action you many not understand the work involved. To find the correct tool, to implement it in such a way that it is useful and productive, to review week after week, session after session and back it up with assignments at home, this is work. Melissa WORKED hard here.
Time went forward. A few animals had stories attached to them and the short length of time speech was approved by insurance was coming to an end. Janine sat near thinking – this can’t be wasted! As her eyes moved back and forth between Melissa and Kari week after week what looked like a far off gaze was in fact brainstorming. Then one day after Melissa exclaimed, I love white lions and Kari swooped in eye to eye with Melissa saying, Are you SNOWBALL? I shouted, let’s publish this hard work. Let’s write a book!
This very short portrayal of a very long story shows the subtle power Melissa has. In her sweetness and innocents miracles are born. Through her unique form of magic Melissa has brought people together. She’ll never fully know all the people who will realize a positive outcome by being exposed to her kindness and her book Snowball’s Great Adventure, none of us will. Yet the energy is extended. The ripple is set in motion.
PS: Tune in next week for more of The Story Behind The Story!