Recently Melissa had lunch with her PCA, Janine and Janine’s friend. It was the first time the friend had spent a decent amount of time with Melissa.
The welcomed guest later called Janine wanting to learn more about Melissa. She was intrigued by her bright eyes and soft demeanor. Her curiousity lead to a conversation about Snowball’s Great Adventure. You see the book has never been just a book. It has always been much more than a story of a rare white lion. That is how things go when they are wrapped in magic. Magic can happen in the most subtle of ways. Snowball and company have surely been wrapped in magic.
Evidence of this was first seen after a great deal of work creating the book had completed. It was time for a speech therapy eveluation to see if Melissa was showing any progress. One must show progress in order to continue such services. Sure enough when asked the typical speech evaluation questions, Melissa indeed showed notable progress.
Kari Star the speech therapist reacted with much joy and a little surprise, “what has that little white lion done for you?” Well, the answer to the question boarders on the profound.
Melissa had one answer. Her standard. The answer has been consistant no matter who ask her what is the best part of writing a children’s book? Simply state Melissa replies, “the book has brought people together.”
She certainly has seen alot of people since the book was published. It was a full house at the book signing. A story time at Partners Village Store in Westport was layered with happy pre-school children reacting with great enthusiasm to the reading by Melissa and Kari as well as Janine’s puppet show.
What is the point?
Melissa never ever thinks any of this is about her. It has always been about family, friends and new people she meets along the way. Another person may see something all together different but Melissa sees people coming together and that makes her happy. We all see what we want to see.
The book has been published for seven months. So much has happened from a magical point of view. Some people have gotten an education about leukodystrophy. Others seeing Melissa in action learned more about where she is at. For example, her writing is scratchy, her speech slow as she searches for words and her over all response to situations around her is delayed. Her short term memory is very weak. Yet she would say, “that’s the way the cookies crisp crumbles.” Some people may have been lucky enough to hear her lion’s roar or a hardy giggles when someone says something goofy. What have people seen in this unfolding adventure?
Melissa goes with the flow with a level of grace philosophers, sages and spiritualist wish they could capture. She lives her days very simple, not holding on to much at all, rejoicing when she sees people she knows, falling to sleep at night thinking about many of them.
What can Melissa teach you if you dare to watch and learn, if you have the resilence to stand up to someone with such pure intent? She can teach you that in this world if we are to succeed well, choices need to be more about ‘us’ and less about ‘me’.
That is what Janine shared with her friend who can be rather self absorbed, leaning to the miserable side of life and far to focused on herself to be a healthy individual.
What is the point?
I don’t really know except if you have a chance to sit down and chat with Melissa, and she only shares a few words, count them among the most treasured few words you’ll ever hear. Even if all she says is, “I’ll have a cheese burger with ketchup”, she has spoken from her heart which is a judgement free zone. Can you say the same?
Maybe one of the pre-school children Melissa read to summed the message up the best, ” can I get a little closer?