Sunday, January 22, 2012

Melania "Princess P"

Last night we said good bye to Melania.  I won't pretend to have known her well but met her briefly on a number of occasions.  I learned the most about this little girl who would have turned five in two weeks from her Grammy who raised her as she recounted her precious ones life in her eulogy.  I was so grateful that she was able to stand before us in the most tragic of times and speak lovingly and clearly of Melania's life.

Melania's story was not different from so many of our children born with challenges.  Melania however was born with one set and then given another after a medical procedure.  She lived the majority of her life in hospital but never without family at her bedside.  Bedside might be a misnomer however as though she lived within the confines of a medical facility she was provided with an outstanding quality of life by a strong committed family who ensured that Melania saw as much of her community as was possible.  Melania was gifted to a family that was not afraid to stand up for what they believed to be in her best interests and that sometimes meant butting heads.  They set up an environment for her intended to decrease the amount of hospital stimuli and did so knowing that they might be considered 'difficult' but caring not for their own reputation but for the well being of their girl.  They from all accounts were successful.  Melania was happy.  She was cognitively and physically disabled and medically fragile to boot with every day being a crap shoot as to it being a day of stability or one that required more medical intervention yet she was happy.  Melania had the love of family, friends and staff.  She was loved.  She felt the love.  She returned their love.

With most families who have been given a child with challenges once the shock of the situation settles the knowledge of the blessing that has been bestowed upon them becomes evident.  It might take more time for some but when the dust settles in spite of the heartache, in spite of the work, the stress, the fear, those touched by the lives of the child deemed 'special' come to realize that they are in the presence of greatness.  You will not find greater courage than that possessed by those with handicapping conditions.  You will see no greater acts of heroism than what it takes for these little people to live their lives usually smiling all the way.  This is as it was for Melania.  Not only was Melania a gift to her family but they too were God's gift to Melania.

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