I first became aware of the fact there was a book titled “Melody’s Gift” from a Masonic friend of mine who lives in Roanoke, Virginia. He had met the author by chance one morning in a local Hardees’s Restaurant there in Roanoke and knowing of my interest in the intellectually disabled population, he shared that meeting with me, along with the name and phone number of the author of the book. My personal interest in the intellectually disabled began some 45 years ago when my first baby daughter, Darlene, was born and diagnosed as profoundly mentally retarded.
I contacted the author of “Melody’s Gift” immediately and purchased the book by mail. I will never forget the morning it arrived and after removing the book’s wrapper I began to read the most heartwarming story I had ever experienced reading. Paragraph after paragraph, and page after page, almost every topic or incident would bring back parallel memories from our family’s life during Darlene‘s early years. As I read each succeeding chapter I actually began to feel that I was personally acquainted with Melody, Louise, Jack, and the other family members and friends of Melody’s family. It was as if they were friends.
As I read I marveled at the fact that anyone working so hard to care for a loved one would have the forethought to document the many, many details that would need to be remembered years later in order to publish such wonderful memories. Most of my incidental memories from Darlene’s childhood had long since been forgotten, but so many came rushing back as I relived the happy and sad times of our lives as I read Melody‘s Gift. I found myself at times both laughing and crying, but the tears were certainly “tears of joy” as I relived the wonderful memories.
While reading through the book, my mind wandered to a place it has been so many times before. Over the years I have witnessed so many loving parents caring admirably for their disabled loved ones. I’ve often wondered if God took particular care, or was it just fate, that these children were so often born to such wonderful parents who were dedicated to raising, nurturing, loving and caring for them. However, with Darlene I soon became convinced that I was nothing more than an “average” parent when she was born, but only because of her “special” needs was I able to gain the courage, strength, wisdom and determination to become the parent and person that I am today. God truly blessed me by allowing me to be Darlene’s parent. After reading the book I believe Jack and Louise might feel the same about Melody.
Thank you so very much for a true story about your beautiful daughter. It is true and very much alive, very inspirational.
In the years I have seen Melody grow in learning and working with the talents she has been taught and yes she can sing and loves music. I know her family, and they have put so much time in determination to show others that no matter what Mental Retardation can or would silence Melody or any others.
Melody loves everyone and I love her, I call her Sunshine because she brightens my day and my life.
I will say this, all should read THIS BOOK
I am a slow reader and it is difficult for me to complete the reading of a book in a timely manner. However, this was not true regarding my reading of Melody’s Gifts. This book was entertaining, motivational and inspiring. The true love, devotion and attitudes of worth expressed through Melody’s family were amazing. While reading this book, I laughed out loud during the funny times they experienced as a family and my emotions connected with the emotions as told by the family member Louise Wade and expressed by the writer Sheila Nelson. I made a special effort to read a chapter of this book each night until I had completed it. This book kept me interested and engaged in the life of Melody. It is an inspiring testimony of the faith of this family in their God to never give up on the success of their special family member. This family experienced a victorious testimony through the life of Melody because of their unconditional love to her and their perseverance during challenging times. I recommend you purchase this book. You will be blessed by reading it. As I read it, my strength was renewed to face the daily challenges in my life and to know that I, too, could have a victorious testimony by persisting to meet the challenges.
Meetings and Project Manager of Ruritan National located in Newbern, VA
Melody’s Gifts is a tender story about Melody’s life of accomplishments and challenges with cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Louise Wade is handing the reader, a mothers loving snapshot of the life of melody from birth to adulthood and the family, friends, churches,educators, and collective efforts to help and inspire her. Melody in turn guides & inspires them down avenues they never dreamed of……. God works in mysterious ways as you will find out in this wonderful & touching book. It is a must read book because it raises the awareness that there can be great strides with C P. and M. R. & that these experiences can help & support other families & students in similar circumstances in a very positive way. Linda Farmer Salem, Va.
Our Son, who is Bi-Polar and travels with us was painting at the picnic table and Melody’s Father came over and was very encouraging to HIm.
Before we left for the summer, they were back with Melody again. She loved being around the camp fire and singing. Louise told me about this book she was writing and ask if I would like a copy if and when she got it published. About a week ago (Jan. 2010) I got the book and it is about Melody’s gifts.
When I started reading it, I was amazed at how good it was, I stayed up until 1:30 A.M. reading it. I couldn’t put it down. What I liked about it is how God worked it this familys life. How everyone had a part.
Since I was a grandma with a 16 year old grandson with cereal palsy and many seizures and not being able to walk or talk and a 43 year old Son who is Bi-Polar, this book held my interest because a lot of the things that they dealt with I had seen in My Daughter and Son-in-law who are also dedicated to their son Johnny Like the Wades were with Melody.
This book can encourage any person who knows God because we know that God is in everything and in control. We lived in Virginia for 20 years and I am familiar with Woodrow Wilson since our son had been there at one time. Also familiar with the University of Va. where our daughter lives and is an R.N.. I plan on getting more books and give them to friends and to our church family.. I promise that you won’t be able to put it down but be sure to have tissues because you will shed a tear as you will be over joyed at Melody’s life.
P.S. I read this book also and and the care takers are the HEROS in this world. Jim
Jim & Jenny Clark; Hudson, Fl