She's gone legally blind in BOTH eyes. I visited her recently and it broke my heart. She doesn't have ANY of the supplies she needs (such as a talking blood sugar monitor for her diabetes, or computer programs to read her emails, texts etc. aloud).
A few weeks ago, Melynda lost her house. Then, Meaghan (her daughter) almost died from a cyst that attached itself to an artery and leaked! Now this. Melynda is obviously sad about losing her driver's license and independence. She WILL conquer this, though; she's a survivor.
Her strength and resolve astound me. I'll never forget when someone tried breaking into my house. Melynda stayed up all night guarding my house from across the street (because Cade was gone).
She couldn't see, but said she'd still 'watch' AND listen. I laughed thinking she was joking, but come to find out, she was serious. That woman stayed in her driveway ready to fight Lucifer if she had to.
I went outside at one point. Melynda couldn't see me even in the lights from my porch. I looked over, so proud to call her my friend. She wore shorts, a babydoll top and a sassy hat. It was COLD outside, but nothing will get that woman down--and even the cold elements don't bother HER--because she's better than Xena, really.
She smoked into the wind, looking serious the whole time. I kept thinking how amazing she is. She couldn't see my house, but by golly she'd rather die than go to sleep and feel like she wasn't guarding it for me somehow.
I asked her about it later. "Why did you stay up? I know you couldn't see."
"So what if I couldn't see them! THEY could see me. I can't imagine someone trying to break in, when someone else seems to be sitting there watching."
That's just Mel, classy and brilliant all the time.
Any time I was sick, she'd make me food. I swear I'd sneeze and she'd make me a lasagna. Sneezing led to a good time! I learned to LOVE getting sick just so I could get yummy food.
The point is, she's really been there for me--and she's epic--but right now it's my turn to be there for her!
A few days ago I helped her apply for disability (she couldn't see the form let alone drive to the place). We're talking with a rep on the phone again today and filling out more forms. It might be months until she qualifies, but she's trying to do everything she needs to.
She's already battling depression. She needs a purpose, some love, some support. Melynda will be fine. The woman who guards houses--even blind--that's my buddy. Anyone like that WILL beat this, but she still doesn't have what she needs. Having the proper tools would help so much.
I've thought long and hard about this. Here's my idea:
How great would it be if Melynda could EARN some money to be able to afford what she needs?! Her own hard work--her own TALENT, paving a way for her to succeed even through this! Many people have left her comments asking if she'd turn her blog posts into a book. Months ago I read those comments and begged Melynda on your behalf. "Please let me publish some of the stories from your blog. I could split them into the four seasons and then your readers can have four fun novellas to read anywhere!"
"I don't know, E."
"Listen," I said. "People LOVE your writing. This is a good idea."
She paused. "Having a book published is a big dream of mine. But do you think it's good enough?"
I'd sneezed that day--so she'd made me lasagna. I shoveled some food into my mouth, then swallowed and licked my lips. I set my fork down hard. "Listen, woman. I wouldn't offer to publish just anyone, seriously. My reputation is on the line, too. Writing is my lively-hood now. I believe in you. This should prove how much. I would publish your work in a heartbeat. We need to edit it and do some fine tuning, but that's how it goes with anyone. You want your readers to have a quality product they can enjoy. Then after publishing those, you need to make a cookbook with this recipe for lasagna included! Are you up for it?"
"Yeah, because they're convenient not only at home, but in the office, at doctors' offices and in personal bathrooms."
She laughed. "Nice." Then, she finally agreed. We put one book together. Fishducky edited it months ago. I created a cover and formatted it. Here's what we came up with:
We sent it back to Melynda, but her eyesight went downhill fast after that and she never got to really "SEE" her book.
Here's the deal, Melynda's book is now in the review process! I plan on working my butt off to get this project done by March 1st! 100% of the profit will go to help Melynda.
If you'd like to add this to your to-read list, please go here:
Anyways, I wrote this today because Melynda still can't access our blogs and I know she can't read this.
I'm trying to be sneaky and surprise the woman. Ka-pow!
She needs something positive to happen in her life. She's lost her house, her sight; her fifteen-year-old son moved to Italy; now, she almost lost her daughter! The woman NEEDS a break.
She'll be thrilled to have a published book, and know others are enjoying it! Plus, I'D be thrilled knowing she can make money to afford what she needs.
Do you have any additional thoughts or ideas? I know you love her as much as I do. Melynda and I each started blogs and we gained an extended family in the process.
In closing, I just have a few fun things to share.
I've decided to blog Monday-Thursday because I'm a blogaholic.
Melynda originally started a blog for the famous Fishducky, but now all three of us came up with a plan. Fishducky will be featured every week on my blog instead so Melynda won't have any added stress.
I remember thinking if I could just get Fishducky to comment on my blog, then I'd be golden. Now she's writing on it every Friday--Fishducky Friday--and I've made the big time now! So, get ready--it's gonna be great.
Also, I was having such a hard day yesterday since it was the day Zeke died. Late last night I read each of your comments and they made everything so much brighter. What a blessing to me! Then, to top all of those sweet things off, Rick Gualtieri wrote the kindest--MOST HILARIOUS--review of "The Golden Sky," my tribute to Zeke. You really need to check this out if you have time. It was the icing on the cake of your kindness--seriously:
And the last news I'd like to share, is how I'm featured on Splitter's blog today for asking the question:
Why do men only remember the last 30 seconds of what a woman says? Why isn't it 15 seconds or 60? What's so magical about 30?