Melissa was always different and special from her birth on.
She had always loved life. She was
very easy to please because she only wanted such simple things. She was
always very mature and seemed to have wisdom beyond her years. She was very
happy, smart, kind, well mannered, and so very respectful to others. Her
first priority was to help, please or make happy those around her, even if
it were someone that she did not know. Kindness and understanding was
something she always had for you. She taught me so much about life and how
precious it is, and that the less you look for or except, the more
life will give to you .After all life is not about getting it is about
giving. Ever since her death I have tried to live and think as she would of.
Melissa was first diagnosed in August of 1991 at age 27 months with a
cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma
they were able to keep it in remission for close to two years, after more than a year of chemotherapy.
But then on her 5th birthday
she began having sever pain in her back and paralysis in her legs and
lower functions a MRI reveled tumors wrapped around her spine, and she then underwent an
emergency 17 hour surgery to remove what they could of the tumor (followed
by 7 weeks of radiation) they said that without chemotherapy she would only survive 6 to 12 weeks. None of us especially her wanted to do chemo
knowing that it would not cure her. She understood that with out chemo she
would definitely die and with it she might live, but she pleaded to us
please no more chemo I don't want to be sick any more ,and if I die it will
be ok because Jesus will take care of me. I was 23weeks pregnant with Andrew, the sibling that Melissa very badly wanted us to have and all I could do was pray that she could live to see the baby born which we knew was a boy and she
chose his name. She wanted to be present for his birth and I have only
been able to have my babies by C-sections and children in the
delivery room was a NO NO , but our Doctor arranged it so that she was able
to be in there and to be the first to hold the baby.
Her next dream was to go to and finish kindergarten, which she was
able to began in the fall of 1994.
She had the Greatest Teachers as a matter of fact the whole staff at Minor
Elementary was great. For
the first part of the year she was happy healthy,running, playing and
learning so much she was a very smart child. But then in January of 1995
she began to have pain in her back and legs again and had head aches and
was very tired , and was having problems writing and drawing two of the
things that she was really great at , and on 2-7-95 anther MRI reveled a
massive brain tumor, tumors on the spine,in the liver,kidneys, stomach ,
lungs and many other places in her body. This time the Doctors gave her 2
to 4 weeks to live and they called hospice to take over. This time I prayed that she would live to see her baby brothers 1st
birthday,and she promised she would . Once again we did radiation to stop
the pain and she took many herbs. Well she did live to see his 1st
birthday and died in my arms less than 48 hours after, early in the morning 7-29-95 at 4:20 am . She never once complained.
Long before her death she choose her casket which was custom made in
fire engine red velvet, she
also designed her funeral notes, and chose her place of burial.
About three weeks before she died she called me to the back porch and
pointed and said " Mommy
Do You see them white fluffy clouds up there ? Well when I die if you ever
want to see me just look at those clouds and I will be watching you from
them" which is why I chose the clouded back ground.
Shortly after her death a friend was taking his first airplane ride and
took a picture of the clouds and what was there, an "Angel" my Pooh Bear.
Everyday many times I look to the sky to see the white fluffy clouds were
she is at. I know she is there because she never lied to me.
Everything was always so special to Melissa and everyone who knew her
felt special for she gave a piece of her heart to everyone she knew.
At the time of Her death Melissa was survived by two brothers Donnie
now 12yrs. Andrew now 3/12 years. She has a sister who is one and a
half named Mary Elizabeth. Just hours before death she had said "Mama when
you have another baby name it Mary Elizabeth, my grandmother asked what if
it were a boy and Melissa said" no Mary Elizabeth I told you .I was not
supposed to try and have another baby due to three previous C-Sections, But
we found out a few months after her death that I was pregnant and this baby
was due on 7-29-96 just on year to the day after Melissa's death. It was a sad
but happy time for us. Our
Doctor delivered by planned c-section on 7-26-96 a very healthy baby girl Mary Elizabeth Harmon. And what a blessing
she is, she gave new life to our family.
Our family has had a long road to recovery, and we have been blessed
many times along the way. We are a very close family, and more faith than you could
ever imagine. But once again we have climbed aboard that roller costar of
CANCER, now our 3 1/2 year old son Andrew (the baby Melissa wanted so badly
for us to have) has a brain cancer called grade 4 Giloblastoma Multiforme .
There have been no cures for this kind of cancer so I will need to plan his