Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I can still smell the summer air and feel the sun on my shoulders as we all enjoyed being young, trying hard to impress one another with our cartwheels, back walk-overs and how well we could get our legs down into the grass into a perfect split.
I wasn't as good as the rest of them.
People, I was not blessed with athleticism...
I could do it...
I just didn't look good doing it.
And, then there was Melissa.
She was about as big as a minute and could leap through the air with the most amazing grace that any of us had ever seen. Even at our tender ages, we all knew Melissa had something special.
She could start a sprint at one side of the yard and never stop flipping until she reached the other side, and she executed it perfectly.
Being competitive as we all were and as talented as she was, you'd think she'd have bragged on how much better she was than we, but not Melissa...
That tiny bit of a girl would get in that yard and lift us and instruct us, telling us exactly what to do next so that we could be as graceful as she.
But, you see, those were her true colors...
As we grew into teenagers, we did what most of us all do and after high school, we really lost track of one another.
Naturally, I'd hear a bit here and a bit there about her, her life and her children, but I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I saw her.
Although I don't know her story, I know her life held some challenges for her, and as Melissa always seemed to do, she overcame...
And, she didn't do it the normal way...
She did it her way...
Over the top...
Bigger and better...
Encouraging everyone she met, lifting them and instructing them, telling them exactly what to do next so that they could be as graceful as she.
She made peace with her God and it was obvious in everything she did and every person she touched.
Melissa knew God, and she knew God in a mighty way.
This world lost Melissa on Sunday.
Since then, I've thought and thought and thought of her and one word alone resonates with me...
I remember her, tiny as she was, lifting my legs into the air (and struggling to get her arms high enough to get to my feet) and saying, "Now, point your toes, bend your legs just a little and go on over."
I think of her, and the vision of her so effortlessly flipping herself into the air is what I see.
She didn't want to keep what she had just for herself. She wanted to share it.
I know that today she sits in the lap of God.
I know that, in spite of everything, my friend has heard the words, "Well done."
And, it was well done, Melissa.
It was done Melissa-style...
Over the top.
Bigger and better.
And, with absolute humility.
Because those were your true colors.
They are beautiful.
Like the rainbow.