Life is amazing, life is making memories, life is cherishing those you love, but most importantly life is good. Its hard to believe that the simple words “life is good” could lift a single souls spirit and make them cherish their life for so long. Words can mean nothing to a person, just letters put together to form meaningless sentences that can get you through your day with a fake smile and a simple nod of your head as you pass by. But to a certain friend of mine they meant more. She used words to lift her spirit and that of those around her when she was having a hard time making it through.
You would never know she was feeling ill because the words she used were filled with such enlightenment and hope. Being around her made you analyze your own problems and how they were preventing you from having happiness in your everyday life. She once told me two rules I should live by; one is that I should live my life the fullest, and two is that I should follow the first rule in whichever way I thought was right for me. I never imagined that one day, that would be some of the most important advice I would obtain.
There was once a woman who you could pretty much sum up in the word, life. She was so bright and beautiful. I met her about 7 years ago when she began working for my dad. I always found her so fascinating. I never knew the strength and power she held inside until I saw her battle breast cancer. Through what seemed like endless rounds of chemotherapy and other various treatments she never lost her smile. When she was feeling all right she would spend time with me teaching me to cook, or going out to dinner with me. She would talk to me for hours and share stories of her childhood and what it was like for her growing up as an army brat. There was a spark of interest in her eye when I told her my stories. I could tell she was interested, she cared.
Her name was Melody Martin. She thought of herself as my grandma and treated me with the kindness and respect that was deep in her heart. Melody accomplished so many amazing things in her life, and to me is the highest example of determination and courage.
In 1999 she went before the Indiana constitution and Indiana court of appeals and won her case against negligent physicians, she changed the law in Indiana. Melody founded the Bloomington Breast Cancer Awareness walk in 1997. In the fall of 2005 the walk began with a surprise tribute to Melody and was renamed in her honor. It was bittersweet knowing how proud and happy she was, but also knowing that would be the last walk she would physically attend. We all knew she would continue to watch over the walk for years to come. That was truly the case this year when predicted thunderstorms turned out to be a crystal clear day.
Melody died October 29, 2005. She was with her family, and left the world peacefully.
Melody’s smile and exuberant spirit will live on through the many people who loved her. I believe it wasn’t Melody’s life that defined her, but the way in which she chose to live it that left a lasting impression with me. Melody always said life is good, and she was right life is good.
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