Morning’s With Melissa


Episode 5

It feels like a good start to an important day.  Melissa bounces in and is wearing a pendant. I mention it because it is rare that she adorns herself with anything but herself, I asked her to read the message on her necklace. It says: Live to love and Love to live. She knows something about almost everything. She loves to dance and loves to create her surroundings into complete and positive energies.

We begin to delve into and discuss current events as we try to fit them into our day. I ask what she means when she is talking about the Pharmaceutical companies. WE discuss how they have so many new discoveries and would probably save lives and ease so much pain if they would share, but being a business, they adhere to their money making concerns first and foremost. Melissa made an interesting discovery on why she thinks the pills are disturbing my whole being and cause me to be exceedingly high and uncomfortable. She realized that the purpose of the time-released medicine should be reviewed and adjustments made often. I enjoy being high, when too much of certain drugs linger, because it is boosting my thoughts. The crash, coming down, may not worth it. Finally we wrote a scathing note to the doctor nearly begging for help. We became owners of an appointment for 8 weeks later. Another scathing letter was written and so far we still have two weeks to go. But forgive me I am wallowing and pulling dear Melissa through the muddy torture and bending your ears.

I mention to her my belief in the righteousness of vertical affairs. She turns in my direction with a look on her face that says, Tell me. So I begin. We have been taught to be tried and true to all of the special commitments in our lives. I felt captured and ordered to continue learning from sources only allowed only by man made rules. For example, I have understood that when you commit yourself to one and only one man you cannot even be seen talking to another man. Goodness Gracious folks get a grip.

I begin telling Melissa that I believe that my life, my success in being able to think on both sides of the fence, the ability to maintain a feeling of strength and pride in accomplishing health and vigor come from the belief if I am standing, I can share and receive pertinent information from any being on God’s green earth. I have learned and shared STANDING, and now understand why I have such a continuous backache! It is so much more than vertical standing that tires the heart and soul of life itself.

How in the world did I break my back into tiny pieces when all of the vertebrae tumbled down in domino effect?

The people who love me very much wanted me to have a lovely experience with the newest concept in deep penetrating message. I said, “No thank you, but at their insistence, I succumbed. About 5 minutes after the message began a horrible striking pain went through my hips. Nothing had ever or has ever compared. Within several days I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and further on to a rehab.

I hope none of you have experienced some of the bad times written about some Rehabs. One morning a nurse came to get me for a shower. She prefaced my shower invitation with the fact I was her favorite patient. I smiled and backed up charging my presence with a huge hose spouting the biggest rush of flowing water spilling everywhere that I can ever remember seeing. It shot at me smack dab in middle and I will never forget that scene, and those moments of sheer terror and shame. I rooted myself to all that I believe and cherish. I saw through the forest and through the trees. I knew that I would have to be strong to survive. I would have something important to achieve and knew that the spraying water was ultimately going to be a piece of cake!

Are you aware that you can be cemented up again vertebrae by vertebrae, but in reality there is implanted forever, the life long need for repair.

Please write to us and tell us how you feel.











Morning’s With Melissa


On a very special morning, Melissa, bless her heart, has been spending her time scanning through my computer, where I have been saving many of my, ‘Photo Shopped’, painting’s, stories, some of my heart felt writings. She spent time printing many of the items she liked and began to collate them according to how they fit together. Pretty soon a real book began to take shape. I was stunned, and so pleased, and am now on cloud nine thousand. Imagine having a lovely, creative, helpful, and brilliant caregiver with qualities unbeknownst to both of you!

We spent days and days reading and rereading, grouping and regrouping the pages. We were finally pleased with the results. We scheduled an appointment with a printing company. Within a week we were presented with a lovely book. I was so happy to share it with many of my friend’s and family. What a job!

Some how this morning we got onto the topic of morals and values, the ones you carry with you as you live your life, which still remains a mystery, but a deep study of ourselves ensued. I asked Melissa to touch her heart and feel answers to some questions, morals, and values, she has accumulated over the time spent connected to her world.

Melissa, I want to ask you, what are your values?  We discuss values for a while. She has a big smile on her face and she says, “I get this, and it’s my thing.” Her smile is growing and she is thinking.  We write her responses down and begin to examine each entry.  She states: “I have a good heart.  I want to help people.  Helping people has always one of my main goals.”

‘I value Love plus Respect, the thoughts and ideas of others.’ I read this quote a long time ago, but it is still in my mind.

Melissa softly recites “You should often picture yourself in another persons shoes before you make a judgment.”  She adds, “It is important to me, to cherish the people I love. You need to have integrity.  That means doing what I say I’m going to do, and do it! Feeling pleased with my best effort, my strong foot forward, and my heart in the right place is how I live my life.  I enjoy having a reason to do things, never do things out of pettiness or to hurt others. I believe in treating everyone the way you want to be treated!”



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Mornings With Melissa



One morning Melissa said,” I want you to do more exercise, and I buried my head in a glass of Mira Lax. Both chuckled. Oops here she comes; all is quiet and the room becomes filled with light. Melissa asked Alexa, our mechanism than can answer any and mostly everything you ask, plus plays music upon request. You are never far from your favorite song. One morning I asked Melissa to put on her favorite band, The Grateful Dead. Before I knew it the two of us were dancing like hippies around the kitchen.

Melissa and I had a couple of heart to heart talks. I know there are many things she does for me that I don’t know about. I found out one the other day! Can you believe she peels my Asparagus? I wonder what else I don’t know about?

Why was this morning different from any other morning? I have asked myself this questions a few times and have come to realize that Melissa starts many mornings with watering the plants and being in the garden part of the house. It gives a special glint and a special glow in the eyes of this participant a special glow of knowing the plants and what each one needs. It is like she perks her ears, they perk theirs, and the message is received. Most definitely telepathically, because you know, and I know, soft secret messages are received by humans and their surrounding. Usually it is not our way for humans to think and or ponder these kinds of thoughts. Perhaps we will come back to this subject another time.

While on the subject of gardening, let me tell you about our visit to John’s Nursery in Tarzana California. First of all I would like to thank John for keeping our Community Center grounds beautifully planted and tended. He does this out of his love for his community, and his love for creating beautiful places for everyone one to wander plus lovely soft scenes to see from the road as we drive to our appointed places. Thank you to John!

It has been awhile for both Melissa and for me to have the leisure to walk in the gardens of John’s. I noticed that both of us greeted the experience with big smiles and joyfulness at sharing the ones we would buy to enhance the patio plants that needed to be put at the forefront. Just walking through the garden is an enjoyable experience in itself, but putting on our thinking caps and actually making decisions on choices is quite another. We decided to add color through the leaves of plants and blooming ones as well. We had help from John on our decision- making, and all and all we are very pleased. I learned that Melissa’s Mom Linda, loves gardening. Melissa’s Dad, Lawrin, is an enthusiastic gardener of Cymbidium Orchids. So, between these two gardening and plant lovers, they infused Melissa with their joy and heretofore, she shares with us with her endowments into the beauty of plants and planting.

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Mornings With Melissa

Episode 3:


Oh I”m in a terrible psychological muddle.  Melissa is sick and the doctor ordered her not to be near anyone or any patient with such a terrible high fever, AND a cough. I have to admit and have fought so hard not be the one who needs the caregiver. But that had side expresses that, one caregiver per person needed, but the proper amount one way or another, is not arguably, one caregiver per person being tended. Now that we have that settled I want you to know that I tried to work hard and do our work, but it is no fun without Melissa.

Having to face the same daily torture, with no loving and sympathetic support is a fearful journey. I feel sympathetic towards her, and hate to fill her with the angst of my plight, but how can I protect her when she is protecting me? Melissa and I are responsible for joining our past lessons, and bringing them to our newly shared journey, which adds meaningfulness.

Melissa has become so important in my life. She keeps me going through the toils and troubles of being so afflicted and constantly are there to sooth a mind full of fear and discomfort. I can’t imagine life without her at this juncture, so I will not imagine anything more than the truth, and the truth is I miss you come back soon.


I complain a lot about living through these moments of Horror and Fear. Melissa is tired of hearing me say that and said in a strong teacher voice, “So, now that so many things are getting better and you are involved with your writing again, I bet if the hit man came to give you your wish and stood in front of you with a gun, you would not say yes to this plan of y ours, right?

You know she has hit pay dirt and you brace for the turmoil you can or cannot take a part in. Of course, on special days where life rolls along, grinding a melody out the sandy trail ahead, the Hit man will not be summoned today. Not today Melissa, not today.

Please feel free to leave us your comments and thoughts.

Morning’s With Melissa

Episode 2

Yesterday was Melissa’s Day off.  She’s a careful driver and on her way now. Children in our neighborhoods have started school ending their summer vacations. I hope her drive has not changed the lovely empty morning streets she has enjoyed thus far, because of the maddening crowds that returning to school do cause.

Melissa comes this morning all puffed up. She says, “Morning’s suck,” she repeats in a controlled steady growl. I think for myself and begin to silently agree wholeheartedly. I think morning’s stink too, but if you are tuned in, it will give you a message. You should wade through, and hope you see joy and relief later in your the day. I would like to share some more morning thoughts in a condensed form, which will serve to inform, but will cease before I begin to wallow.

We are happy to see each other and begin writing down a few topics we have in mind to share. I start with thanking her for her help with the lovely Ice cream party we shared with the Movie Group. The movie group is a group of six couples, twelve people in all. For many years we have taken turns choosing a movie that we will see on our own, then the hostess chose a dining spot, and then the group will get together to enjoy deserts and movie discussions. Skip and I enjoyed seeing everyone after a very long hiatus. I say a huge thank you to Melissa and praise her skill mixing the afternoon, Iced Tea, Iced Coffee, conversations surrounded by love, the passing of time, and the joys of gathering together once again. I continue to praise her, but she just blushes and says, “Stop already”!

How could I possibly stop before I mentioned with great love and giving her heart felt hugs for helping me several weeks before the gathering to put all of the photographs of my paintings, some I enhanced by my love of using Photo Shop, and along with some of my writings, and observations of my deepest human thoughts, as they shape the realities of life. Melissa and her super sensitive collating skills of data in sequences brought me to the realization that she had created a beautiful book, using my love of producing artistic pieces of joy announcing me as the author, Illustrator and simultaneously giving me a bit of fame to claim.  At this moment of creating this special blog I am highlighting the sharing of Caregiving and Caregivers, and letting you know that it is not just bringing the patient a glass of water.

I am telling you this because I had many physical issues, which I could not overcome on my own. I did not understand the need and therefore, I had to create the path to renewing my body and mind.

Melissa instinctively knew how to handle each step we encountered and what to do in order for the healing of spirit and mind. Go on this journey with us as we teach each other.


Please feel free to leave your comments as we look forward to read them.




(Episode 1)

Melissa is my enlightened caregiver and I am her patient. When our family decided that it was not safe for me to be wandering and fending for myself, the search across the San Fernando Valley began. Agencies sent people for the caregiving position. My response to all of them was, “No Way!” One was so large she could not fit through the door. Another one waited in the rain to be picked up by her husband who never came. For all I know she shriveled up and floated away. A friend of mine of many years, my Lovely Brendie, found Melissa. Thanks to God, Mornings with Melissa, an important, and life giving relationship, was born.

Melissa is kind and has strong caregiving skills that she has gathered over the years. She is dependable, and her skills and knowledge is shared freely with everyone who tends to me. She puts a warm spirit all over the house, sees to the watering of special plants that would heretofore not be able to be present without her care. WE have a bird family in the yard and Melissa feeds them our breadcrumbs. As soon as Melissa goes into the kitchen, Mr. Bird flies to greet her. Melissa is welcomed by everyone for her love, warmth, and understanding of life.

Yes, you want to know what Melissa does for me. When you wake up tomorrow pen and paper should be in your hands, or placed near by. Start your written notations of everything you do for yourself. Think back a few days and add some things you remember that would have been much less frustrating with help. Your list should be long. Now it is my turn to tell all. I was chosen to suffer from a disease that not even the devil could have concocted. The Spells are horrid and cannot be explained in any way I can think of, except to put my foot in my mouth and say perhaps childbirth is something you cannot describe and each person’s pain is different. My spells come and go at their will. I do not know when they will come but I know it’s too often. They course through the body and must have a roadmap, because they are right on task and never deviate.   What Melissa does for me, is eases me through each session and lightens my load. Without Melissa, the devil wins and who wants that?

Thank you for reading so far, and when you share your comments with us, they will become so important, in helping all of us to develop growth as we share our skills


Growls and Grins

Growls or Grins, it’s the state you’re in.

Roommates for 58 years, through many growls, grins, and tears.

Happy days and dreams are sure, but just make certain you have plenty of ice cream.

For some of us, ice cream is the cure, and for some of us it is the curse.

Either way, just be sure you’re in line first.


By: Sheila Clapkin

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