Although Melody has some limits in her ability to get herself around, her repertoire of transportation has expanded in the last few months.
Melody got a fancy little wheelchair in the last year that was tailored for her. I have to admit that it was a bit of a surrender to get Melody a wheelchair. I was holding out for her to be able to walk instead. However, I am happy now that she has a means by which she can move herself around independently, particularly when she is at church. It turns out that it has not been a hindrance to her progress in crawling or walking at all, as she has made exceptional progress in those areas.
Amazingly, being the sharp little girl that she is, she instantly knew how to push herself in it. We did not have to teach her. In short order, she even figured out how to turn without anyone telling her how to do that. Her arms are small but mighty, and she exhibits incredible strength in wheeling herself around.
This has been a conduit by which Melody’s social life has expanded. Prior to having her wheelchair, Melody was dependent on us to carry her wherever she went, so we did not know her preferences. Once she acquired a wheelchair, we learned that her preference is to be with people! She is quite the social girl.
She loves everyone at church, but has a special place in her heart for her pastor who has always been there for her in all of life’s trials. Our pastor recently moved to another state.😢 Prior to Pastor’s move, Melody would wheel herself over to him almost every Sunday (sometimes even before the service was over 😉), thereby communicating how much she loves him. He would get down at her level, look her in the eyes, use her name, (all profoundly important for someone in a wheelchair), and he would sing to her. She LOVED that!
With her wheelchair, she has made many new friends of all ages…
We met this gentleman a few months ago. He was so kind to offer to push Melody in her wheelchair any time he saw her. She really enjoyed that!
She has also been able to engage with old friends in a new way.
When Melody first showed up in her wheelchair at church, several children gathered around and wanted to know if they could push her. It was a great honor to be able to escort the little treasured one.
Her best friend Nellie learned quickly that pushing Melody every week at church was one of her favorite things to do. Nellie (the one in the hat) does speak, but has some limitations in that arena. The two of them have the sweetest friendship. They have a tacit understanding that they love each other deeply. No words are necessary.
Melody is crawling back and forth on her mats about 20 times a day. We think she crawls anywhere from 50-100 yards a day (think a football field). That may not seem significant, but army crawling requires an enormous amount of strength and determination, as those in the military can attest.
Melody is not lacking in determination. She has been walking consistently for several months now with the help of a walker, and her advances in this area are remarkable. (See video above.)
When her exceptional physical therapist first started working with her on walking, she was utterly amazed at how quickly Melody took to this form of transportation. She has the pattern of walking in her brain, the motivation, the determination, and the stamina. She just needs a little balance.
Melody does not fatigue. It is really quite extraordinary. When she was younger she would be exhausted if she had two therapies in one day. By her second therapy she would smoosh her face into the ground and pretend to be sleeping.😂 That is not the case any more. She could be in motion all day if given the opportunity. We recently moved to lower altitude, which has been amazing for Melody. She is like a professional athlete who has been training in high altitude and is now unstoppable.
The other day her siblings took her for a walk down the driveway.
She headed toward the mailbox.
Believe it or not, she made it to her destination! The greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory!
For those of you who are fans of her pink Porsche, don’t worry… That is still one way for the little princess to get around.😊
We are thankful for Melody and the ways she has enriched our lives and for all of you who continue to follow her story.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places. -Psalm 18:31-33
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!