“Missy” to her family, Melissa was Bruce’s office manager. So many of you heard from her and corresponded with her over the years – Melissa would answer your mail, send out the newsletters and go out of her way to help. She never make any of it seem like any trouble, because it simply wasn’t.
Melissa faced ALS (or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) with the courage and dignity that we knew she would, and so many of your donations in similar projects have been specifically made to remember our friend. Although Melissa passed in 2010, we are proud to call her to mind and donate in her memory. Our fundraising efforts are a great testament to you, and to Melissa.Here’s one account of her selfless generosity, shared by David Day a few years ago:“I’ll never forget that my 50th birthday just happened to be on a Saturday night at the Biltmore. A few of us were at the Inn having a meet-up, and the wait staff came up and presented me with a silver platter. I took off the lid and there was an envelope inside. I opened it just thinking it was another birthday card, but… Melissa had taken the time to track me down and send me a little birthday surprise! And, what a great surprise it was!”
“Never forget to enjoy each day even if your life isn’t exactly what you want it to be. The blessings are always there though sometimes we have to look a little harder”. – Melissa Reagan Smith
Melissa was instrumental in Bruce’s activities from a very early stage and central to their running. She was much loved, and to this day, it’s her voice on Bruce’s office v0icemail. So, she can still be heard today!
Years ago, before I took my very first trip to Virginia, I asked Melissa ahead of time for some ideas for places to visit. Very shortly afterwards, I received a parcel – Melissa had carefully annotated some local maps and brochures with not only the local attractions, but some back stories of Bruce’s tales and settings for his songs. Nothing was ever too much trouble. (You can click the image below to see some of her notes).
Our fundraising for the ALS Association today, and always, is in memory of our friend Melissa.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Melissa e-mailed me. Her words had a profound impact, to this day:
“Never forget to enjoy each day even if your life isn’t exactly what you want it to be. The blessings are always there though sometimes we have to look a little harder”.
To donate to the ALS Association (DC, MC and VA Chapter), please use our JustGiving page. Donations are secure and every cent goes to the charity.
– Si Twining.