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Melinda Doolittle Story of Inspiration & Gratitude

We all know and many of us admire Melinda for being strong in her religious beliefs.  While Melinda makes no secret about her feeling toward religion, our admiration for her has nothing to do with whether one is religious or not.  Rather, it has all to do with spirit, love, gratitude, compassion and someone's ability to believe in faith and exude a spirit and attitude that is not only infectious, but leaves us realizing that it is impossible not to like Melinda Doolittle.  The story below, submitted by Mary Lee from Indiana is another example of lives being inspired and comforted by a person who can so easily touch lives, as she did here with Mary Lee and her family.  Thank you so much Mary Lee for contributing this story to us.  If anything, this will be yet another piece of Melinda's heart, soul and voice having an impact on another person's heart and life.

My name is Mary Lee and I want to share with all of you how, without knowing it, Melinda Doolittle touched my life and the lives of my sisters and our mom (who passed away August 6, 2007).

Our mom and dad were married in November 1966. They each had two daughters from previous marriages. Together they raised us four girls and were blessed with such a romantic and loving marriage. When us girls were young, we called them 'Barbie and Ken'. They dressed up in tux and gown and went to formal balls, they vacationed in beautiful places and would bring us girls wonderful presents like bikinis from Hawaii and perfume from Mexico. They were so in love; and, each of us girls grew up hoping that we would each have a relationship just like theirs. Their song was 'My Funny Valentine'.

Now two of our sisters live in other states; but, mom and the two of us here in town would do a 'conference call' every week each season and watch American Idol together and talk over each other. Such fun.

We loved you, Melinda, from the very start. But the night you sang that song, the three of us were suddenly quiet and my mom said in all her life she had never heard anyone 'own' it like you did. Our throats tightened trying not to cry. But, cry we did...and laugh at ourselves and each other.

On Good Friday, 2007, I sat at my mom's table while she rummaged through her purse looking for that one little lucky piece (a painted lady bug) that she had to have with her for the trip ahead. My husband and I and my dad accompanied her to the pulmonary specialist praying for good news the whole way. We were the last appointment of the day. We should have known. She had cancer and it was everywhere.

The next four months seemed like forever and yet so short. You know the ending but you can't bring yourself to accept it. On Monday, August 6, 2007, at 6:30 AM, our mom passed away with her daughters and her husband and her sister all piled on her bed with her and sitting beside her. The last few words I spoke to her were, 'Don't worry mom. There is no time in heaven. In the blink of an eye, we'll be there...'

Since her departure, my father has grieved sooo hard. He wants to be with her. It is a challenge for us girls to keep him 'engaged' in life on earth. He just waits for his moment to be reunited with her. She was 75 when she died. Our dad just turned 83 in July. All of us girls were with him on his 83rd birthday. It was so nice to be together although sadness is everywhere we look or sit in their home. And watching our dad slowly leave us is almost too much to bear.

Melinda, when our father passes on, we WILL play your recording of 'My Funny Valentine' at his funeral. But, I will also extend an invitation to you to sing it for them. We would make you one of our sisters. It's odd how you feel like family already because of that special moment that you created for us. You are so very special Melinda. And I am sure this is just one of many stories of how you have touched people everywhere.

Love and Blessings,

Mary Lee
Indianapolis, IN


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