We would like to nominate our future daughter-in-law for the “Women of the Military” contest. Her name is Melissa.
Mel is as beautiful inside as she is out. She and our son, Matt have been together for three very stressful years. After dating for approximately 6 months, Matt found out he was scheduled to go over to Afghanistan the following year.
Matt is a combat engineer with 1CER in Edmonton. Mel was very upbeat and supportive during this very emotional time. She was involved in managing his finances while he was away and assisting with the preparation of his will and funeral should the need arise. Not something most young women in love must do, early in a relationship. They decided to have a baby before he left.
Mel delivered our precious granddaughter on Feb 5 2008 and Matt left for a 7 month deployment in Afghanistan on Feb 18 of the same year. Although she had no idea if she would ever see him again, she was supportive, upbeat, and always maintained a positive attitude that he would return home. She was so considerate she contacted us every time she heard from Matt, to let us know of his safety. She would reassure us constantly, even though it must have been a terrible strain on her, repeating over and over again that he was coming home. Several times I just sat on the phone crying while Mel comforted me. She also raised a newborn baby on her own, managing both the physical and emotional strain without complaint, while worrying daily about her fiancé and the father of her child.
Matt returned safe and sound in Oct 2008.
In June of this year, Mel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She did not let this get her down and remains positive and optimistic about treatment options.
Two weeks after hearing this devastating news, Matt was in a very serious car accident in which he was injured, requiring hospitalization and surgery, and their vehicle and brand new boat and trailer were completely destroyed. Throughout daily hospital visits, full-time work, daily maintenance of a household and the huge responsibility of raising a toddler, Mel was able to laugh and joke and maintain a smile, all the while fighting a newly diagnosed chronic illness of her own, with symptoms that are only intensified with stress. Only once did I see her break down in tears and that only assured me that she was human like the rest of us.
She tackles every adversity head on. She never complains about anything. She is a loving wife, wonderful mother and positive support for our family and we are so lucky to have her in our lives. She is very considerate and kind and everyone that knows her loves her. She is a very gentle soul who rarely takes time out for herself, always putting her family first.
She certainly deserves some pampering for herself. She is a vibrant, fun-loving young woman with a great sense of humour who deserves to be in the spot light. Her sense of style and sense of whimsy would make her a perfect candidate for the boudoir photo shots.
The last two years has given her numerous challenges and crises and this would be a wonderful opportunity to say thank you for all she has done for our family.
The first picture included is the morning Matt left for Afghanistan. Despite tears and worry, she was able to provide one last smile before he left.
The second and third pictures are of Mel and Abbi, her beautiful face a reflection of her even more beautiful soul.
We love you Mel,
Kelly, Jane and Josh (thanks for joining our family)