Tuesday, April 29, 2008

About Melissa Riggio

I recently read about a remarkable young woman in the news and have been meaning to post about her. Melissa Riggio was the 20-year-old daughter of Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio. She died earlier this month of leukemia. Melissa had Down Syndrome and was the inspiration for B&N's creation of a section filled with books about children with special needs. Melissa did not allow the Down Syndrome to define her life. A graduate of Bernards High School in 2007, she was crowned prom queen at her senior prom. She won the Self Advocate Award from the National Down Syndrome Society in 2003 and worked as an office assistant at the Somerset Hills YMCA in Basking Ridge, N.J. She also was a poet and a songwriter and took voice, drama, and dance lessons. She recorded several of her songs with singer/songwriter Rachel Fuller. Below is a song/poem written by Melissa. Rachel put this poem to music and recorded it, singing with Melissa. If you search her on the internet, you will find out more about how much this special young lady accomplished in a very short life.

The Ring
by Melissa Riggio

I’m in the Ring outside
I’m following my belief
I’m looking at the sky
I saw God following my heart
I’m an ordinary woman

The Ring is falling down my way
The wind is blowing me away
The Ring is falling down, down my way
The wind is blowing me away

And so I came back to
The center of the Ring
Am I just a broken angel?
God has sent me here to heal
To be an ordinary woman

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