Melissa Hevenor
Saturday October 21 , 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

We’ve Come So Close but Yet so Far with Embracing Equality

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

As many of you know from following me on social media, I love what I do. I love Spirit and 99% of the time, I love my life. I have always been blessed to serve as an advocate for my fellow members who are differently-abled, or historically labelled “handicapped.” I think it is amazing how far we’ve come, when someone like myself, can be widely embraced and supported through social media or someone like Amy Purdy, an amputee, who is conquering the world one activity at a time, and making a statement in Hollywood, and still, there is so much further to go. I love the blessings and opportunities that the universe is allowing for me as I have a growing clientele who work in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and, as to be expected, as that clientele has grown, doors have opened, inviting me to be showcased on various media platforms such as talk shows and/or television appearances. Unfortunately, the sad reality is realizing, after interviews and being watched by interested parties, the studios where the appearances would take place, are not wheelchair-accessible. This unspoken barrier in Hollywood floors my mind, when there have been television shows such as Push Girls, that center around women in wheelchairs, and other tv shows with main characters who are in wheelchairs. Although, it does explain why able-bodied actors are used to portray characters in wheelchairs.

I am certainly familiar with the stigmas that can surface in areas of art or artistry. For example, in my first two years of college, I was the first individual in a wheelchair to take choreography, Dance Notation, History of Hip-Hop, Intro and Advanced Modern Dance, and a whole group of other art-related classes that involved dance or movement. Obviously, I was not able to participate in the same way that able-bodied students were able to dance. But, I did learn how to choreograph and put dance numbers together, verbally describing the choreography to able-bodied dancers. I will never forget the first day of class. The dance professor was so closed-minded and completely irate that I refused to leave the class. She insisted that it was a waste of time, and that I would be an observer who was in the way. Fortunately, the angels and my guide helped me to win her over quickly when she realized I had a photographic memory and could verbally describe each dance step precisely. Not only did I learn a greater appreciation for the art of dance, but also on the last day of class, each classmate thanked me for teaching them how to be better dancers, through the art of listening. And the professor even choreographed a piece in my honor, called “Dancing from the Heart.” Sometimes, against all odds, you know you are placed among people for something much greater than the circumstances convey, and although I find great joy in dong my readings and being of service to Spirit, and people from all over, I know that much of the greater picture is to serve as an advocate for differently-abled people, not only by sharing my story and the obstacles I’ve overcome from a wheelchair, and in life, but also to demonstrate that someone who is physicallyh different, still can be a valuable contributor, sexy, have an active social life and bring a perspective that the average person may not.

I recently went to a popular restaurant/bar in Fort Lauderdale, where I was treated like a second-class citizen. The interior of the restaurant had no tables accommodating a wheelchair and the exterior tables that did accommodate for a wheelchair, were typically not available. After an hour wait for a wheelchair accessible table outside (in 90 degree weather), more than one waitress came over and recommended that I eat off of a metal bar stool removed from the outdoor bar. Sadly enough, not fully comprehending what the waitress was asking of me, I agreed. Until she brought a tiny, metal bar stool that I couldn’t get my wheelchair underneath, and left my friend who was accompanying me, to eat with the food on her lap. When i told her I was not comfortable eating off of a metal stool,she insisted that this is how other disabled customers were most often accommodated. When I asked her how many able-bodied customers she had made this suggestion to, she began to giggle, and miraculously, a table outside opened up, where there was not only table available, but all of a sudden, four tables were available. To top it off, when my friend ordered a $10 mimosa, it was 1/4 full, when other mimosas came in all directions to other tables, filled to the top. We found out later that for $5 more, you could have a whole bottle of champagne and orange juice, and miraculously, we were not told of this Sunday brunch option. I am always optimistic and look for the best in every situation, though this particular experience was over and beyond outrageous, and I am a firm believer that when you remain silent when an injustice occurs, you might as well be committing the injustice yourself. I still view these experiences as blessings, as they open the door to raise awareness and the vibrational consciousness of humanity. So, I will continue on my journey to make a difference with the main intention of helping society embrace the true colors of all individuals, no matter the shape, color, formation or limitations of the light that each person shines.

Healing in L.A. in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Los Angeles is so special to me. You have the mountains and the hills, the ocean, cafes, the limelight of Hollywood, the history of freedom and equality, in particular, California was the first state to adopt rights for the disabled and I have to say, in Los Angeles, I feel the most at home and the most free. I know these feelings stem far beyond this lifetime, because from the moment I landed in Los Angeles for the very first time, I felt at home. As a person with a degree in theater design and creative writing, and experience in film editing, of course, LA has the Hollywood appeal but my love for the city, far exceeds those highlights.

Now, I am also lucky enough to say that some of the people I love so dearly live there giving me even more reason to feel connected and love La-La Land. As many of you know I recently made a trip out there eighty per cent for personal vacay time, and twenty per cent for business. As someone who is in the spiritual field, and works to be of service, I feel I can Speak for many of us who are healers or of service we often forget to treat ourselves with as much care and consideration as we do for clients or others who we try to help. I was long overdue for some self-care time, so excited to see my beloved gay husband, Ray, and his sister Venus, who are definitely a part of my soul family. From the moment I met these two, I knew them on a heart level. When we connect, it is as though time stands still and no time has passed. Then, of course, my friends and soul sisters, Danielle and Linda, have their own spot in my heart just for them. It does not matter what is going on in my life or in the world they always make it better, make me laugh and give me strength. On top of that, they are two of the most spiritually connected And giving people I’ve ever met. Then, of course, there’s my dear friend, soul sister, mentor, teacher, and healer all wrapped up into one, Ms. Lisa Williams. I had the extraordinary experience of receiving not only one energetic healing session with Lisa, but two. Of course, it is easy to speak highly of someone when they are your friend but this experience far exceeds friendship or soul sister admiration. It was, literally, out of this world. And I will do my best to take you aboard, and give you a glimpse into the experience that I had with Lisa, truly a master healer in her own right.

The first session took place on the third day of my trip. I had had the honor of attending her Sunday church service and receiving a message from my family in spirit with Lisa as the messenger. That, too, of course, was healing, rewarding and such a gift. Although, very different from the energy healing. Before she began the healing, I asked what she wanted me to do.  She said I could stay in my wheelchair. All I had to do was sit back in my wheelchair and take a deep breath. She stood up, walked behind me and placed her forefingers on each of my shoulders. For minutes we didn’t

speak. It felt like many electric-heat waves were pulsing through my body, from my shoulders all the way down to my feet, not once did she move. I asked lisa, after some time, what exactly she was feeling. She said she couldn’t feel her hands, they were basically just numb and other than that she didn’t really feel anything. I had been having some back pain, as well as some pain around my kidney, but I asked her before she started, if she wanted me to show her where I had pain. She said, “No.” About ten or fifteen minutes into it, it literally felt like she was cupping my spinal cord and moving her hand up and down my spine gently. I asked her “how are you doing that?” “I’m not doing it. I am just a pure channel. I’m channeling one of my healing guides.” The moment she said that I saw, in my minds eye, a small in stature oriental man, who I knew was some type of Eastern medicine doctor for the Orient. His energy, that was flowing through her body, it was light and gentle. I asked her if she could see what was going on in my body, she told me if she scanned my energy or my body, she could see everything, and she was smoothing out the areas in my spine where the circulation was not flowing properly, she did this for quite some time. Then she  said, “you have pain in one other place, don’t you?” I said, Yes.” She said, “don’t tell me where.” Moments later…(I know how crazy this is going to sound)…it felt as though a large hand was cupping, or holding, one hand on The bottom and one hand on the top of my left kidney, and any and all pain melted away. As spiritual as I am, it was still hard for my brain to process what was happening. There was an overwhelming sense of peace, almost like being coveted in a warm cocoon or womb, where I felt my spirit was tucked away as my physical body was being worked on. I told her it felt lie Reiki but times 1,000, on such a high level. I’ve had many healing sessions, from many amazing healers but I can honestly say, that I’ve never experienced anything like that. I couldn’t even fully verbalize the gratitude, because my body felt renewed, strong and peaceful all at once. The whole time Lisa was standing up. About 30 minutes into it, I felt emotional, with gratitude for Lisa so selflessly giving of herself to bring in the higher divine energy for my well-being. Also, trying to stay present, experiencing each moment, and at the same time, realizing that something was happening on a completely different plane, that functioned high above what we know as the earth plane. I recalled things that she and I had shared on the journey through our friendship. I thought about the future, as well as the past, knowing that somewhere in time, way before the current healing I was experiencing, we had been in circumstances together, where she had been the healer before. I felt like my spirit as well as my physical body, somehow acknowledged this, and everything was happening at once, creating a consciousness that recognized the reverent, yet majestic energy of it all, until the tears flowed. Still keeping one hand in contact with me, for healing, she then came around and sat in front of me, acknowledging everything at once, just saying “everything will be okay.” The words seemed simple and yet, I knew they were significant, not only in that moment, but for moments yet to unfold in the future, and for moments long since past, bringing Lisa and I even closer as friends, on multiple planes of existence.

That night I text her trying to find the words of gratitude for the healing, as hours later, my body still felt peaceful and pain-free. I told her it was better than a massage, better than Reiki, and better than anything, and she should really make it part of her spiritual journey to teach others how to do what she did. I also asked her if she could possibly do it again before I left, and she promised to do so. The day before my flight left, she came to see me and give me more healing. This time was just as magical but different, she again started from behind me, putting her forefingers on each shoulder and slowly I began to feel the warm electricity feeling, going through my body, only this time, I felt my aura opening up at each chakra point, and strangely enough, it felt like we were on the ocean, moving in waves together. I could’ve sworn we were swaying. Then, she said “Do you feel that swaying?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “this time it’s interesting, I could feel your energy moving backwards in my direction.” I said, “I just feel all my chakras opening. This time the experience was something my energy or spirit was familiar with, so there was no resistance and I immediately surrendered to the experience on an energetic level from my spirit that did not occur the  first time. On  this day, I also felt a difference in the energy that Lisa was channeling. There was a strength to it that wasn’t present with the first oriental healer. on this day, the healer’s energy was Native American, and very connected to the earth; even though Lisa was behind me, I felt her stance and her connection to the ground. On this day, she began working on my abdomen. The hands healing my stomach felt large and powerful, like an Indian chief’s. I told her the hands entering my body to heal my stomach felt different, telling her I knew it was a diffeerent healing guide this time as she channeled. She said, “It is.” I said, “they feel more Native American or Shamanic.” she said “that’s interesting because earlier today I was working with students and I was using an earthing mat to balance chakras and help center and connect to the healing energy of the earth.” I had also placed my hands in front of me gently holding them together, leaning on my lap in a circular shape. Within that circle of my arms, I felt such an overwhelming heat, almost like a heating pad was placed over my abdomen. At one point the phone rang, but Lisa and I with her healing guide, were on such another dimension, it seemed as though the ringing of the phone was completely far away, even though it was very close, on the dresser in front of us. At times I heard a buzzing in my ears. I was convinced it was actually the frequency of the energy that was traveling from Lisa into my body. It was not a ringing in your ears but a gentle buzzing, resonating through both my ears. After doing this for a bout 15 minutes or so Lisa then.  Said she waned to work on my legs because I had quite a bit of swelling that day. She then came around in front of me, sat on the bed and placed both her hands on my thighs. It was amazing what I was then able to see. Her hands did not look like her hands, they looked much bigger. And there was so much energy coming through them,  that I even felt both of my legs twitching trying to be in harmony with the energy she was offering. She had her eyes closed and took several deep breaths. I can tell you I have been seeing auras since I was around five years old, but in  all of that time, I have never seen what I saw, looking at Lisa as she sat in front of me with her eyes closed, doing healing on my legs, her entire body from head toe was green. green is the color of the heart chakra. it is also the color of healing, it was not a neon green, but a muted lime green and in that moment I had to giggle because she looked like a life-sized version of Yoda, I told her, “you have become Yoda. You are Yoda!” A smile came over her face while her eyes remained closed and she said “people do call me Yoda.” I said “ok, but I’ve never seen someone completely green from head to toe.” Even as I write about this, it takes me back because it wasn’t in my mind’s eye, it was in my everyday eyes that I saw this. Above her was a strong cylinder of white light that looked like you could put your your hand through it, flowing down into her crown chakra and then immediately turning green, to encompass her entire body. This experience was also different because even though I was on a different dimension, at the same time, I felt grounded and as though I was being pulled to the earth. And she said she was healing me through grounding. I have no idea how long this took place because it was an experience where time stopped. Interestingly enough, when she finished, we both stared at her hands because her palms were extremely red and wrinkled, still looking larger than life, old and ancient.

The public knows Lisa, for the amazing medium/psychic that she is, truly unique and amazing in her own right. Although, her healing ability also needs to be recognized, because truly the only words that come even slightly close to the experience are extraordinary and reverent. I am so pleased that she has decided to teach healing courses.  Much like, her mediumship and psychic gifts, I know in my heart that her energy healing techniques will be a huge component to the Lisa Williams International School of  Spiritual Development legacy that will live on for centuries to come.

No matter what certifications you have, what your background or training, if you have any interest in holistic healing, in any capacity, please put money aside and reward yourself with the honor of taking healing classes with Lisa Williams. It will do nothing but enhance what you already know, changing both your life and those you share it with.

There were other fun, memorable moments of my trip but they took place on the earth plane. The healing sessions are something I will always remember, and  moments shared with Lisa, my friend, mentor, sister and everything in between, a healing  journey to LA, a galaxy far, far away! (This blog is dedicated to superhuman healing Yoda herself,  Lisa Williams I love you with so much gratitude for yesterday today and many tomorrows to come)

Understanding Karma

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Sometimes it is so difficult when our heart dreams of following a certain path, and you try so hard, to do your part in your relationship with G-d, to accomplish these dreams. There will always be other people who pass judgment on why you’ve made these choices or why you’ve had these dreams, or whether or not you’ll be successful. you have to respect other people’s opinions enough to let them be, but respect yourself enough to recognize that at the end of the day, they are only opinions, and G-d is the only one who knows what will become a truth.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is karma and I actually addressed this topic in my radio show last night. One of my teachers defined karma as an energetic signature. Everything that we do has energetic imprint that is left in the universe, whether it be our actions, words, even thoughts, and with each of these interactions with the universe or others, we are either in line with the divine energy,functioning as the spirit we are, or functioning at a lower vibration that resonates more with our physical incarnation rather than our true spirit. Most of us function somewhere in between, doing things that help us on our spiritual path ,while also making choices that resonate with our need to live in the physical dimension, and that is okay. It is important to be conscious of the fact that all interactions carry energy. At the end of the day, we want more check marks that align with living spiritually, rather than feeling drawn to live life catering to the ego, which is strongly attached to our physical incarnation.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be part of Hollywood, and, so often, people say that it is my ego driving this desire. I am human and, of course, the idea of having financial abundance and recognition, is appealing ,but in no way, do these perks drive me with such passion to be in the industry. My desire stems from wanting to make the world better, serving as an advocate for other disabled individuals,and using the platform that comes along with being in the public eye, to make changes and spread love to all walks of life, all over the world. I have no desire to be an actress or a singer, although I have had training in both of these areas. My passion is writing, sharing my journey, inspiring others to overcome whatever challenges this physical world presents, recognizing that, in essence, it is our spirit that is most important and can Overcome the obstacles in the physical existence when we recognize that the Divine vibration is so much stronger and higher than the physical. It is only after facing obstacles and overcoming them, that you can use your story, to glorify the power of G-d, and help others who may be facing similar challenges and need inspiration to keep moving forward. Humor is also a great tool to help educate and motivate people to carry on. My heart’s dream is to share comedy that embraces spirituality, while maintaining integrity and respect for universal principles that can help in everyday living. Sometimes when blocks occur, in reaching my Hollywood dreams, I understand that there are karmic blessings and delays that occur, so that everything unfolds in perfect timing. Even So, understanding karma is still one of the most complex and continual learning processes that we face living in this physical existence known as Life.

Understanding karma

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Sometimes it is so difficult when our heart dreams of following a certain path, and you try so hard, to do your part in your relationship with G-d, to accomplish these dreams. There will always be other people who pass judgment on why you’ve made these choices or why you’ve had these dreams, or whether or not you’ll be successful. you have to respect other people’s opinions enough to let them be, but respect yourself enough to recognize that at the end of the day, they are only opinions, and G-d is the only one who knows what will become a truth.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is karma and I actually addressed this topic in my radio show last night. One of my teachers defined karma as an energetic signature. Everything that we do has energetic imprint that is left in the universe, whether it be our actions, words, even thoughts, and with each of these interactions with the universe or others, we are either in line with the divine energy,functioning as the spirit we are, or functioning at a lower vibration that resonates more with our physical incarnation rather than our true spirit. Most of us function somewhere in between, doing things that help us on our spiritual path ,while also making choices that resonate with our need to live in the physical dimension, and that is okay. It is important to be conscious of the fact that all interactions carry energy. At the end of the day, we want more check marks that align with living spiritually, rather than feeling drawn to live life catering to the ego, which is strongly attached to our physical incarnation.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be part of Hollywood, and, so often, people say that it is my ego driving this desire. I am human and, of course, the idea of having financial abundance and recognition, is appealing ,but in no way, do these perks drive me with such passion to be in the industry. My desire stems from wanting to make the world better, serving as an advocate for other disabled individuals,and using the platform that comes along with being in the public eye, to make changes and spread love to all walks of life, all over the world. I have no desire to be an actress or a singer, although I have had training in both of these areas. My passion is writing, sharing my journey, inspiring others to overcome whatever challenges this physical world presents, recognizing that, in essence, it is our spirit that is most important and can Overcome the obstacles in the physical existence when we recognize that the Divine vibration is so much stronger and higher than the physical. It is only after facing obstacles and overcoming them, that you can use your story, to glorify the power of G-d, and help others who may be facing similar challenges and need inspiration to keep moving forward. Humor is also a great tool to help educate and motivate people to carry on. My heart’s dream is to share comedy that embraces spirituality, while maintaining integrity and respect for universal principles that can help in everyday living. Sometimes when blocks occur, in reaching my Hollywood dreams, I understand that there are karmic blessings and delays that occur, so that everything

Unfolds in perfect timing. Even So, understanding karma is still one of the most complex and continual learning processes that we face living in this physical existence known as Life.

Talia’s Birthday Tribute - a Journey of Love

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

For weeks, I have been working hard to make money and get things done so that I could take  the weekend off, to attend Talia Joy Castellano’s tribute. I first discovered Talia, after  one of my dear friends did my make-up at a spiritual conference, and I wanted to learn how to put make-up on more expertly, so another friend recommended I watch make-up tutorial videos on YouTube. I now know, certainly, not by accident, I found Talia’s YouTube channel She was a spunky, full-of-life, talented make-up guru and she was only 12 years old at the time. Before long, I connected with her through various social media platforms, and we communicated and I became a fan/friend of Talia’s over the Internet. She not only taught me about how to apply make-up from watching her videos, but she taught me how to be strong in the face of life’s challenges and to count your blessings, no matter what you’re facing. Talia also bravely shared her difficult battle with cancer very openly in her vlogs. I Always drew strength from her happy, bubbly personality and wise outlook. In life, I faced many a challenge, thinking what would Talia do or say. Over time, Talia’s health declined, but her personality and flair for life never faltered. I prayed for her and her family daily, and sent encouraging messages, while she spent large amounts of time in the hospital, fighting two forms of childhood cancers. Being that she only lived about 3 hours from me, I had always hoped to meet her in person, and I’m sure we would have, if given the chance. About two weeks before Talia’s passing, I began to send distant healing and prayers as much as I could, and as often as I could. Sometimes as a healer and a spiritual worker, I have to accept that healing does not always mean curative measures, but sending love and peace to the person to aid in whatever way G-d sees fit. It touched my heart deeply when Jamie, “the psychic,” host of the radio show, Cosmic Caffeine, was given the chance to do hands-on healing with Talia and her family in the hospital. Serving as an instrument that allowed G-d to work through her, Jamie provided pain relief and peace to beautiful Talia. Through G-d’s grace, Talia’s loved ones were granted precious time with Talia, while she was awake and alert, that they might not have been given if Talia, her family and Jamie, had not been so open, loving and ready to do whatever needed to be done, to allow G-d’s love to help her. That is a beautiful example of how free will comes into play. G-d is always there to help and love us, but the choices we make impact our complete acceptance and accessibility of that divine intervention. At 2 a.m., on July 16, I was awakened form a deep sleep, by my guide, Robin, who said, “Talia is transitioning.” I had  never sent healing to anyone transitioning from their physical into their spiritual form from a distance, so I didn’t know what to do, and my heart ached from the thought of not seeing another video or communicating with Talia over social media again, but as a light worker, I have taken an unspoken vow to use my life as a vehicle to spread and carry G-d’s love, serving the divine above all else. This sense of duty is often difficult, because my earthly human self has wishes, desires, and wants that do not always correlate with what is best for the highest good. This was certainly one of those times. My human heart wanted Talia to be here more than anything, so I gave myself a few minutes to grieve and accept that this was probably not going to be the case, and then took a deep breath, pulled myself together, gathered my favorite crystals, cleansed them and formed them in the shape of  a heart on the bed beside me.  Then, I said aloud,”Okay, I  am here to serve whatever G-d’s plans are and whatever Talia needs right in this moment. Please help me to be of service.” I closed my eyes and visualized Talia on her bed. The next thing I saw was myself floating above her, and then rolling out like a blanket, green light over her, beginning at her feet, going up to her shoulders. I also noticed I was taking slow, deep breaths, and, for a few minutes it even felt like, somehow, I was helping her breathe, like remotely using my lung capacity to even out her breathing. My guide, Robin, then told me to call in Archangel Raphael, the angel of healing, and visualize placing my hand intuitively where I felt she needed assistance, to ease pain or bring comfort. I visualized one hand placed gently on her stomach and the other hand over the heart, sending as much love and positive energy that I could. I did this for about a half-hour, and then my guide said, “Say a prayer.” I bowed my head, sitting up on my bed, hands folded and said, “Dear G-d, in heaven, I’m here to help as you know, and as a spiritual person, I know you always have a plan. If there’s any way that those plans can change, so that beautiful Talia can stay here on earth, and finish more of her dreams, I will be eternally grateful and help in any way I can, to serve you more completely. If that is not possible, please ease her pain and give her a special place in heaven. I vow, to you, and to her, that I will spend the rest of my life helping to educate about childhood cancer, and supporting Talia and her family in any way that I can. Eternally yours, Melissa.” Then, I placed my hand on my heart, and imagined sending out as much pink and white light as possible into my hand, and closed my eyes to visualize Talia placing that same hand where her heart would be. Tears began to fall, and I intuitively knew, with deep sadness, that her time here on earth was coming to an end. It took me a good 45 minutes to go back to sleep. I woke up at 11 a.m. Because my first appointment of the day was not until later, and at 12 noon, I saw the post that Talia had gotten her wings at 11:22 that same morning. Even knowing hours before that it was going to happen, I was deeply saddened, and reached out to her family on social media, giving as much support, love and prayers as possible. The family soon announced that there would be a public tribute to celebrate her life in Orlando. I wanted so much to go and be a part of it, to honor Talia and embrace her beautiful family. Unfortunately, traveling for me takes more planning and money than it does for most, even if the destination is a simple 3 & 1/2 hour car ride. Unable to drive, I need someone to do the driving and in order to travel long distances, I am most comfortable and do so most easily with my electric wheelchair. If I have the luxury of bringing my electric wheelchair, that involves securing a van with an automatic ramp that my wheelchair can securely travel in, and renting a wheelchair-accessible van is very expensive, typically over $100/day, plus mileage once surpassing whatever the allowed miles. The tribute was starting at 7:30 and lasting until 10:30 at night, so I knew most likely, we would need to pay for one night at a hotel. Therefore, a simple 24-hour trip can easily run hundreds of dollars! Which isn’t that much of an issue when there’s time to set money aside, but even working extra hours and cutting corners, I was unsure if I would be able to manage it, so I surrendered to Spirit and asked the angels to help me. Help me, they did indeed! One of my soul sisters Lisa Came to visit, and because we are so close, she knew I was sad over Talia’s passing. To my heart’s delight, she and some other close friends rallied together, to help me get there. The experience was truly amazing.

When my friend, Becky, went to pick up the van, the one they had available was brand new and a beautiful gold color, with the word “Star” written across one of the windows. We were going in style for Talia. Arriving in Orlando, we decided to have lunch at a restaurant in Disney’s Marketplace. The restaurant we chose was called “the T-Rex.” It was awesome. Once again, Talia gave us a huge sign that she was with us. The parking  lot was filled and, within minutes, we got the best parking spot. Then, we put our name in for our table, and I had to use the rest room, so our table was given away. The hostess then explained that we would no longer be sitting in the Ice Age (the restaurant is divided into historical, geographical eras); we had been move to the Coral Reef area. In this section of the restaurant, there was a massive tropical fish tank, with hundreds of fish, Ike clownfish and, of course, fish that looked like Dori, who is known to say, like Talia, “just keep swimming.” In fact, we were seated directly in front of the tank, and moments later, a little girl went up to the tank and said, “Look. It’s Dori! Just keep swimming.” So, once again, we knew Talia was there with us. We enjoyed our lunch and then celebrated Talia’s 14th birthday, by ordering a huge chocolate cake with ice cream, called the chocolate Extinction, complete with a volcano that smoked. It was sinfully massive and amazing. We had plenty to take back to the hotel! Lunch was such an event that we had very little time to get back to the hotel and change for the tribute. Just for Talia, I brought almost all my make-up and, thankfully, learning some of her trade secrets on You Tube, the make-up was both fun and pretty seamless. I wore a baby blue top, and a  matching skirt with baby blue embroidery, because blue was Talia’s favorite color. Upon arriving to the event, there were tons of news crews, traffic controllers, and you could feel the magic and tension in the air, all at the same time. Entering the church was like entering a Red Carpet event. As soon as you walked through the doors of the main Lobby, there were velvet ropes blocking off an area that had life-size cut-outs of Talia in her edgy, stylish fashion and a montaged backdrop with images of her glamorous eyes and her name. It indeed felt like Hollywood, honoring Talia. Then, once again, I’ m sure Talia assisted in helping me get a spot in the auditorium where I could see everything, but where I also had privacy to share in the event with my friend, Becky, and say my goodbyes to sweet Talia. On every large  screen, there were videos and photographs of Talia, beginning at birth and chronologically documenting her personality and her journey with cancer. The whole event was amazing, but the highlights for me were hearing her big sister,Mattia Joyce Castellano, sing “Dancing in the Sky” with her best friend, by Danni & Lizzy. If you’ve never heard that song, check it out on You Tube, as it captures the feelings experienced when someone you love dearly is now in heaven. Truly perfect song to dedicate to Talia. The other highlight included watching Talia’s best friend, Sheridan, perform a modern dance to the song, “NoDay but Today” from Rent. Elegant, exquisite and deeply moving are the only ways to describe it. Towards the end of the event, it was complete with a fashion show and, as the pastor stated in the beginning, I think Talia is one of the only people who would have a memorial so hip and special that it included a fashion show of her personal designs, with the help of Urbana Chappa. The collection is called Bald Chick Collection, and trust me when I say, the designs are edgy and hip. At the end, one of the most moving moments was hearing Desiree, Talia and Mattia’s mom, speak, and asking everyone to sing, “HappyBirthday” to Talia, which we did. Then, at the very end, if there were anyone left in the auditorium who had not shed a tear, this was the deal breaker. Talia’s stepfather spoke about Desiree’s endless support of Talia and credited her with being an earth angel. You could feel his love for these girls. They even served little chocolate cupcakes with pink pearls on top. Absolutely perfect for Princess Talia! I made my way to Talia’s sister, Mattia, and she immediately knew who I was. I thanked her for sharing her sister with the world, myself included, told her how much she and Talia meant to me and promised to help in any way I can, fight childhood cancer and carry on Talia’s legacy. Knowing that Mattia felt my same sense of loss, but 10,000 times more deeply, it was hard to hold back tears when speaking to her. It was a total honor. She was mature, sophisticated and represented Talia beautifully. We took a photograph together and then I  went to her mother. Desiree knelt down beside my Chair and listened intently to everything I had to say, completely present and she radiated love every moment. We embraced and also took pictures, and I promised her as well, that I would continue to carry all of them in my heart and help be part of Team Talia forever. I feel more peace since being able to attend the tribute and there are so many dreams Desiree and Mattia will carry on for Talia in her name and I want to be a part of everything. They gave me permission to write this blog and I want to thank Lisa, Becky, Jennifer, Sandra, Mattia, Desiree, and last but not least, everyone’s angel, mine included, Talia Joy Castellano.