A Tribute From Melinda's Dad And Others

After over 30 months of very hard fighting, our beloved daughter Melinda Rose was finally overwhelmed by the cancer that had invaded her body, and she lovingly returned to the waiting arms of her Lord on the evening of Sunday, September 15th 1996. She was 15 years of age.

She died as she had lived - quietly, with dignity and grace, and surrounded by the family and friends that she loved so much.

On Thursday, September 19th she was laid to rest in a beautiful wooded glade in West Vancouver's Capilano View Cemetery with the sun shining brightly, a soft warm wind blowing in from the Gulf of Georgia, and the sound of bagpipes in the air.

Memorial services and a Celebration Of Life were held on Monday, September 23rd at St. Catherine's Anglican Church in North Vancouver. At Melinda's request, donations in lieu of flowers were made to Cancer Research at the B.C. Children's Hospital, The Canadian or American Cancer Societies, The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, and Canuck Place Hospice For Children. All of these institutions will continue to receive and acknowledge any donations made in her memory.

One of Melinda's final wishes was that this webpage continue to exist and be updated as her legacy to hurting children, their families, and their caregivers all over the world. With the help of our family and friends, this will be done.

In a shimmering veil of the purest white light,
They descended softly from above.
A host of angels sent to carry her back to the comfort of her Lord.
And as one, the tears fell from their eyes like rain,
For they bore in their arms the soul of the perfect child.

David Hathaway Sr,
September 16th, 1996



A Tribute From A Friend

Melinda

A sudden September wind caught the pink smiling pig balloon and carried it from the hands which had held a child.

We watched as it ascended and then it disappeared.

Melinda ascended one Sunday evening in September.

She may have disappeared from our sight but she left a legacy that will be a blessing, not only to her parents, David and Joanne Hathaway, her family and friends, but to her other family which extends around the world.

We watched as Melinda struggled with the evil that is cancer. We prayed.

Melinda's legacy is love. She loved life and grasped all that it offered. She grasped her illness and turned it into a blessing. She used it to help her "Cancer Kids", the extended family she invited into her life via her page on the Internet. She helped her family at St. Catherine's as we, too, struggled to understand. Why?

Most of all, she helped her parents and her family. They watched with pride as Melinda lived the ministry she had chosen, comforting all those with whom she came in contact, even at the end.

But this is not the end; Melinda has a new beginning. She lives in all our hearts and we give thanks that she touched our lives.

Janet Morris,
September 19th, 1996



A Tribute From A Doctor

Your Courage Our Thanks

Dear Melinda

I came to know about you and your website on the Canadian National News station.

I wish to commend you on your courage to live a life that is motivating and exemplary. I know that much hard work and dedication is involved on your part, in your present physical condition. But your thoughtfulness, eagerness, openness, expressiveness and above all, kindness and deep love are truly unique and memorable qualities, unmatched in all the cancer patients I know. You can be sure that many children in a similar predicament in our hospital are finding comfort and pride in learning about you and your family.

Please take care, keep on loving life as you have for all these years and try to forgive the unfairness that has happened to you. Perhaps you are what God has specially chosen at this time to show us his greatest love. In sufferings, we often find peace and love that transcends time and space.

You have now traveled all over the world on the wings of technology, but you will forever be fondly remembered by those who surround you and who know you personally, and those who will never stop finding ways to treat and prevent the disease, like us, as well as the many more who will sooner or later learn about you and your great courage to live a challenging life.

Joseph

Dr. Joseph Chan
The Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto
August 1996



A Tribute Picked Randomly From Her Guestbook

Thank You, Melinda

Melinda, it was good to know you, though so briefly. I feel as if I have walked into a private, beautiful place - a room that you have just left, because the window is open, the curtains are blowing, and the candle is flickering in the breeze of your passing. Out there you are, in the night sky, smiling back at us, all of us who will come after you. We never met, and I knew of your existance just yesterday, but you have made this warm, grateful glow in my heart, and I hold hands now with all your family and friends, and thank you for your life.

George Robertson
September 20th, 1996



A Tribute To Melinda's Weekend Family

Anita & Leon

Anita & Leon - Melinda's Weekend Family

Anita and Leon, together with their two sons Matt and Nick, hosted Melinda at their home almost every weekend that she was out of the hospital and well enough to travel. They became, in effect, Melinda's weekend family and she really loved being there with them. They supportrd her until the very end, visiting her every evening when she fnally went to Canuck Place. They remain the best friends that our family has.

Anita and Leon

She fluttered into your lives like a tiny injured bird,
Uncertain if she would ever fly again.
But you picked her up gently in your hands,
And warmed her with the glow of your friendship.

As time went by, she learned to trust you
For you cared for her as if she were your very own child.
And slowly, she learned to smile with you, then to laugh with joy
As you unselfishly included her in your whirlwind lives.

And when the evening came, and she was afraid,
You held her tight in your arms, and loved her,
Letting her know that you too were right beside her,
Helping to guide her toward the approaching light.

You were her beloved companions, as you are now ours,
Always putting her needs and wants before your own.
Surely that was exactly what God intended
When he created friends.

David Hathaway Sr,
December 25th, 1996



Please take a few moments to read many more tributes and/or sign Melinda's Guestbook.

Return To Melinda's Home Page