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Melissa Ann Riggio

Melissa Ann Riggio

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March 29, 2015
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March 29, 2015
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Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

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February 22, 2015
Dearest Riggio Family,

Through your beautiful daughter's/sister's accomplishments she is an inspiration for my daughter. May knowing she is in the Lord's presence bring you comfort.

With heartfelt sympathy,
May 23, 2014
While student teaching at BHS in 2004-5 under the tutelage of J.M., I had the pleasure of teaching Melissa. She was such a sweet child. Very eager to learn and an avid participant in all instructional activities. I forget the name of her special needs teacher, which is a shame because they had such a wonderful rapport with one another. I feel privileged to have known Melissa.
February 06, 2009
Dear Riggio Family,

Please accept our heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your beautiful daughter Melissa. Though we were not fortunate enough to have met her, we have seen her website, read her poems and songs and want to tell you how truly inspiring she IS. A few months after Melissa passed away, we were blessed with the birth of twin girls, Emma and Rebecca Vopal. Rebecca has Down syndrome and we live in Basking Ridge. I've bookmarked Melissa's site and one day when our girls are old enough, I'll be certain to share the beautiful life of your daughter with both of my daughters. May God bless you and your family.
With sympathy,
Jim and Sharon Vopal
Basking Ridge, NJ
January 30, 2009
Dear Riggio family, I am very sorry. Your daughter was beautiful and inspired alot of peopl, me being one of them. Her wisdom has inspired me to become a doctor, and find a cure for Down's Syndrome. My cousin has Cerebral Palsy, and I know how you feel. Your family is in my prayers and will always be. May Melissa rest in peace. God Bless You!
October 18, 2008
A great loss and a wonderful legacy. Our daughters went to school together for 5 years. AnnaMarie still remembered Melissa and talks about her to today.
I just heard today that there is a program in Kingsborough in Melissas name. I am looking into it for AnnaMarie. I know what Melissa wanted and hopefully, AnnaMarie can live up to it.
September 24, 2008
Wow--I never met Melissa, but I knew Steve growing up in Brooklyn and recently my brother Art shared the story of Melissa as well as her grandmother Lena's passing. I am blown away by who Melissa was and is. My regret is not having met her. What a powerful spirit on this earth. What a difference she has made in so short a time. What an inspiration for me in how to live. And for me, with a son with diabetes and another with ADD, i now realize that without her I may not have had access to the information available to me in the bookstores.
To Steve and his family, I send you so much love and comfort in the passing of 2 significant individuals in so short a time. And I thank you for sharing them with us.
Rosemary Mattiello Mancino
September 06, 2008
Dear Riggio Family, I was very sorry to hear of your loss from my brother Arthur. As a mother and special education teacher, I am profoundly touched by your amazing daughter and the impact she has made on the lives of others particularly those with special needs. She has done more in her 20 years than most in a lifetime. May you find peace and strength in knowing what an angel she has been and how many lives she continues to bless. Peace to you ... Your former neighbor from across the street, Vivian Mattiello LaColla
July 08, 2008
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Riggio - I just heard the sad news about Melissa's passing, and I wanted to express my deepest condolences. I never met Melissa, but I met Mr. Riggio when I was a CRM at the Barnes & Noble in Princeton in the late 1990's. I also knew about Melissa's powerful influence on publishing because I have a sister with an intellectual disability, and I knew that B&N had an extraordinary selection of books unavailable anywhere else. This made me all the more proud to work there, and even though I have moved on, I still speak glowingly and often of the good that Melissa and Mr. Riggio did for families seeking information. Also, empowered by knowing that people DID care about individuals like Melissa and my sister Beth, I later wrote a book about my sister, "Riding The Bus With My Sister." I am infinitely glad to have "known" Melissa. I also know, from reading all of these guest entries, that I would have loved her if we'd met. Please know that she will live on forever in books, music, and everyone whose life she touched. My thoughts are very much with you.
June 23, 2008
No bond is as great as that between a parent and child. My deepest condolences are with you as you grieve.
June 05, 2008
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Riggio, Laura and Christina,

I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa, Mrs. Riggio and Christina one day in the waiting room of Dr. Brenda Kohn, pediatric endocrinologist at NYU Tish Hospital. My daughter Abigail was just a new born then and Dr. Kohn was kind enough to contact you to ask if I could call for guidance. Mrs. Riggio, you were so kind and your advice has stuck in my heart since then. My husband Judah and I have watched Melissa in her many moments of glory and cheered her on and considered her to be an increidble role model for our Abby. We certainly loved all that Melissa accomplished because it gave us promise for a bright future for Abby. We moved to Houston 4 years ago and so missed news of Melissa's passing until we just received our local DSA newsletter. We are grieving your loss and can only imagine how empty your hearts must be without the light of her spirit around you. I trust that she is in a better place, signing with God and his many angels . I am sure you have been overwhlemed with how many people her life affected. Please know that we are praying for you and your healing and will continue to talk with Abby about what an incredible woman Melissa was...she may be gone from earth but she is not gone from our hearts.

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