"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it."
~ Swedish Proverb, from Dr. Robert Melillo's book, "Reconnected Kids"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The gratitude blog

As we prepare for Thanksgiving later this week, it occurred to me that I haven't properly acknowledged and thanked everyone who made this amazing Brain Balance journey a reality for our family. To say that the last few weeks have been crazy would be quite an understatement, but that is still no excuse. As I sit in the car, headed to Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday, this seems like the perfect time to reflect and give thanks for all of the love and support that we have received these last few months. Here goes nothing...

First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Pete Scire and Jennifer Williams, the directors of the Brain Balance Centers in Roswell and Suwanee, respectively. Your program is amazing, your staff is hard working and extremely dedicated, your support for parents is like nothing I have ever experienced, and the results achieved with Aidan have completely changed his life, in all the best ways! I have never met a more dedicated and supportive group of people, and it has been my privilege to work with each of you ~ Dr. Pete, Jennifer W., Dr. Ed, Lisa, Susan, Justin, Jennifer, Summer, Susan N., and anyone I may have forgotten ~ thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

To Dr. Robert Melillo ~ thank you for creating this life-changing program for our kids, and for giving the parents such an active role in helping their children recover. As a parent who was told by more than one doctor that there was "no cause for concern" or that this was "just a phase he would grow out of," I really appreciate the way that your program treats the parents. Your directors LISTEN, they understand that no one knows a child the way that a parent does. In the Brain Balance Program, parents are supported, encouraged, and required to actively participate in helping their children reach their full potential. The Brain Balance Program is truly a team effort, and the results are amazing. Thank you, Dr. Melillo.

To Zac Brown Band ~ thank you for supporting and actively promoting the Brain Balance Program. I will never know if we would have ever heard of this program, if not for your concert in Charlotte, NC last August. We hope y'all keep spreading the word about Brain Balance at your shows ~ people ARE listening, and kids ARE getting help because of it. You guys are changing lives, with your music and your message. Thanks again for giving Aidan a special graduation night that he will NEVER forget! We can't wait to see y'all again on New Year's Eve!

To my grandparents, Mema and Mepa Jones ~ we would be lost without you! Andy and I could NEVER have afforded to relocate to Atlanta without your very generous offer to use the condo in Sandy Springs. You have helped us in SO many ways, most especially with your unwavering love and support, and we are so very grateful. We love you both so very much!

To my Mom and Dad ~ thank you for the love, the financial assistance, and most of all, for raising me to believe in myself and trust my own instincts. I could not have done this for Aidan without your love and support.
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To Aunt Gloria, Uncle Bill, Alana, and Aunt Kris ~ thanks for everything this summer and fall! Dinners by the pool, fun trips to Stone Mountain, babysitting, picnics at the park - we have had a blast spending time with y'all! Alana, thanks for all of your help with the little monkeys. I am SO glad we all got to spend this time together! Gogi - I miss our porch time already! Thanks for keeping me sane...;) Let's keep in touch, ok?

To Hannah and Delanie Fancher - you ladies are life savers! Thanks for spending part of your summer monkey-sitting! We had lots of fun, and we miss y'all very much!

Remember our refrigerator in Atlanta?

Well, we had LOTS of people send us cards, pictures, and letters. We even got a couple of packages too. Getting mail was a true highlight for the boys - they wanted to check the mail every single time we passed the mailboxes - and they would get SO excited anytime there was mail for them! And even on the most trying day, a glance at our refrigerator could always make me smile! Knowing that SO many people were thinking about us, loving us, and supporting and encouraging us was just the best feeling for ALL of us. I would like to very sincerely thank anyone and everyone who took the time to mail something to us in Atlanta. Every card meant so much to us, and we have saved them ALL. One day, I hope we will have a truly awesome scrapbook of our Atlanta Adventure to share.

We did have a couple of pen pals that rate a little extra special recognition. We would especially like to thank Nanny and Reta (Buddy and Hudson too), the Screptock/Sheffield clan (Uncle Skip, Aunt Pamela, Colleen, Daniel, and pups), and Mimi and Papa for being such faithful pen pals! We loved all of the cards and letters that y'all sent, and we hope you liked the cards and artwork that we sent in return! Finally, we would like to bestow the MOST FAITHFUL PEN PAL award to...TEAM WALLACE! Molly, Brandon, Lydia (Aidan's girlfriend) and Jude (Ace's bud) ~ thank y'all SO very much for ALL of the letters, pictures and notes that you sent us! Getting mail was always fun, but getting mail from Team Wallace was super exciting! Now that we're back home, we'll have to work on getting that rock band together - you bring the Queen, we'll bring the Bon Jovi! You guys ROCK!
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To Aidan's IEP team at May Howard ~ I know it hasn't always been easy, but I appreciate more than I can say the willingness of this team to ensure that Aidan have a successful year in first grade. Thank you all for working with us so diligently while we were in Atlanta, and for working so hard to make sure that Aidan's transition back to school went as smoothly as possible. Mrs. Fruits, Mrs. Harriott, Mrs. Pierce, Ms. Kaimal, Ms. Colwell, Mrs. Colby and Ms. Taylor ~ Thank you very much for ALL of your help and support. I think we are off to a GREAT start, and I look forward to a fantastic year!

To everyone who helped out with Aidan's Brian Balance tuition fund, we appreciate your generosity more than we can say. We could never have done this alone, and we are so fortunate to have so many friends and family members in our corner. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

And finally, we would like to thank the two people who made our Brain Balance dream a reality for Aidan - Buddy and Jackie Pence.

Jackie, I hope that you know that your final gift to Aidan has changed his life forever. Our entire family is grateful for your gift of Brain Balance, and we hope that we have all made you proud. We love and miss you every single day. Buddy, we love you so very much. Thank you for loving and supporting us along this incredible journey. We could NOT have done this without your love and support.

Hug everyone a little tighter tomorrow, as you gather around to feast. We hope everyone has a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving!

Much love,



  1. Allie, I read this blog post on my phone when it was first posted. I thought it was such a beautiful thank you to all of your Brain Balance friends and family. It made me cry. Today, I got the full experience as I read it from the blog itself, complete with all of your amazing pictures. It really made me realize that life is truly a precious gift. It also made me realize how hard you've worked to make Aidan's life the very best that it can be. You are one of the many amazing blessings that God has graced me with in my lifetime. I am so proud of you! I love you!, Mom

  2. Thanks, Mommy. You're making ME cry! I love you!


The Brain Balance Motto

We Believe that Within Every Child Resides...

The Body of an Olympic Athelete...
The Brain of a Scientist...
The Mind of a Poet...
The Hands of an Artist...
The Ear of a Composer...
The Heart of a Saint...

NEVER Stop Believing That Your Child Has Unlimited Potential!