Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Remembrance - Julie

Julie, my bi-centennial baby, would turn 40 this year.
4 - 8 - 16
multiples of four mark Julie's 40th birthday.

I try to imagine what Julie would be like at 40.
I asked Amy what she thought she would be like.
"She'd be the same," she said.

I had a dream not long ago about Julie.
In my dream, someone asked how old Julie was.
I said,
"She has no age.
She is ageless.
She now belongs to the ages."

Julie is no longer bound by time.
She is timeless.

We, in this earthly realm are still bound by time.
We, in her family, mark time by such remarks as:
"Julie would be 40 if she were alive."
"Julie has been gone nearly six years."
"I saw 8:08 on the clock today and thought of Julie."

Time has moved on since our dear Julie left our midst, but she is never far from our minds.
She remains so very dear to our hearts.
She lives on in our memory.

On her birthday, we celebrate the life that blessed our lives when Julie was born.

When Julie turned 33, I wrote a blog post about her birth and early years on our private family blog.
On Facebook that year, I wrote, "Julie celebrates her birthday tomorrow."
She responded with this:
did i get a 17 paragraph blog post smile emoticon

Seventeen paragraphs would not begin to describe Julie.

In my memorial service tribute, I tried to describe Julie this way:

Julie, my free-spirit with a soul that was as rich, full-bodied and interesting as her hair, was born on a spring morning on April 8, 1976. My springtime pixie, born while the daffodils were in full bloom entered this life like a fire cracker during the bicentennial year of our nation’s birth. She seemed to be all sunshine and laughter as a young child.

Julie had such a sense of fun throughout her entire life.

That impish quality that was so evident in her early life was a quality she always had.

She was clever.
She had such wit.
And her cleverness allowed her to be quite creative in most things she did in life.

She was energetic.
She loved to dance, to hike, to ski, to run.
She ran marathons and was on the track team in high school.

She was playful, spontaneous, active, dynamic, enthusiastic, graceful, outgoing, and adventuresome.

Julie was nurturing.
She love babies and children.
Babies and children loved her.
She loved being an auntie.

Reading with Hannah

Julie was smart, imaginative, logical.
She was a very hard worker and was a valued employee.
She earned a B.A. in English.
She loved to read.
Her favorite author was most likely Virginia Woolf.

She kept journals.
She liked to write and was an excellent writer.

Julie was interesting, friendly, inventive, logical, confident, and big hearted.

She loved being with family.

Julie loved her dog Phoenix.

Julie had such style.
She had good taste in decorating, and in dressing.
Clothes always looked good on her slim, athletic body.
Julie modeling my old coat from the 70's
Julie had great friends 

Julie & Jason
Julie was courageous.
When she was eighteen she had her first bout with severe depression.
She fought a battle with depression her entire adult life.
Her mood disorder caused her to be
moody, distant, troubled, detached, insecure.
Many never knew how much she suffered from depression.
At times she could be so annoying.
Her moods were overwhelming to her and others.

Still, she showed up.
She was independent, and wise, and trustworthy.

Julie had such physical strength and balance.
She always seemed to be the one we leaned into for balance in family dynamics,
or when we decided to kick up our heels in fun.

I always think of her as the lynchpin.

On the day that would have been Julie's 40th birthday,
I want to remember her as she has always been to me:
my beautiful springtime pixie.

My heart broke when she left us.
It will always be broken.
Between the broken pieces in my heart, my love for her, and her love for me, allows me to   remember clearly and  see her beautiful blue eyes and her smile.

I think of her sense of fun and of whimsy.
I remember her wise beyond her years intelligence.

I remember her arm around my shoulder.
I remember the special bond that we had.

I am blessed because 
Julie Ann Christiansen
was a special gift God sent to me on
on a beautiful spring day in April when the daffodils were blooming
forty years ago today. 

My life was so enriched because she graced my life.
She remains my treasured daughter.


#1Nana said...

Your writings about Julie always bring tears to my eyes. The profound sense of loss is always there in your words, but we have all gotten to know Julie and her struggle from your writing about her. Although it's always painful to read of your loss, the love and joy are also there. I hope you dream of Julie tonight and wake up with a smile. Love you!

Margaret Adamson said...

My heart breaks for you and I have tearsstreaming down my cheeks as I read this beautifully written iece about your Julie. Thanks for sharing your wonderful daughter's life with us. Have a great weekend.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Sally, I'm sure you wrote this beautiful tribute to your beautiful daughter with tears in your eyes. Julie will always live on in the hearts and minds of those that love her.
Depression is a medical disorder that touches many lives and families. I pray for a cure one day!

Jeanie said...

I believe that each person who enters our world -- whether they are well known like family or a colleague or accidental encounter -- has the potential to be there for a reason. It may be to show us love, to help us grow, to teach us how to feel or experience joy or simply to offer a needed smile.

In reading about Julie from you and Keicha -- and not just this post but over the years -- I have come to know her, as many of your readers have. She brought many great gifts to this world in her short life and in honoring her and sharing her story, you pass these gifts on with our awareness and sensitivity heightened. She lives on in you and your words and in the thoughts of those who have known her through you. A gift indeed.

Sending extra hugs on this day.

Terri Tiffany said...

I don't know where to start. Your daughter, Julie, was lovely. The kind of person people would want to know and share their lives with. I think today on her birthday, I would have such a broken heart thinking about her yet smiling through tears about all the wonder that she was to all of you. For me, the whys would still be there yet we know deep down we can't fully know another or understand what is going on in their mind and hearts. But as a mother, we want to and hope we can. Your daughter was so special. I am thankful your memories are full and joyful and filled with so much good. I love the photos and seeing the special times. I love the way you describe her with your own style and words that give us that glimpse into a life of a woman who made a difference to so many. A huge hug from me today to you. You are amazing and I know Julie got her amazingness from you.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog daily, the aching of your blog and your daughter resonates in my mind and heart..We lived in Colorado not where you live now but near, our only was born in the suburbs of Denver and I worked very close to the national jewish place you go to for treatments..I pray for you daily...Your daughter lives on in your heart and to those of your family, she is never far from your life..Praying today is a wonderful day for you..amen...

The Furry Gnome said...

I'm so glad you can look back with joy at who Julie was. My tears flowed with you on that one.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Every time you write about Julie, you share her gifts with your readers. I love how you talk about her as a special springtime gift, and how vividly you describe her joy, laughter, and love. In this context, the fact of her depression seems so shocking. I'm guessing that on occasion she used her creativity to hide the depths of her despair. I may have told you that about two years ago some friends lost their daughter to depression. I drew on what I've learned from you to listen to their pain. Julie's story, and yours, help make the rest of us better people. Thank you for sharing so beautifully, and I wish peace and comfort to you, Amy, and Keicha.

Lin Floyd said...

touching tribute...I believe our loved ones who have departed are closer to us that we know, watching over us.

Barb said...

I always end up sobbing on Julie's birthday tributes. I never knew her, and yet I miss her through your words. These photos are a treasure. May her love for you and yours for her always live within your heart. Hugs from Barb

Arkansas Patti said...

You write so beautifully about your amazing daughter. You make me feel sad for not having had the pleasure of meeting her in person. Your pain comes through each word but so does your pride and joy for the person she was and having had her in your life for so long yet not nearly long enough. She will always live in the hearts of her family and especially in the heart of her mother.

Jackie said...

The love for your Julie shines through so beautifully in this post.
I want to give you a hug....and I want to wish Julie a happy birthday in Heaven.
Thank you for sharing your love, your grief, and your sweet sweet memories of Julie.
Love you, my friend....

Meryl Baer said...

A beautiful tribute. She was a special gift. We cannot begin to understand why the young are taken from us, and can only cherish time together, the lives touched and forever changed.

Kay said...

I love that photo of you beautiful ladies kicking up your heels. Julie's time with you was too short, but what she gave you for as long as she could was beautiful and enriched your lives.

Linda P. said...

How you must miss your Julie!