I became a mother.
|Ryan & Sally|
Mother & Son
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
He has always brought joy to my life.
He is a happy man who never fails to make me laugh.
I am quite proud of him.
After him, came four more children.
became another joyful September song to me.
|Julie & Bridger|
|Julie & Atticus|
|Ryan and Jonathan|
The firstborn with the last born
Now it was time to make grape juice and grape jelly.
|Julie & Sally|
I didn't know who I was.
The script of my life had been altered.
A verse in my song had be thrust in that made every verse before it seem discordant and out of rhythm.
So this book was perfect for me at that time.
too numb to fathom how
I would get up and live the next morning.
In the story that is told by the book, the narrator is walking along the beach of an ocean.
As most of us do at the beach, she begins to look for shells.
She comes across a broken scallop shell, but leaves it search of a perfect shell.
Then, she realizes that this broken shell is like she is with her broken heart.
She realizes that this shell had not been totally crushed by the pounding surf.
She realizes she can learn from brokenness.
She learns she will need
to remain on the beach,
to live with the pain she is feeling,
to not embrace
a vision of a perfect shell,
but to instead,
to embrace brokenness.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.
The message of the book spoke to me.
I knew with the Lord's help I could live with my broken heart.
Life was not perfect.
It was never intended to be.
Day by day, I would learn to live as a broken person in a broken world.
I learned I could only do this by grace that was given me by the
Lord who said He would be with me,
He also gave me friends who become my life support.
During the first September after Julie's death,
Team 8:08 was formed to walk in the Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership Walk.
The walk has three purposes:
1) To raise money to raise awareness to prevent suicide,
2) to remember loved ones lost to suicide,
3) to support survivors.
Julie's friends from high school formed the team and asked if we would come and walk with them.
Below are Julie's main five women in her life.
Each one is an awesome woman.
Each one loved Julie and was loved by her:
Sharon, Leana, sister Amy, sister Keicha, and Sheridan.
|The Core of Team 808|
Sharon, Leana, Amy, Keicha, Sheridan
|Thia, Melissa, Trinette, Sharon, Sheridan, Keicha, Joni, Leana|
Look at this team.
Each one was brokenhearted because one person took her life.
Each one will never forget Julie,
nor will they ever forget how her final act broke their hearts.
Each one reminds me and helps me remember what an awesome girl and woman my daughter was.
They carry her memory.
They help me remember how many wonderful facets she had.
They help me remember that she filled her life with wonderful friends.
Each one would have been there for her in her greatest need, would have done anything to save her,
if only she would have reached out.
Several were there many times before when her demons would overtake her mind.
One, her sister Amy, probably saved her more times than even I know about.
Again, Leana was the driving force to organize the team.
Thank you, Leana. I love you. You are such a dear and loyal friend to us all.
This year, the team included,
myself, my husband Jim, my daughter Amy, Julie's & Amy's father and my former husband, and my niece, Cristy.
Some of us walked while others ran.
Julie's father won a first place medal.
Julie would have been so proud.
Julie's closest cousin, Cristy sent a message written on her balloon.
There were many at the walk that day.
Many names were read in remembrance.
As I looked at the others gathered to remember a loved one, I was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of lives who have been touched by suicide.
I reflected on the new verse of my September song,
the verse that talks of loss, remembrance, and broken hearts.
This verse in my song now is sung every September when I am reminded that it is once again
Suicide Prevention Month.
Thankfully, this particular verse does not end in hopelessness.
It ends in hope and healing.
Despite the verse in my song that I did not want included,
there is a refrain that is repeated throughout the song of my life.
The refrain speaks of
and of the faithfulness of God,
who now holds my sweet Julie in His arms
and comforts me with His presence.
He sends me
so many wonderful people,
who have loved and supported me and my family.
This is my September song.
It is a beautiful song because it speaks of love.
A mother's song always begins and ends with love.