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.