|In Memory of Julie Forward DeMay|
Can you hear us?
Photo from Julie's Blog Dated January 16th
I scrolled back to find when I wrote my initial, "thank you" to Julie. It was almost a year ago - February 4, 2012. Since I honestly had no idea what "tagging" posts was when I started this I know I have spoken of what Julie and her blog Cell War Notebooks has meant to me, but can not find them. But she inspired me and gave me courage to take this blog journey when I didn't have it until I read her words..."I promise to use my gifts..." Today is a blog-a-thon, and to be honest I am a bit ashamed of myself because I saw the FB information, but missed the "blog-a-thon" memo somewhere in there...so under the wire I am getting this in...I have a feeling Julie might actually appreciate that or relate to that feeling.
I don't like writing this...I am someone removed from the daily grief that wraps itself around loved ones where life without Julie has reminders at every turn and yet they find away to proceed. That invisible sheath that can at times suffocate you, knowing you must keep living your life but you are seeing it through blurry eyes and a broken heart. Sometimes that sheath feels like the weight of the world and it's fabric is too dark to see through and you wonder how are you going to make it as it pulls you down? And then there are the moments when it feels like a the quilt that Julie received, keeping you safe. Or the best when it feels like an invisible hug, her arms wrapped around you when you get a little sign that you have no doubt that she is right there beside you. At that moment you are so grateful for the time you had and you smile and you laugh at memories and then those same memories break your heart all over again. You are only smiling and laughing because that awful phrase that you cursed..."time will heal" has started to show itself. And you don't want time to heal, you don't want time to move forward, you want to go back in time where you can find some magic that will change this course of events. Time may heal, but life will never be the same. And you find a way to live a new life when the person you treasured with all your heart was taken too soon.
I do not like writing this post. I never shared with Julie that I had a five year battle with high grade pre-cancerous cervical dysplasia. I felt guilty. Just like Julie I had never missed a Pap smear and went from no problems to pre-cancer all at once. I towed the line for many years, LEEP procedure, biopsies, Paps every three months...how did I get lucky?
I do not like writing this post. Last week I had one of the most cherished moments I can remember. Luka, Julie's daughter wrote me a letter. And when I opened it and read the sweet words of a nine year old I couldn't take it. I wasn't ever suppose to get a letter from Julie's daughter, I am the receiver because Julie is gone. I wouldn't have known Luka if Julie hadn't gotten cancer. So as I am so joyful and grateful that my correspondence mattered I cursed the reality of why it began. And looked up to the stars and once again, said thank you and I say I am sorry.
So I ask fellow bloggers, even if you miss the deadline, please share her story. I ask those that read this do more than post it on FB but purchase her blog that became a book and continues her legacy as a writer and as a mother caring for her family after she is gone. I ask you to pass that book to someone else and have them do the same. Julie was a force to be reckoned with, let us show her we can take her lead and get her story told.
Cell War Notebooks on Amazon
Cell War Notebooks on Facebook
National Cervical Cancer Coalition
My First Thank You to Julie - 2/14/2012