I must admit I am in a really bad mood. I just left the grocery store for the second time. I went once, got so fatigued and overwhelmed I got what I needed and headed back. Rested, ate, and was irritated with this entire situation I got enough strength to go back. I am also in a bad mood for reasons that need not be mentioned, just enough to say do you have that individual in your life that is like a tic under your skin. And even if they aren't doing something that should make your skin crawl, it does anyways. I remind myself of every cliche thing my mother would say about people like that, but despite striving to be my highest self - sometimes the tic wins.
And I don't know why but for some reason it seems to be the time to finally post the one I have edited over and over, and no matter what it never seems quite right. Maybe because I know even in her zen higher self state, Julie would be able to put this tic under my skin in his/her place, so much better than I ever could - so if you are watching from above, do something a little sneaky!
I briefly mentioned Julie and her blog, www.cellwarnotebooks.blogspot.com in an earlier post, but it has never seemed sufficient. I have never signed into this blog without thinking of Julie. I had been putting off writing because I didn't have the energy, nor did I really connect with the blog forum - all that changed when I read Julie's words.
I think its fair to say that anyone who knew Julie Forward in high school and knew me at that time of our lives on the surface we were most certainly excellent examples of two sides of a coin. Julie had a laugh you could hear across the hallways, she was fearless and could put most people silent with a look of those piercing eyes, she was an extrovert when necessary but held the mystery of an introvert.
But when I read Julie's blog, all I saw were our similarities. This experience of connecting to her writing, is not mine alone, that was one of her many gifts as a writer, taking her experience and like a looking glass, it not only gave you a glimpse into her heart and world, it gave you a glimpse into your own.
Julie faced a terminal illness, which is night and day from my current challenge, and how she found the physical and mental strength to write during this time is awe inspiring. Julie was also a mother, and to face the reality that you are not going to be able to be present for your child will always be a part of Julie's story that forever breaks my heart. Julie was precise and poignant in her writing; these words will give her daughter an insight into her mother, that some of us never experience. It is an extraordinary gift.
Julie also possessed a physical courage in taking on the pain and side effects of brutal treatments and a brutal illness. I think anyone who knew Julie, would expect nothing less than a fierce battle - and most days its impossible to believe she "lost" it in this world. The years I knew Julie, I would have bet the house on her no matter what the wager. As I wrote on her caring bridge page, she lost the battle but won the war.
One of my favorite parts of a book are the opening forward, dedications, acknowledgements and thank yous. When I first got a kindle, I didn't realize I had to back page to find them and I found it impossible to begin a book without reading them. They offer a tiny insight into the author before you leap into their world, true or fiction. Some are very direct, some are cryptic, a special message only the receiver would understand. I enjoy seeing a pattern of the dedications of the same author on their different books. Its the author's Oscar Acceptance speech of sorts, without the fancy red carpet.
So, if this was a book, this is my Forward - My Dedication
Chronic Fatigue Chronic Hope, would not have been written with out the courage, hope and beautiful writing that Julie Forward DeMay paved in Cell War Notebooks. It was her selfless exposure at a vulnerable time that opened me up to a journey I thought of taking, but my critical self was too scared to take. It doesn't matter what form this blog ever takes, it is in taking it that matters, and Julie you taught me that. From the bottom of my heart - thank you. You wrote a blog, that became a book, that will live on and inspire forever.