A year ago today, Julie left us.
If the measure of a person is how many people loved them, then she was a giant.
It took me months before “At least she’s not suffering any more” became a comfort instead of empty words.
One time, in an email or a text, she told me I was awesome, and that I should have that on a refridgerator magnet or something. So, I went to Zazzle, whipped one up, and ordered it for myself. It’s still on my fridge, reminding me of her, even though sometimes the memory hurts.
I am lucky to have known her, all too brief as it was.
I went to her blog yesterday. I don’t know what I thought I’d get out of looking at her last few posts again. There is still a Julie-sized hole in my heart.
No. No, I don’t have something in my eye.
Just remembering Julie.
The important thing is not how many years in your life, but how much life in your years.
Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet girl;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle……and from this bush in the door-yard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig, with its flower, I break.
It hardly ever rains in the morning here. It hardly ever rains period, but when it does, it’s usually in the afternoon, riding in on a monsoon wind, or in the evening, as the air cools. The skies are usually drained by morning. But this particular morning, the sky is crying.
Yesterday, I told myself I wasn’t going to be maudlin today. We’ve caused enough death in the name of 9/11; it’s time to stop remembering. But I’ve got a fresh reason for sadness.
My eyes always water in the morning—too much time spent staring at computer screens all day and they overcompensate. So, my son never noticed I shed a few quiet tears.
Because of her, I am a better person.
Because of her, I am a better man.
Because of her, I am a better parent.
Because of her, I felt less alone in my struggles with my own health.
Because of her, I resumed therapy that I had given up on, found a new counselor, and it is really helping, even in ways I never expected.
Good-bye, Julie. I love you.
I Sing the Body, Atomic
We danced together. You don’t remember.
Nor do I.
We are star stuff.
We were boiled and baked and burnt in the belly of a supernova,
Born into the void, flung far from home.
And we danced.
We were vast. We contained multitudes. We were one
Disc of debris dancing in the darkness.
We coalesced a cloud,
Swirled a sphere,
whirled a world.
And on the seventh billionth day of being
Carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus, we rested.
We danced. To a song of sugars and acids and proteins
We built ladders twisting and twining,
Scaffolds for life, climbing back to the sky.
Then one moment you were you and I was I.
We never touched. We never danced.
But there was love
Like knowing somehow we had once been
Both part of the same exhaling star,
Drawn together by its breath,
No more than a helpless vapor.
We will dance again someday,
You and I and all the others that love you.
A myriad of years and we will escape our tombs,
Diffuse from from our decaying coffins,
And become calamus and clovers,
Nibbled by lambs and kids
Who gambol away their lives
In a world of green
Round and round in the circle of life
Until Sister Sun grows gravid and ancient red,
Burns the land, boils the sea and engulfs the sky
And everything we are,
Then pulls us into her heart
In a final embrace.
We will dance in her fires till she turns to diamond and ash,
Watch the universe slowly crystallize around us,
And wait to see
What comes after.
I sing the Body, Atomic!
Born so long ago, I have danced to become, just
So I could know you,
— for Julie
Things that make me think of Julie
- Yanni (because when we’re tired we both get yawn-y)
- Office supplies & school supplies
- The color pink
- Especially pink Legos
- Especially sour cream & onion flavor
- Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting
- Peanut butter M&Ms (hmm, there’s a lot of food on this list)
- Old Amish women
- Respect for other people’s feelings
- The best of what a human being can be
BUT I LIKE TELLING STORIES.
Do your mom and dad know the kinds of things you say? DO THEY???
*avoiding eye contact* I have no idea what you’re talking about. LOOK OVER THERE, WHAT’S THAT.
YOU GO TO YOUR ROOM RIGHT NOW, YOUNG LADY!
I let mine get away with them most times. I don’t want her learning how to be a better liar.
My own kiddo just never lies to me. How long that will last, I don’t know. His friends, however…
Hey look! I made a sign for my kitchen sink!
So yes, I’m starting my own Etsy store, called: Bitchy-Ass Signs That Will Be Ignored, for Moms or Whoever Else Is Sick of Cleaning Up This Messy Shit To At Least Get Out Their Aggression.
Wordy but affordable.
Add a few expletives, and maybe you could outsource a cross-stitched version from beefranck. :)