Sunday, May 24, 2009

And I think to myself...

Julia was the youngest Louis Armstrong fan that I've ever met.  Maybe it had something to do with the joy of shouting "Dolly!".  As soon as she was old enough to exert a musical preference, it was Louis.  

Today seems like the perfect day to share the lyrics to a Louis song, a song which in my mind is one of the most beautiful ever written, and which speaks to me of the legacy that Julia left in our hearts...

What a Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too.
I see them bloom for me and you.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white.
The bright blessed day, and the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky,
Are also on the faces of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
What they're really saying is "I love you".

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow.
They'll learn much more than I'll never know.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
Yes I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Mother's Day, Loring Park, 2005

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our friend Mara, who is also Julia and Lily's godmother, made the comment tonight that today really felt like the first day of spring.  A beautiful day to celebrate a beautiful girl who came into our lives six years ago.

Bert had the idea to take Lily to the zoo today, and it felt like the perfect place to be.  Being out in the shining sun, with the spring breeze, enjoying our time together as a family - all of this felt like a celebration of Julia.  And, as Lily really loves animals, it was the perfect place to see her smile and shine.  

I'm posting a link to a project that Bert has been working on for school.  It's a photo gallery of Julia's life, and it is beautiful.  I want to point out that near the end of the gallery there are pictures of Julia when she was in the PICU, which I know can be difficult pictures to look at.  If you'd like to check it out, here's the link:

It's hard to believe that six years ago today I became a mom... it seems like at least two lifetimes ago.  I can't put into words how thankful I am to have had the chance to mother such an amazing little person, and for everything she gave to us and everything she continues to give to us.  Happy Birthday, Julia.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The other night, while I was giving Lily a bath, watching her play a game of herding all the bath toys to one end of the tub and then the other, I remarked to myself on how she is becoming such a kid.  It's the subtle things - the way she relates to her toys, her facial expressions, the way she moves her little hands - that show me how each day she is leaving behind babyhood and becoming a kid.  Watching her play in the water, I thought about some pictures that I took of Julia in our neighborhood wading pool, and realized that she was just about the same age that Lily is now.  It was such a gift to be able to throw Julia in the stroller on a warm day and go hang out in the sun and splash around.  When Julia was diagnosed in the summer of 2005, I realized with a sadness that we would have to forgo our trips to the pool while she was in treatment.  Now, when I walk or drive past the snow covered pool, I get tinges of excitement thinking about how much fun Lily will have this summer.

Julia, at 16 months, splashing in the wading pool.

When I went to find the pictures of Julia at the pool, I became lost looking at all the pictures of her at 16-ish months (and was blown away by how similar my two girls sometimes look!).  This is the age when I watched Julia become a kid - playing in the pool, helping Dad water the garden, showing me her blossoming personality in all the wonderful and crazy things she'd do throughout the day.  And I feel overwhelmed with gratitude (as well as disbelief) that I am fortunate enough to watch a second little girl embark on this journey into kidhood.

I tried Julia's old snowpants on Lily one day 
to see if they'd fit, and now she wants to wear 
them around the house - all day, every day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Counting Moments

There is a quote that I came upon years ago by poet Rabindranath Tagore:

The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.

This quote took on new meaning for me after Julia's death.  I was putting together a scrapbook of pictures of Julia, and I realized that these words were the perfect introduction.  I had chosen not to arrange the photos chronologically, but simply as a collection of moments.  Julia's life was very short compared to most, and certainly compared to our hopes and expectations.  But Bert and I have both taken comfort in realizing that there is no set amount of time for any life.  Many are long, many are short, and it's helpful to see each one as complete in it's own way.  Lots of our memories of Julia are sad and difficult to think about.  But there are so many beautiful, wonderful memories, and when I even begin to add up all these moments it's hard to feel like I haven't already been given all the happiness in the world.  

Julia and her Dad by the river at the university, 
one of their favorite places to go.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This blog is something that I've been thinking about starting for quite a while.  I have felt a little remiss in not writing on Julia's Caringbridge site, because I know there are many people who still check in.  I am very thankful for that site, for everything it did for us and continues to do, and for the continued support and love for our daughter that is found in the guestbook entries.   I know that those who check in would welcome knowing how we are doing, and how Lily is growing into a girl just as amazing and remarkable as her older sister.  But it has never felt to me like the right forum for continuing to write about our life.  

Primarily, I am writing this blog for those people who I know will welcome having a place where they can come and think about Julia.  And, of course, I am also writing it for me.  As life gets busier, and Lily gets older, these things seem to take their toll on the amount of time that I spend just thinking of Julia.  She is always in my heart, and every interaction I have with my world, I believe, is influenced by her in some way. But too often I feel that too much time has gone by without me really thinking about her.  I hope that this site will enable or encourage me to take a little more time a little more often, to sit down and think about Julia.  

It's taken me so long to start this, partly, because it did not seem like a "normal" thing to blog about.  But, as Bert pointed out to me, really nothing about our life since Julia's death seems "normal".  I thought that was a good point.  I don't really know what this will become, how frequently I will post or what I will write about.  But I do know that writing about Julia, and  about life, always makes me feel more connected to myself and to my girl.  And I know that I am happy to once again have a space to think, write and share about my daughter, and a space where others can do the same.  There is a phrase that pops into my head when I'm embarking on something new which has unforeseeable results, often at unexpected moments (like questioning whether I should put peaches in my guacamole), and always in a squeaky, exuberant, two-and-a-half-year-old's voice.  "We can try!".  I guess that says it all.