As many of you know, I deal with things through humor. Lately one of my running jokes is that I have been running for friend of the year and I am hoping I have it locked up. You see, I have never taken compliments well and I get very uncomfortable when people try to tell me nice things. (Julie worked on this with me for years and now I can muster a smile and a thank you.) Lately I have heard from a lot of people about what an amazing friend I have been to Julie and how amazing people find it that I went back to Texas to try to help. (This is where I would insert the Friend of the Year Joke). But the thing is, I don’t see this as that amazing of a thing. In fact, I believe most people in my situation would have done the same. Julie was essentially my sister. She has been a steady influence in my life for 28 years (since I was 7), and I think that constitutes “sister” status. So then, ask yourself, would you not go home to help out your sister if you could? I think everyone would say yes. The fact is, I am just lucky as I was in a position to pack up and go home.
Julie and I talked about it. In fact, we both believed it was all part of God’s plan. He made us friends, he led me to this job, he led Julie down her path at a time when I was doing well in my career. He made me good with kids. He provided me a flexible life in D.C. All of these things collided to form a situation where I could pack it up and go home and help for a few months at a time.
The fact is, there was no scenario I could come up with where I could just hang out in Washington, D.C. when I knew I could be in Houston helping out Julie and Brendan. Part of helping was just sitting there with Julie, just hanging out with Brendan and the Kids, doing some laundry, unloading a dishwasher, watching the kids at soccer practice, just being in close proximity. There was no scenario where I could envision being in D.C. when Julie died. It just didn’t feel right. I also know that Julie didn’t “need” me. She and Brendan had so many people around to help. But I needed her. It was the only way I was going to be okay with God making her an Angel way before her time.
The biggest question I get now is, “How are you doing?” Well the truth is, I am doing well. I think of her everyday. I talk to her every day. I feel truly blessed to have been able to do everything I wanted to do before Julie passed. I was able to say everything I wanted to say, and I was able to do everything I wanted to do. I was able to spend quality time with her. Julie and I often talked about God’s plan. I tried to tell her that I thought it was part of God’s plan for me to meet a rich wealthy single doctor that I could marry. However, she always laughed hard at that idea because all of her doctors were married and nearly 70 years old. We also talked about how it was God’s plan for me to help with the kids because I can’t cook, and I can’t clean, but I am good with kids. Julie used to always laugh because if we were in a room with 200 people and there was one baby in the room, she could find me with the baby.
So, I am doing well. I am still sad, but I think God (and Julie) is taking care of me and things are going according to His plan. I have always said that my plan and his don’t seem to really correspond, but who am I to question. I trust in His judgment and I know He will not give me more than I can handle. He will not lead me down a path I cannot master. I also sleep with a smile on my face because I know I will see Jules on the other side. I hope everyone else can feel the peace I feel. (Doesn’t mean I don’t ache to talk to her or miss her dearly, I am just coming to terms with the new reality.)