Now a days the Fall always reminds of Julie. It is about this time that she pops into my head on a daily basis (I am pretty sure this is the same for all her family and friends). I think that is because this was about the time we started the rapid downhill slide 3 years ago. We just could not get a break.
Anyway, last week I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about a particular incident. It was so vivid in my mind I felt like it was some sort of message.
At one point Julie was traveling back and forth to Dallas to participate in a clinical trial. Things had gotten relatively routine. She would go up, get the clinical trial drugs and then she would go up weekly and they would monitor the results. Everything had been going well. It just so happened that Brendan had the opportunity to do something out of town (I don’t remember but I think it was a rare opportunity for a great Basketball game out of town). Julie practically shoved him out the door and told him to go (they had been really focused on her Cancer and she really wanted him to do something fun for himself). She said she would go to Dallas by herself, it wouldn’t be a big deal. So, Brendan went out of town and Julie drove to Dallas (I think it was a Friday..maybe a Thursday).
I am sitting in my office, just about to leave for a meeting and my cell phone rings. I immediately answer it (as I always did during this time with calls from Julie or her family.) It was Julie on the phone, but it took me a minute to realize it. She was crying..that heavy sobbing with deep breaths in between where you can’t talk kind of crying. Apparently she had gotten some bad news on her progress in the clinical trial. She was alone, and they still needed to talk to her some more. She was by herself and very upset. I told her to hold on one minute and I would call her right back.
This is the part that kept popping up in my mind the other night. I immediately called Virginia. (Virginia is the mother of two of my dear friends in Dallas (I call them the Twins but they do have actual names). We met in college and I worked for Virginia for a short period of time while I was in graduate school. I often refer to Virginia as my OM (Other Mom). She took care of me in Dallas, even though I was 20 something!) Anyway, I called Virginia at work. She had NEVER MET Julie but she knew what was going on. Her Son-In-Law was battling stomach cancer so she knew intimately what we were going through. Virginia runs a VERY Busy company and the phones are always ringing. I was lucky she answered the phone. I said to her “Jules is at the Mary Crowley Clinic in Dallas, she is all by herself and she got bad news. She just called me bawling.” Virginia’s immediate reaction was, “Where is she…I am on my way.” Literally, that was it…no questions asked. (In fact, I think she might have been in her car heading to the medical center without me having confirmed Julie’s exact location.) I called Julie back and I told her I had the Twins Mom coming up to sit with her. I fully expected her to protest and tell me NO because she did not know Virginia. But much to my surprise, she said “Okay” and I could hear the relief in her voice.
From both Julie & Virginia account of the day I heard it was a “meant to be meeting.” They had a great discussion and it definitely made Julie feel better. What I kept coming back to in my haze of sleep and dream was twofold:
– How amazing was it for someone to drop everything to go help out someone they have never met…no question asked!
– How lucky am I to have someone who would do that for me, simply because they knew what Julie meant to me…and how hard it was being 2500 miles away.
I sent Virginia a note to Thank Her the other day..and to tell her that I hope I can someday repay her for her selfless act. It also reminds me that we can all do more just because it is the “Compassionate” thing to do. Maybe I will call it “Pulling a Virginia“.