I go treasure hunting these days.
It’s mostly on my laptop. I can spend hours bringing up old files and photos. They say that a messy desk is a sign of creativity. I agree, and extend that premise to my virtual desktop. I search and search, because I know there is more Julianna in there, more conversations, pictures, and stories. I’ve found some things, including entire blog posts I never published. They didn’t feel right before, but they make sense now. (I’ll share in due time.)
They are all treasures, these pictures and transcripts. They’re wonderful, amazing (in the true sense) and heartbreaking : truly bittersweet. Our whole journey with Julianna has been that way.
This weekend, Steve and I had our ten year wedding anniversary. We almost never make plans for these things. Too much expectation tends to disappoint, and we’ve also been a bit occupied. Now, we have more freedom. Unwanted freedom, but freedom nonetheless.
We decided to take an overnight trip to Oregon wine country. Most of me didn’t feel like doing it, but sometimes you override feelings. I’m so glad we did. She was everywhere.
There have been lots of things lately that seem strange, or by chance. Coincidences. And they keep happening.
On Julianna’s last good Sunday, she picked me a little sprig of lavender.
I kept it in a shot glass (I know, I know – I can hear J’s admonishment too) and have been searching for the perfect little bud vase. I’ve been afraid that it would dry up and fall apart.
On our way back, we “happened” to pass by a lavender festival and I found this:
Like she wanted, I’m keeping it in our room, and I will think of her always.
Julianna’s last flower gift to me has a perfect home now. And if it falls apart, no big deal. J would say that it’s now playing with friends.
We also stopped at a favorite Thai restaurant. This was my rice:
We’ve been there many times, and the rice has never come out like that.
When we got up to leave, I noticed this picture over our table:
Pink! J especially liked it when there was a set: “mommy and baby.”
Julianna’s favorite animal, in her favorite color. I don’t know how long this painting has been there because we usually sit at the same table and look at the same things. This time, I “happened” to pick a corner booth.
There was more.
- It’s the height of travel season, and we only started planning about ten days ago. Everything was booked. Just as I resigned myself to trying again next year, I “happened” to find a beautiful B&B with an opening.
- Steve met the innkeeper first and told me that Julianna would like her glasses and shirt – can you guess why? She wore another pink shirt the next morning. I asked her if pink was her favorite color, and she looked puzzled. It’s not, and it wasn’t intentional. It just “happened.”
- We stopped by a coffee shop, and there was a little table of sparkly jewelry. I browsed while Steve ordered coffee. After a few minutes, a kind woman approached me and introduced herself as “the jewelry lady.” She has a day job, but her passion is gems. She likes to hunt for bargains and pass them along. She wants to put sparkle in everyone’s life. Sound familiar?
There’s even more, but I’m stopping here because the post is getting long. Thanks for continuing to read, and for your encouragement.
One more thing: I’m still not watching or reading the news, but I know there’s much pain and strife and darkness. The great German word Weltschmerz (“world pain” – feeling the world’s heaviness) comes to mind.
I have felt that sense of hopelessness before. Maybe that’s why I’ve unplugged from things I can’t change. It’s too complicated, too big, too much.
And then I think of a little girl who could barely leave her room. She needed a microphone to be heard, and she was more helpless than a newborn baby. She couldn’t do anything for herself…but she loved. In her tiny little universe, she loved, extravagantly and without limits. Her love changed lives.
Big changes can start with small acts, from people who have no outward signs of power.
I can’t wait to see what she can do now.
Love is a superpower. It makes bad guys good. — Julianna Snow, age 5
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
P.S Two more treasures.
- J’s first daycare provider sent me these pictures.
- A snippet of a conversation from Julie, her hospice volunteer. We call her “our angel.”
J&J. Playing, with pretty things.
J&J are playing. Out of the blue:
Julianna: Do you have angels? I do.
Julie: Yes, I think I do.
Julianna: Good. Let’s play!