Remember me always.
Who says this? Certainly not a child.
Julianna said this – a lot. It started when she was four. I don’t remember when I first heard those words, but it was some time after our first heaven conversation.
She said it when she presented me with a flower from the yard (really, a weed). Those words accompanied just about every card and drawing and gift that she gave.
Put it in your room, and remember me always.
When she had a gift for you, it became the most important thing. She needed to share it right away, and had to experience your delight – immediately.
Don’t forget your kisses! Remember Julianna always.
When her nurses left for the day, she sent them out with kisses. She blew kisses, and told them to put them in their purse. It was never just one kiss. It was three or four or twenty. They could take them out when they needed, but they had to zip up their purse so that they wouldn’t run out. And if they did? No problem: the kisses never run out.
Every time she asked you to “remember me always,” it startled. The plea to remember her would make my heart swell and but it would also cut. What made her say this? She was so light, carefree and vibrant. You could feel it as soon as you walked into her room and got swept into her fantastic world.
Julianna played harder than anyone I’ve ever known, but there was more. She was a deep thinker, an old soul. She talked about death, dying and heaven. And she told us what to do afterwards: remember me always.
And I do. In some ways, I feel like she is with me now more than ever before. I think about her all the time. I talk to her, and I feel her encouragement to give a little more, dress a little brighter and to just go for it (C’mon mom!). I see her in sunrises and sunsets, in pink flowers that grow wild. I see her in other children, and I know that she is finally able to run (or fly?) around and play – with children. Stupid CMT didn’t allow it here, but now she is free.
I miss her – so much.
She told me to remember her always. I do, and I will. Always, until I can see her again.
This week, we received this beautiful note from our friend. This is how he remembers Julianna:
She ruled her kingdom with love and kindness (and a very strong will that her human subjects were pleased to accommodate.)
She learned from history’s greatest princesses, overcame all of their flaws and created a realm that put Camelot and Wonderland to shame. There was no challenge, or evil in her kingdom of love that could not be overcome, and all creatures, great and small had equal opportunity to manifest Julianna’s own character, through them.
Princess Julianna’s imagination was endless. C.S. Lewis and Tolkien would have been exhausted keeping up with her plots. And, as any great princess, she ruled over many realms. Each time I visited, it was a different one, with a vibrant backdrop, and multitudes of characters. With each character so well defined, that if a mere human tried to change the character, they would get “The Look” from the writer.
Julianna’s life is an epic story, within a story. A princess trapped in a tower by an evil dragon, now released by our Prince on a white horse, and placed in a wondrous castle.
And then there’s this: Julianna in the hospital, after the worst was over. She had been through hell, and decided that it was time to dance. I remember, and I learn from this amazing girl.
And remember this: you have ONE WEEK to get this Julianna-inspired t-shirt. All proceeds go to CMTA. The store closes on Friday 8/12/16.