Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
She was just one year old when I got married and moved away. The sum of our lives together became holidays, weekend visits and a smattering of photos and phone calls. I've never been very good at long distance relationships. My sister was great at always sending pictures, writing letters of their latest activities, making an effort to keep us in the loop of the antics and doings of my niece and nephew. But as I look back now, I wish I had done more.
Here's what I do know about our sweet Julia.
She loved kids--loved isn't even a strong enough word. There is evidence from the time she was old enough to carry a doll, she always had a baby (or ten) with her. As she grew up, it became real babies, and helping in the church nursery, and baby-sitting every chance she had. And on OUR holidays and weekends together, she loved on and entertained my kids non-stop. She loved horses and volleyball, reading and music, friends and family, babies and kids, and Jesus!
She Loved Much!!
She was lighthearted--smiling and laughing often. She enjoyed life and enjoyed jokes and while I wasn't there for most the time, I've heard that she always laughed at her daddy's jokes--even the one that weren't funny. Little kids are funny and she spent lots of time with little kids. I know that
She Laughed Often.
And then there are the things I learned about her this summer, after she went home to be with Jesus. She wanted to be a missionary. She wanted to be a nurse... She had even begun looking at colleges. She served often at church. She worked hard at school. She enjoyed friends, family, horseback riding. She had a testimony for Jesus at church, at school, and with friends who had moved away. She was loved and remembered well by all who knew her. And when she entered heaven's gate at the age of 16, Jesus welcomed her with "Well done, good and faithful servant."
She Lived Well.
She had this phrase hanging on her bedroom wall. I looked at it many times during the week we were home for her funeral. I've heard it multiple times before and I will hear it many more times in the future. and now it makes me think of Julia. When we got home after our time grieving and remembering with family, the first Dove chocolate I opened had this message. It's been hanging on my fridge ever since.
Community Conversation: How are you doing on Living Well, Laughing Often, and Loving Much? I know I could do better!
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