Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meet Me at 2:18 PM!

I think shining means sometimes controlling our egos.

I've been baking and doing crafts all week in anticipation of Halloween. Fun cookies, teacher gifts, and goodies for my office mates were what was in store for today. With a little luck you might have been as pleased as I with what I shared. You might even have mentioned today's idea to a friend or shared it with a relative. Added bonus... Highlowaha (and I) would get to look good to another person.

Yes, shining means controlling our own egos.

In the wee hours of yesterday morning one of Heather's closest friends passed away quietly in her sleep. For over three years Julie has suffered a degenerative disease: a disease those closest to Julie knew would eventually kill her.

Today we will set Halloween aside.

Many of you might remember Julie's story from, Paint the Town Red, a post I wrote over a year ago. Heather rallied our Highlowaha readership to gather Coke Reward points that we could donate to Julie. Julie's family had been saddled with endless doctor bills, so small luxuries were no where in the family's budget. The thousands of points we accumulated over five month period allowed Julie to acquire small luxuries that made the time confined to her house more bearable.

Collecting Coke Reward points was symbolic. Julie LOVED Coke and made it her habit to consume a couple of cans each day. Heather's suggestion to help Julie, by engaging in something that brought a smile to Julie's face, seemed in keeping with spirit of our blog - the Spirit of 218.

I am not all that eloquent. I am no preacher. And, I am in no position to say anything profound about death. It's way over my head.

But here's what I'm thinking.

I'm thinking, when my time comes, I am going to hope my absence will be felt and that life for those around me will not simply march on, uninterrupted. I don't have grand notions of a national holiday, but I like to believe friends' work days will be interrupted, family will stop what they are doing, and the comfort found in busy daily schedules will suddenly seem trivial.

Join me today at 2:18 p.m. for a Coke. I know you are busy and that Coke might not be part of your daily routine, but my request is not so much about Coke. Really, my request is more about the discipline of being fully alive and present in the life your are living. It's about honoring the 31 years of Julie's life and in our own small way saying, "Julie, the life you lived in your corner of the world, mattered."

Don't be too busy.

Signing off until tomorrow...


Robin said...

I think that was beautifully said... I know I've been touched by Julie's story and have been thinking about their family a lot.

Heather @ said...

Thanks for the made me cry, but then alot of things have these past few days.

Julie was AMAZING...her smile CONTAGIOUS, she lived SHINE every minute she had right up to the end.

Thanks to each of you for helping me remember Julie.

Heather @ said...

And I should add...if you are really adventurous or close to Frisch's make it a cherry coke with real cherry syrup...that's how Julie loved hers.

Danko Family said...

I will be honored to enjoy a Coke today at 2:18..AKA naptime! I shared a few years of high school with Julie too, and yes, she was amazing, happy, smiling, and contagious to be around. 2 weeks ago, another girl I graduated from high school with, lost her battle with cancer leaving behind her high school sweetheart husband and 6 year old daughter. Young lives taken too early is such a hard thing to comprehend.

amy said...

Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Julie's family. In honor of Julie and her beautiful SHINE spirit, I will enjoy a Coke at 2:18 p.m.

Cheryl said...

I wouldn't miss it.

I know how much you loved Julie, Heather. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Katie @ Highlowaha said...

There will most certainly be a Coke in my hand at 2:18 pm.

Thinking of you, safely tomorrow.

Chaotic said...

this I can do... and I will.

Peggy said...

Mine will be a diet Coke -
Shine Julie Shine!

Stacie said...

As a fellow Coke lover, I will definitely be having one at 2:18. I have been following Julie's story as well, and while I did not know her personally, I have felt deeply touched by her journey and her loss. Heather, I hope you know we are all thinking of you. And Claudia, you said exactly the right thing. A beautiful post and a beautiful gesture. Shine on, Julie!

Robin said...

It's 2:18 p.m. Eastern Time here. We're going to kick off the celebration of Julie, knowing that as the clock rolls around to 2:18 p.m. where you are - you'll be smiling and thinking of this amazing woman and her family.

And can I just say my 16 yo says he doesn't know this Julie, but if he gets a Coke out of the deal - she's gotta be cool!

Claudia said...

Way to start us off Robin. I've got about 40 minutes or so until I get to crack mine open.

Cheers, Julie!

Cheryl said...

Sitting here enjoying my Coke.

Julie sent me a yellow rose. Well, not really but I had a florist vendor call earlier while I just happen to be answering the phones. They wanted to send information for the company to use them for flowers and at exactly 2:18 I thought I was getting flowers from someone special. :) hee hee.

Thanks Julie!

Claudia said...

Me too. Sittting here enjoying my cold Coke from the vending machine downstairs.

I think on my way home today I will think about my dash. Am I living my dash in a way I am proud of?

Here's to you Julie.

Heather said...

Thanks everyone for drinking a coke and remembering Julie. It does speak volumes that her story has touched so many.

I head out to make the drive to KY in the early am...I've got an angel looking over me as I drive so I know I'll be safe.

Katie @ Highlowaha said...

I drank my Coke at 2:18 today while sitting in stats class. As I looked out the window of the 5th floor of our new library and saw the picturesque view of the mountain valleys, I knew that the world was shining brightly today. Thanks for the extra SHINE, Julie!

Anonymous said...

I, like Peggy, enjoyed a Diet Coke...Godspeed Julie.


Claudia @ Highlowaha said...

AZ Lori, I know what a gift that was you gave Julie.

I remember you as the consummate Pepsi drinker.