Judy July

The day we said goodbye, on Tuesday July 30th @ 12:22 pm was the worst day of my life. We surrounded you, touching you, saying the Lord’s Prayer, just as you had wanted. I was at the head of the table, hovering above your face, watching your soul depart with your last breath. I couldn’t imagine life without you in it. I hadn’t yet thought about how you wouldn’t be here to guide me anymore, about how you wouldn’t be at the other end of my phone, or how you would no longer be popping into the office unannounced with some new idea on how to grow the business. I hadn’t yet thought of how my boys would no longer have their grandma Judy, or how our garage sale Saturdays had finally come to a bitter end.

Yet you had asked me, beforehand – for weeks, to be your ‘hero’, and talk everyone else into accepting your end. So I did, but somehow these four years later, I have not accepted it. Maybe I never will. Because your voice still steers my every direction even more loudly than it did in life. Don’t get me wrong. I have no regrets besides the fact that you left far too early. I was one of the lucky ones who got to be there at your end, and comfort you until you didn’t know any better. I got to joke with you about what you would wear to your ‘big day’, and paint your nails for your own funeral before you went into Hospice. Oh, and that Hospice, that has recently closed.

And yes, life has gone on, and a million changes have happened since your departure because your courage – well, you passed that on to me. That is the best inheritance a daughter could ask for, especially a daughter who struggled with decisions her whole life. Mom. You were not just the glue that held everything together, you were the heart. You pumped us all full of gratitude and zest for life. You made us all want to leap out of bed in the morning and take on the world (I mean, after those dreadful teenaged years). I will never stop being grateful for your life, because you not only gave me life, but you taught me how to live it. I will forever be in your shadow, living to make you proud, because in the end – I understand that you made me who I am today, and you will forever be my greatest blessing.

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