• Julia

Memorial Day, Memories, Medicine

Memorial Day holds more reflection for me than honoring of the men and women of the armed forces who lost their lives in service. Memorial Day 1997 is the day I lost my legs. In conversation with a kind, respectful fellow amputee and veteran, thanking him for his service and sacrifice, he said, “Ms Julie, I was trained and knew what I was getting into, it’s you I thank. I understand the fight but can’t image what it must be like living life and having this happen.”


We all experience moments when we say to ourselves, “If someone would have told me this is where I’d be, I’d have thought them crazy.” Seems I have this conversation with myself often and, on some occasions, it lands or arises (not sure which at times, landing or arising), from deeper within my heart space.

The personal path I have chosen to follow has brought me to many understandings. One is to allow feelings and emotions to have their moments, allowing them to arise and land with an offering. The offering is a dose of medicine prescribed specifically for that particular moment; the right dosage and potency. So, I don’t get attached to the feelings/emotions, don’t create them to be more or less, simply receive, experience, move through, and allow the medicinal gift to bring holistic healing and recovery. Okay, sometimes I linger with feelings and emotions, sometimes I make a face at the bitter taste of medicine, sometimes I question, sometimes I think, “this again, I thought I’d gotten through”, sometimes…always, learning, expanding, re-membering more.

This morning was one of those internal conversations, arising, hitting, landing deeper.

Suppose the days which mark a profound happening would require an honoring of those internal conversational moments. So, no surprise this morning was one of those conversations, arising, hitting, landing deeper or landing, hitting, arising, not sure, just is.

“If someone would have told me 22 years ago this morning that I’d be run over, experience near death, fight to survive, I’d have thought them crazy.” Actually, I did receive three warnings this day 22 years ago, of which I thought was crazy, and I opened the gate, was run over, experienced near death, and began my fight for life.

The feelings and emotions will continue throughout today, they’re attached to and at times have dictated choices over 22 years of life experience. I’ll ready myself to receive their medicine, which will also continue throughout the day. Two doses were received before getting out of bed.

The first, a message from Heather, “Sending so much extra love today,” and this quote:

“Grief is like the ocean, it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” ~ Vicki Harrison

The lesson in Hea’s message is the re-membering of why I fought to live, my love for my children. I’d have missed so much had I crossed. And, I continue to learn to swim (just keep swimming).

The second, this image, which extended the internal conversation to, “If someone would have told me 22 years ago that I’d be waking up in a cabin, on a bog, in the Pacific Northwest, without Jeff in my life, and having two cats and two prosthetics peeking out the window, I’d have thought them crazy.”

The lesson here; rise where you are, look out the window, it beckons you to stay on your path, wherever it may lead, life continues in adventure and remains a beautiful journey.

Yes, I’ll ebb and flow with the feelings and emotions today. I'll honor those who didn't return home. I’ll celebrate being alive and take the doses of medicine, be them bitter or sweet, and re-member.

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