[identity profile] lavendertook.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] whiteshores
I had the privilege of attending [livejournal.com profile] mews1945's memorial service yesterday in Westminster, MD. I wanted to make a bright floral arrangement that was just like Julia to honor her and because her daughter Amanda deserves bright flowers while coping with the loss of her bright mom, so I bought a fuckton of flowers on Friday and, surprisingly, got most of the flowers into the arrangement. Here it is in the back of my car:

DSCN6174

The service was the most heart-filling memorial service I've been to. In front of the room, under a stained glass window were several large beautiful arrangements--everyone was on the same page that boring funeral white was not for Julia. There were candles, a lovely portrait of Julia from sometime in the last several years with her head in one hand with an impish smile and discerning stare. There were a couple of photoboards of snapshots of Julia throughout her life. Among them was the group shot of all of us with her at the last moot that we took on her lawn, and the little round Sideshow pin of Frodo and Sam watching the oliphant. Our long-lost dear [livejournal.com profile] aprilkat and I hugged and I met the sweet [livejournal.com profile] carolecummings for the first time and we hugged. And I accomplished my main goal of going and hugging Amanda tight and telling her one was from [livejournal.com profile] baranduin and how beloved her mom was by all of us online, and Amanda knew that from all our comments that she so appreciated. I also saw and hugged Julia's grandson Matthew and DIL Ashley, who was briefly on LJ.

Mews's "little" brother Bob is a pastor and so he led the service. The love for her that infused his speech was very moving, and I learned much about Julia I never knew. First of all, "all who knew her" called her "Julie" and "Judy". Growing up, she was the storyteller to her siblings, and told stories of vampires and demons--she was always the accomplished storyteller. He admired her ability to draw and paint--she was a fine artist--I never knew that. I would love to see some of her work. And she had a beautiful singing voice that brought people to tears in a performance of a song when she was young--aprilkat, carole--do you remember what song he said it was? She and her sisters sang together in a group they named "The Denims". Hearing all these things made me smile so much.

He would be the tag-along little brother that she would take to the fair when she was courting her husband Jim. And later in life, she talked him through a very dark time and gave him the strength to go on. And when he visited her in the last weeks, he asked her "So how was it?" and she knew immediately what he meant, as was their way, and she said, "I've had a wonderful, wonderful life." She could have taken meds that would have prolonged her life, but that would have compromised her quality of life and chose to forego them and was at peace with her decision and brought him around to be at peace with it, too.

After he finished speaking they played a wordless rendition of the tune to John Lennon's Julia--I had just earwormed that song earlier that morning with her in mind. I got to hug mews's lovely sister Alice, who looks a lot like her and she knew about us as her online writing friends and reiterated how Julia always told them stories as kids. I wish there was more time for me to have taken in all the shots on the photoboards. She was a dark-haired vixen during her wild youth, and there were a number of pics of her laughing with her sisters and with Amanda and the grandkids.(-:

Not wanting to intrude on the family lunch we were invited to, [livejournal.com profile] aprilkat and I got lunch after the service at Bob Evans, where she and Julia went when she visited, and we had a really wonderful time catching up--I was lucky to get to spend the time with her. She last took Mews there in July, probably not much before the last possible time Mews could get out. And Mews told her about what a great time she had at the moot the end of May with those of us who could come. I'm so glad we had that time with her. I wish you all could have been there and at the memorial service yesterday. But I see you've had a heart-warming wake in this community for her. How like her to bring us all together and leave us so much love. *hugs all round*

Date: 2016-10-30 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shirebound.livejournal.com
Oh Carole, thank you! I know that you brought all of us with you through your presence, and hugs, and loving heart.

Among them was the group shot of all of us with her at the last moot that we took on her lawn

!!! Oh, that makes me happy. Knowing that the family includes us in Julia's circle of treasured friends is so wonderful of them.

♥ ♥

Date: 2016-10-30 07:01 pm (UTC)
ext_28878: (Default)
From: [identity profile] claudia603.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for this. It means so much that you guys that were able to go were able to report on it. What a life Julia had, and what wonderful family she has! What a beautiful flower arrangement. I'm so happy for you that you got to meet some of her family and see her and hear about her as she was in her youth. What an experience! And to get to hang out with the long lost [livejournal.com profile] aprilkat was also so very special. Thank you for this post again. ♥ ♥ ♥

Date: 2016-10-30 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] addie71.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for sharing. It means a lot to hear about the service and see the picture of your flowers. They were lovely and perfect. And how wonderful is it that a picture from the May moot was on the photo board.

Date: 2016-10-30 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carolecummings.livejournal.com
Bob Evans--God. I have so many wonderful memories of that place because of Julia. Who'da thunk?

I'm so glad you did this, Carole. It solidified some of the details I was a little too scattered at the time to press to memory. I'm naturally awkward and particularly flaily in times of emotional upset, and... anyway. Thank you. This means a lot.

I remember them bringing those flowers in, but I hadn't realized you'd done the arrangement. They were beautiful. What a fitting gift.

I'm sorry we met under those circumstances, but I'm glad we met. And come to think of it, yeah, Julia's probably right now chuckling at us, because I bet she's pleased that she had a hand in it, under any circumtances. I hope to see you again and claim another one of those hugs. <3
Edited Date: 2016-10-30 10:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-10-30 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grey-wonderer.livejournal.com
Those flowers are beautiful! Thank you sharing the details of the service with those of us unable to attend. Her family sounds lovely. I think it is wonderful that she was so open with them about her LJ community. tgey seem to have shared her various passions. How wonderful!

Date: 2016-10-31 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lindahoyland.livejournal.com
The flowers are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Date: 2016-10-31 06:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanarobi.livejournal.com
This is such a great report. Thank you for representing all of us. I am comforted knowing that her family knew about her LJ and writing.

Thank you.

And the flowers are just gorgeous.

Date: 2016-10-31 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] suzy-74.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for sharing. What a lovely ceremony. The flowers are beautiful. ♥

Date: 2016-11-02 01:03 am (UTC)
ext_28880: Gift from Frodosweetstuff :) (c&h hug)
From: [identity profile] lbilover.livejournal.com
Carole, thank you so much for posting about the service and in such detail. It sounds absolutely lovely and moving. The flower arrangement is just gorgeous, and so perfect for her. *big hugs
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