11 years later
This weekend Bill and I will not be busy organizing and leading a hike-a- thon, but we will do our own hike in memory of Justin and hope you will too. We will also send out grant money this month to several of the organizations we have supported over the last eleven years. Often, especially when I am walking alone, I feel Justin's essence near the right side of me. When I do I usually say aloud a simple message to him. Other times I find his name coming up very naturally when talking with others.
Both Bill and I are filled with gratitude that many of Justin's friends have stayed in touch with us. This year 2 of his friends wrote us very thoughtful letters, one from Australia and one from overseas. This spring, we attended his friend Clare's beautiful wedding in DC and saw three other friends there too.
This summer we were again blessed to have his best friends and their children from CA stay with us on the Vineyard and Justin's high school basketball coach 's daughter lived with us for four weeks there. And of course, Chandra, Lawrence, Lucas, and Ella were with us for two weeks there. Lucas very much talks about his Uncle Justin and proudly told us all that he did the whole Menemsha Bight wall just like Justin did.
Over the last two years six of his friends had babies and we are hoping to be good g2s ( grandfriends too) to them all! So Justin stories are still very much part of our lives and the lives of many of his friends. One friend, just back from Australia this week, brought back a brand new Justin story. When living there he was invited one afternoon to meet his friend David and David's parents at a seaside restaurant. They watched in surprise as he walked from across the road and into the restaurant wearing only his speedo bathing suit!
On a more serious note, we are very happy that the work we have done in organ donation is being continued on by others like my long time friend Senator Jeannie Kohl-Welles. She co-authored the Washington State Senate Resolution 8689 which recognizes the month of April as National Donate Life Month. So please " pay it forward" any time you can, or cross your heart for Justin when putting on your seat belt, or just smile because you're thinking of him.
Love to you all, Julie