In my last post, I brought up Chris Medina. I don't know if anyone looked him up on youtube, but if you did, you likely came across several heart wrenching, amazing videos about Juliana. You might also have come across Juliana's mother's blog. I found it. And by reading it, I found out she wrote a book.
It only seemed natural that I get this book for Leslie (which I did). It came in the mail today. My intentions were to give it to her for Christmas (which I still intend to do!) but first I wanted to read it.
I sit down to read it, and the similarities nearly took my breath away. From the frantic phone calls they all went through (we did, too) to sitting in the "special" room in the ICU which everyone knows is often used to give a family tragic news.
But then I read this:
"I spent the next several days writing a journal for Juliana. I just knew that she would want all the details when she woke up. She was going to feel so bad for all that we went through. She would also want pictures, though she would have been mortified if I showed them to anyone before she saw them."
"That night, Juli's adoring fiance Chris and I slept on and off either in her room or on the couch in the waiting room. Since we expected her to suddenly wake up at any moment, leaving was never really an option because we needed to be there when she woke up."
Oh my God. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.
It took me back. Literally, that is EXACTLY what we experienced. What we thought would happen. And what didn't happen.
I remember asking my parents permission to take pictures of Leslie on the ventilator. My dad said he was thinking the same thing, so that night that I stayed the night with her, I took all kinds of pictures. Like Juli's mom thought, she was going to want to see them! ....or not. But we didn't realize that at the time. After I took the pictures, I told my parents (just like Juli's mom) that I would not post them on the blog. Again, because I didn't want to embarrass Leslie. I wanted her permission to post such intimate, sensitive pictures. A few days later, my mom asked why I posted them when I said I wasn't going to. My answer was something along the lines of wanting our faithful readers and those who loved Leslie so, so much, to see just how serious this situation was. In my head, though, I was thinking, "Because she isn't going to wake up like we thought she would. She isn't going to look at the pictures and think, "Wow! That really happened!" None of that was going to happen, and I knew it."
It's been a little over a year for Leslie. It's been about 2 years for Juli. I'm not reading the book. Those two quotations I used weren't even a part of the actual story. It was a part of the preface. I'm choosing to not read the book because it's too hard. To similar. I don't like to cry, and reading those words didn't bring teary eyes, they brought sobs. I don't want to do that. And anyhow, after reading those two excerpts, I think I already pretty much know the story.
(Quotes are in the book, "For Juliana, Almost to the Almost, One Penny at a Time" by her mother, Janet Spencer Barnes)