Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

     We are back from our trip to So Cal.  Disneyland was a blast, but more about that later.  Today is Memorial Day.  A day to remember family and friends that have passed on.  I have been so blessed in my life to have only lost a few people who were close to me, aside from grandparents, who had for the most part lived long and full lives. 
     I want to take a minute today to talk about my friend Julia 'Judy' McMasters.  I met Judy at church many years ago.  We served in the women's organization together for several years.  Have you ever met someone and you just hit it off immediately?  That's how it was with Judy.  We were instant best friends despite the fact that our lives were very different and yet, not so different.  Judy had four grown sons, who were married with children.  I had six small children at home and was pregnant with my seventh.  Judy taught me so many things, not the least of which was, no matter how old your kids get you never stop worrying about them.  I, in my immaturity at the time, thought that once kids were grown you could take a breath.  Not so.  I remember many heart to heart talks where she shed tears over the struggles her grown sons were going through and I saw her joy when things went well. 
    I learned from Judy that you can't judge someone's marriage from the outside looking in.  She talked about friends she lost after she left her first husband because they couldn't understand why she had left him.  Things are not always what they appear to be folks, be careful not to judge.  Even after all those years I could see her pain.  Judy made many sacrifices to make sure her sons would have every advantage in life.  She was a remarkable woman.
     Two years ago on New Year's Eve Judy passed away.  Her kidneys were failing and she didn't want to be dependent on dialysis to survive.  I spoke with Judy several times while she and her family were making the decision of whether or not to go on dialysis and when she opted not to and was in hospice.  I have to say I wanted to beg her to stay because I loved her and I would miss her, but I couldn't talk because I was crying too hard.  She always called me the daughter she never had and I was honored.      
     If a life well lived is in the moments that we remember fondly our loved ones who have gone before us, Judy lived well.  I think of her often.  I have wanted to pick up the phone and share special moments with her, like the births of my grandchildren.  I know she would have rejoiced with me.
     I love you, Judy, and I miss you.  I know I will see you again.
     I hope all of you are taking a minute or two today to remember someone special and I hope you all have a "Judy" in your life to make it that much sweeter. 


  1. What a beautiful way to honor a friend - thank you, and thank you for reminding me what today is about!

  2. I remember Judy she was an awesome woman!! I have to say that I think you are too!! Raising 10 children is an incredibly hard task and you and Gary have done a great job. I can attest to the fact that you never "never" stop worrying about your kids when they are grown up!! In fact I think you worry more because you don't have control anymore over the choices they make. Not only them then you start to worry about the grandchildren. It's a never ending battle and one that I am grateful to have in my life. Not that I don't wish that every choice my children and grand children make would be perfect but since I know that wont happen I just have to stand by and help when asked. Ok sorry I am blogging on your blog!!! Love you Sheereen!!

  3. Cathy, you are so sweet. Isn't that the truth. When the kids get married and have kids you just have more people to worry about. It's a never ending cycle. You can blog on my blog anytime. :)