I know that this is a photo challenge, and trust me, there will be pictures (no judging, it was the late 90's, and yes, I'm aware of my hair)...however, please allow me to tell some backstory on my friend before you see what a beautiful woman she was.
Julie (Fawthrop) Telfer
Julie and I were randomly paired as roommates my junior/her senior year in college. Never have I had such an amazing roommate. (No offense to my senior year girls...we had fun...Julie was just...Julie.)
I saw her a few times after her grad, my family went to Albuquerque to see the hot air balloon festival, and she and her husband (boyfriend at the time) came with us. She came back to my grad the next year, and not long after (I think it might have been the next summer), my family and I went to the wedding. At that point (if timeline/memory serves...) she was 29.
We kept in touch via email, postcards (she went to Europe for a summer), and the occasional phone call. Through Christmas cards/letters etc, she told me about how she had been getting her migraines checked out. Things weren't looking good...it was brain cancer. She went through the traditional routes of treatment, and the tumor seemed to be responding. She had gone the holistic route as well, thankfully with good response. In 2002, the tumor stopped responding to treatments.
In early 2003, I had this feeling I needed to call. I called and happened to get Chris. We exchanged pleasantries...and then I asked how things were. He said "It's bad. I'm glad you've called when you did...Julie is on her deathbed...if you are able...you should come now."
Um...holy $h!t. I asked him some basic questions, made some phone calls, and thanks to dad, had myself and 2 friends booked on a flight to New Mexico within the week. Tobi and Cheryl knew Julie, Cheryl had become our adopted roommate, and Tobi knew her from her brief stint in one of the shows we did that year in the theatre.
Cheryl and Tobi were amazing, and provided a welcome relief from the sadness of the trip. (A certain trip to Wal-Mart for bathing suits, games of Phase 10, the hot tub and Cheryl laughing so hard she fell off the bed are all happy memories from that trip, but those stories are for another blog.)
That trip was emotional hell. We got to the house, and saw Chris, and I will never forget beautiful Julie, and what cancer had done to her...I know that sounds terrible and sad, but other than my pictures I have from our time in college, it's what is burned into my brain. We spent time with Julie, who was in such a comatose state, I only pray that she was able to hear everything we said, and returned to Denver with heavy hearts.
Julie passed the next weekend. She was only 31.
I think of her often, and have a picture I took of her and Chris, at their wedding, hanging on my wall (it was one of the few I don't have digitized) and forgive me, but you're just going to have to take my word that it is one of my most treasured pictures.
On March 4th of this year, it was 8 years ago that she passed away...I can't believe it's been 12 years since we met and already been 8 years since she passed...
Julie...I miss you...