The best thing I got to do in Portland was visit Levi's childhood home and his mom's grave with Levi and his dad. These were also the hardest, most emotional things. Levi's mom passed away almost 11 years ago, when Levi was 19, from brain cancer. She fought it for a long time, had brain surgery, and went through radiation and chemotherapy treatments. She beat it, but it came back.
I never met Julee, so this was my first time being "introduced" to her. Oh, how I wish it didn't have to be like this! It was a strange thing standing next to her son and her husband, all of us sobbing, not really knowing what to say. Even though I've never met her, I feel like I knew her. From stories. From pictures. From the wedding ring we share. From the way Levi talks about her.
I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to travel to Oregon to finally "meet" the amazing woman who raised my husband. I feel like I learned so much more about Levi just by standing there next to him, saying hello to Julee.