07 July, 2011

Julee Jo

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.



  1. My husband's mother passed away before I ever met him too. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you know her - that's how I feel too. Especially after watching home videos. My husband's mom was one of ten, and seven of the ten are girls, so I have an idea about her from all the stories and from the six sisters who share certain traits.
    But we moved from Portland (woo!) to Texas where my husband is from one year ago, and now we live literally across the street from the cemetery where his mom is buried. We can see it from our backyard. It's nice to have it there. I can so relate to you on this one - being there with him and his dad just kills me.

  2. Wow, what a special moment for you to share with your husband. That's incredible, I'm sure her memory is going to live strongly in your family.

  3. That's wonderful that you were able to see that with him, I bet that meant a lot to him. I was that same age when my mom died and my husband never met her, but he goes with my family every mothers day and her birthday to visit her grave. I'm grateful that he's there, so I'm sure Levi was grateful also.

  4. My husband's mother also passed away before we got together. I was able to meet her once, but I don't remember much about it other than she was nice, which is a given because of the wonderful son she raised. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beautifully written Jasmine. My fiance's father died almost a year ago, which means i only knew him for about 10 months. Our wedding this september will be hard without him. But everyday I am thankful that I get the most wonderful part of him- his son. You and levi are so lucky to have each other.

  6. I posted on your (or Levi's) instagram picture regarding this. My husband's mother died when he was 3 months old, and he didn't even know about her until he was older (his father remarried). His stepmother is his mother for all intents and purposes. She worked with his real mom while she was pregnant, so she knew him before he was even born. It feels perfectly orchestrated to me that he got to be raised by someone who knew his mother.

    We have gotten to know his real mom's family and they are just wonderful. I have enjoyed getting to know her through the stories and love they share with us now. I still wish I could have met her!

  7. Took me until today to read this post, because I knew it would make me cry...and I was right! So touching! So glad you were able to go on this trip just for this!


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