Friday, December 09, 2011

"Just Enjoy Him" she said, and she did.


I am sad today, after hearing the news that my dear friend Judy (from the blog Just Enjoy Him) passed away yesterday. She had been battling inflammatory breast cancer for almost four years. We thought she had many more years but it was not to be.

Judy wrote about her life with such humor and honesty and courage. I started reading her blog back in 2007 when I first discovered adoption blogs. She adopted her son from Viet Nam in 2002. He's just about six months older than my son Buddy. Along with Judy I learned so much from adoption bloggers; from first moms, adoptees and other adoptive parents. She was able to put into words so many of the thoughts and feelings I was discovering at the same time. I always admired her spirit and irreverent spunk. I am so grateful to her for leading the way for so many of us. She took her blog name from her determination to enjoy her son with every fiber of her being, and to let go of the worry and anxiety that can come so close on the heels of adoption. She was honest and open about parenting struggles, and humble enough to learn from others and change her perspective to fit what her child needed. Her "Energy Boy" was the light of her life, along with her husband. Their joy leaked out of every pore.

She was also a librarian and generously shared her experience and insight with me when I began looking for a job in an academic library. When she discovered she had cancer, in December of 2007, we were all shocked and heartbroken. So many in the blogging world rallied around her and drew strength from her determined fighting spirit. I had a cancer diagnosis just a year later and felt as though I had been prepared by her example of how to deal; how to fight; how to love my life no matter what came. I had two surgeries and recovered. She had several surgeries, chemo in several regiments, a much longer battle, and then remission. Last year it came back and she was back in the fray. I have prayed for her, listened to her, laughed with her, and cheered her on in so many ways. I miss her voice, her insight, her snark, her irrepressible Facebook posts, her beautiful beaming smile and her silly planking photos.

There is just no way to tally up all the ways Judy gave of herself, or all that we gained by her courageous determination to share what she was learning and experiencing. Here is one of my favorite blog posts of hers where she shares some key points of what she learned along the way.

Heavy on my mind today is the weight of all her family has lost. Her husband and son are in my prayers this night. Judy had an unstoppable faith that was strong enough and deep enough to be angry at God and still hang on for a blessing. I pray for that tenacity and hunger for her family as well.

Jenna at Chronicles of Munchkinland posted about Judy, and Margie  at Komapseumnida did too. Bear's Mommy posted for Judy @ On Icarus' Wings.

If you have blogged about her passing leave me a comment and I will link to your post.



Susan T. said...

Andi, that's so sad. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. She sounds very courageous on her blog.

Third Mom said...

Andi, this is a beautiful tribute to Judy - thank you for writing it. I'll be linking back.

Still can't believe she's gone.