We reached out to one another when we both found out we suffered from the same health condition. Juliana has an adorable son Johnny & an amazing husband named John. Juliana has chronicled her health battle on facebook & Caring Bridge so that we - her friends & family - can stay with her during this health battle.
Juliana has taught me so much about sticking with a friend through a hardship & showing up for a friend during an illness/a battle/challenge. I am in awe of Juliana's grace through suffering. I have no doubt that the Lord is using Juliana's suffering to bring awareness for Lymes Disease/POTS Syndrome, to bring others closer together and to teach others about love. Juliana is love. I love her so much.
We first became facebook friends in 2010. We shared our war stories and daily challenges w/ this health condition. We made a pack that we would stick together. We began to chat on the phone, text & send one another care packages.
She didn't just step up to the plate alone....haha....that isn't Juliana's style. She brought an army with her. She has taught me so much about friendship. She was very stern when she would tell me 'I am going to stick with you during this Kelly - I am here to support you - it's what friends do". She had her friends befriending me on facebook, helping me with making copies of studies for my disability case and loving me through this. We know how to rally and I often turn to Juliana in particular for coping skills.
She has shown me all of this and continues to.....all the while she cannot even walk - get out of bed - sometimes eat on her own. She is suffering severely - in pain, having seizures, in and out of consciousness for long over a year now. How is that possible? It's simply friendship - it's what friends do - according to Juliana. I am also inspired by Juliana's friends & their loyalty to her while she walks through the most challenging days of her life. Juliana's friends throw fundraisers, inspire her daily via her fb page, texts, phone calls, flowers, gifts, etc. Juliana is loved by so many.
Here is a girl who has a child, a husband and is 'fighting for her life'. Here she is extending an ear, being a cheerleader, sending me gift packages in the mail, sending me books to read, hugging me through it all. This is God's work folks. There is no other explanation for it. God isn't just good....God is grand.
Juliana - through her health conditions - is teaching all of us about perseverance, patience, hope, true friendship, love and sadly, long suffering. Juliana suffers hourly - for so long now - that it pains all of us to go through it with her - It breaks my heart. I sometimes want to turn away b/c it is so stressful to witness but then I know that I can't - I will keep going back to support her b/c that is what friends do - she showed me that. She suffers to a level that is - kid you not -unimaginable to most people.
Sometimes it makes me sad when I see people suffering and their loved ones not showing up for them. It also makes me angry but that's more of a conversation between God & myself. I am glad I am not one of those people.
Juliana - She is gorgeous, so funny with a raunchy sense of humor, compassionate as can be, sweet yet has that fire in her. She is very dedicated to her husband & her son, Johnny. Johnny always has fun things to do while Juliana spends most of her time in bed or a hospital. He seem's to understand exactly what she is going through as well. John updates all of us when Juliana is unable to and the love they have for one another? Unconditional & to me, inspiring. John, we are praying for you in the days to come as well. The love Juliana & John share for one another is nothing short of amazing.
Juliana, you mean so much to me. You actually leave me stunned. I am pained at what you are having to endure & in awe of what you stand for - love. You are the kind of friend that everyone deserves. I feel so beyond blessed to be one of those friends.
One day, we will be on vacation, cocktails in hand, laughing and a favorite quote will come to mind "One day you will see that it all has finally come together. ... You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... "How did I get through all of that?"- Author Unknown.
I love you & will carry your spirit with me forever. I mean that.
If you would like read more about Juliana & donate to her family, you can go to http://hopeforjuliana.weebly.com.