Thank You For Julie Brumbaugh

Julie raised four sons.

I met one of them in 1981.

He told me all about his mother with pride and affection.

He said she took him to see the play, Hair on Broadway when he was a child.

She was a nightclub singer back then and her son reminisced about how she came home late in those days, smelling like spearmint gum with the nightclub still mingling in her red hair and on her leather jacket when she hugged him goodnight.

He still loved the smell of spearmint gum.

He talked about how family was the most important thing to Julie, and she was the matriarch that held his family together.

She took care of her mother-in-law in the family home for decades, working various jobs to supplement her husband’s income as a mailman so they could buy a home.

(she still has a job at a bank even today)

Julie would send her son books and care packages with treats that he shared with me.

I finally met this wonderful woman when I married her son—we flew to New Jersey from Oregon to get married in the back yard of the family house.

I loved her with the first Hello and Hug.

She made me feel like I had been her daughter all my life.

The house was a menagerie of pets, and  grown up sons with girlfriends, and life long friends of the boys, and her husband quietly growing orchids in a greenhouse he built, with Julie cooking food and making plans for the wedding of her eldest son and the new daughter.

She was a powerhouse, organizing, introducing, and tending to her family the entire time with humor and genuine concern.

I remember thinking to myself that this woman was the personification of maternal but at the same time she was an authentic individual with her own mind, and she seemed to balance these two elements with one enhancing the other in a way that I respected and found inspiring.

Julie’s eldest son is now married to another woman but Julie has never let me fall from the family tree.

She remembers my birthday every year, sends me cards (and checks) on Christmas, talks to me on the phone occasionally, and always reminds me that I am loved.

And that love returns to her over and over again.


~ by leakelley on February 24, 2010.

One Response to “Thank You For Julie Brumbaugh”

  1. This is a great post… very well written, and it has a great message.

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