Remembering my friend, Marilee

Today is the Birthday of a dear friend of mine, Marilee. Today she would have been fifty six years old. To those of us who loved her she will eternally be, fifteen. Forever Young.

Marilee and I danced together three times a week. She was amazing and took to ballet (pointe) with grace and ease and beauty. Every year I have taken my daughter to the Nutcracker Ballet and (now my granddaughers) to celebrate Marilee. She and I were both cheerleaders and we spent many hours practicing. We had planned on her being a sophomore cheerleader when I was a senior cheerleader. I had taught her every cheer we knew so for sure she would make the team.

One day I heard her singing to the song “People”, by Barbra Streisand. She was singing to the top of her voice, she did not know I was there. She loved that song. I still have the album. It still reminds me of her.

Oh my how she loved to laugh. She just radiated joy.

We all grew up fast that cold February day when Marilee was taken from us. It has given me compassion for the broken hearted. The experience has taught me a lot about grieving, coping with loss, and that you will never forget a most wonderful friend.
I am writing my book to share many of the lessons I have learned about life from Marilee’s untimely death.

Who could have known 30 years after her unsolved homicide, that my mom’s unsolved homicide would involve the same possible suspect? How could I have ever been prepared for that to happen? There was a time I was not sure I could survive the pain of it. I did survive and I am stronger for it. Now, I have a story to tell about surviving, loving, forgiving, understanding and saying goodbye.

The strength I have garnered to survive cancer and a near fatal car accident comes from knowing that I still do not have all the answers to the questions my heart still has……

People, People who need people are the luckiest people….in the world. If you see a beautiful angel in heaven who is always dancing….It is Marilee.


Filed under Healing, Trauma

5 responses to “Remembering my friend, Marilee

  1. Susan

    Thanks for sharing that, Julie. You express your thoughts and feelings so beautifully and I’m sure Marilee is gracing you with her presence every time you think of her. It’s wonderful to have so many fond memories.

  2. Marci Murcray

    What a wonderful, thought provoking way you wrote that! You are a really good person with sharing how you feel and think. It’s not just being a good writer, it’s the fact that you are feeling, thinking, and writing it all with your HEART! The best is that you are gracing everything in the right way!

  3. Jandee

    How your words take me back to that time. I too loved Marilee and her family. I did not have the privilege of the day to day with her…to dance and sing together but we did spend family time and skied together. I cannot say I’ve shared the same pain, especially in regard to your mom but life is riddled with it none-the-less so at some level, if we dig deep enough and refuse to let denial set in we all share at some level that emotion.
    I would love to hear about your story of surviving, loving, forgiving, understanding and saying goodbye. Call me…

  4. Nancy Coggins

    I know you had deep feelings and much love for Marilee, but she was born in 1955,and would now be 60 yrs. old. I also loved her deeply, she was my only niece. Your Mother was one of my very good friends, and your Dad and I remained friends until his passing. He loved you so much and was very proud of you.
    My best to you and yours,
    Nancy Burt Coggins

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