read by Andrew Host at her Memorial Service at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Wahroonga, on 7th November 2005
Many of you here will have experienced the love of Julie. She was a practical girl who delighted in doing things for people. She said that she wasn't very good at praying for others or being in the spotlight. But she was in the background, making a meal, creating a little cardigan or a customised counted cross-stitch for a friend's new baby, writing faithfully to overseas missionaries - there were many ways. As Julie's friend Kaylene wrote, “Julie always gave of herself and was the first to volunteer and always the last to leave.”
She sang with all her heart. Bruce and Julia Moon (who can't be here today because they're overseas) wrote to me, and included: “I loved her voice and I still remember it to be the sweetest and clearest voice in the church and I count it a joy to have heard such a nightingale.”
That's the public face of Julie that everyone knows. But I want to talk to you about the real Julie as I knew her.
I have loved Julie for longer than the nearly 20 years I was married to her. But there is more to a marriage than love. I liked her too. There are many, many reasons I liked Julie. One day, when she was feeling a bit low, I wrote a letter to her telling her why I liked her, which I'm going to share with you, because it will give you an insight into how her public face of cheerful service manifested itself in our marriage. This version of it is edited because the original was very personal in some places and is not appropriate here. But this is part of what I wrote, this is why I liked her.
I'm so glad I have you.
How could I live without you?
What do I like about you?
Well, now that you ask:
I like your smile.
the way you hold me.
your kisses (the long moist ones when you relax properly).
how you know just the right way to touch me.
I like that you put up with me.
the way you recover from anger so quickly, unlike me.
that you care for others.
that you are home for Daniel.
I like that you allow me to have my hobbies.
that you go on outings with me, even knowing that on some of them you may be bored.
the way you cook.
I like that sudden uncontrollable laugh that you think embarrasses me.
I like how even though we have different senses of humour, we still manage to laugh at lots of things together.
the way you wave goodbye to me when I go to work.
the way your hand rests on my leg when I'm driving.
I like how I don't even have to think about what to do about lunch.
how much money we save because you're prepared to make lunches, even smelly salmon sandwiches first thing in the morning.
how I have my own dressmaker for little repairs and alterations.
that you're so good with your hands.
I like how we have our own language for some things.
I like playing tennis with you.
playing Backgammon with you.
playing Scrabble with you.
I like the way your tongue slides out when you're concentrating.
walking with you hand-in-hand.
walking with you with our arms around each other.
when you come up unexpectedly from behind and put your arms around me.
I like the way you smell.
the way you taste.
the way you look.
the way you sound.
the way you feel.
I would like you to know how madly I am in love with you.
I would like you to know that I do NOT take you for granted.
I would like you to know that without you I would not want to live.
I would like you to know how desperately I want to make you happy, in EVERY way.
Julie, you went too soon, much too soon.