A while back I wrote a post about the sitters in our life. https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2019/02/07/at-your-service/
It was a tribute to those that have been a wonderful blessing to us. And provided much-needed service and respite to our family.
I didn’t go into detail then about the very first sitter sent to our home by an agency. She deserved her own post. Dearest Juliet arrived at our home with the flair of Mary Poppins. She had the most beautiful spirit and smile and laugh. She put me at ease right away. And Jacob was drawn to her for multiple reasons. She was raised in England and never lost her accent. He’d reach for her mouth to get her to speak just to hear her voice. We would often joke that he liked her more than us. Notes and information on Jacob were kept in a red notebook that was provided by the agency. Sitters were to use it to document their time in our home. It wasn’t unusual for Jacob to hand us the red notebook and show us the door. Clearly wanting us to leave and his favorite nurse to take our place.
Tragically, Juliet was stabbed to death in her home eleven years ago. She lived alone with few earthly possessions. After her death, Mike and I, another special needs family, and a couple of her friends cleaned out her home. It was something we could do for her as she had done so much for us.
Her death shook me to the core. I’d lost grandparents and a best friend. But not through murder. I became afraid. I’d sit in a recliner and work sudoku puzzles for hours. Insomnia sunk in. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. How in the world would Jacob grieve his favorite nurse? Evil is in the world and he was about to be affected directly. In cleaning out her home, we collected photos and made an album for him. One he still pulls out every now and then to remember. It gives us a chance to talk about how much we miss her. She had lived an interesting life with much excitement but also much hardship and tragedy. More than once I suggested she move in with us. That is how much we loved her and considered her family. She was gone way too soon but was a believer so we are assured we’ll see her again one day.
It was late afternoon on a Wednesday when I got a phone call from the agency that employed Juliet. “Terri, sit down, I’ve got some terrible news.” Frantic to remember everything about her, I wrote the poem, “She was His Nurse”. Too overcome with grief, I could not read it at her funeral. However, years after her death, I was asked again to read it in public. This time at the trial of the two young men that broke into her home, stabbed her over thirty times leaving her to die and then stole her car. It was hard. So. Very. Hard. But I was determined to stand up for her for all the times she stood up for Jacob. They needed to hear what they had taken from us. From the community. From the world.
She wouldn’t want to be called an angel but she seemed like one to us. Dearest Juliet, you are not forgotten, my beautiful friend. Dance with the saints, rest in heavenly peace, and worship the King.