Tag Archives: unconditional love

Tonight I want to tell you a story about my husband John…

My name is Julia. My husband died from a terrifying brain cancer called glioblastoma. Tonight I want to tell you a story about my husband John…

John was my best friend in the world. I remember the first time he told me that I was his best friend. And I remember after years of marriage, still feeling bewildered. That John Chambers thought of me as his best friend. Because he was the toughest guy I knew. And he was cool as shit.

I asked him about his sister, and his best guy friends, all of whom he was very close to. Because I figured surely they were his best friends before I was.

And he said “That’s true, but it’s different with you. You’re my life, you’re my breath. I trust you implicitly with everything that I am. I trust you more than anyone else in the world.”

And I was humbled by this 6’5″ operatic giant, who was intelligent and tough, and who believed in always doing the right thing. That the strong should protect the weak. That the able had a responsibility to use their strengths for good. That those with knowledge should train others. And I was slightly terrified to be entrusted with so profound a thing.

John was a hero and a great leader to others. The guy who rescued people from an elevator during a power outage in a snowstorm, because it was the right thing to do. And he was the only one strong enough to open the doors to do it.

He was Super Man, and out of everyone, he cherished and trusted me most.

I was stunned at the beautiful confirmation that our souls spoke beyond words. He was my everything. Together we were empowered. Together we could do anything. Together, no one could stop us. Together we were both better individually and collectively.

How did I come to be the one to hold the precious jewels of his heart and trust. It was easy for me to see why I trusted him. Why I fell so hard for him. He was such a good, good man. Not to mention he had an enchanted singing voice. But for him to fall so hard for me, to so deeply trust me…. How did it come to be?

John told me a story about a lesson he learned from his widowed grandmother. One summer during college, he stayed with her, helping her paint and repair the home that his grandfather built. John loved great conversation and he cherished the time he spent with his grandparents. At some point during this summer, the subject of relationships came up, and John made some comment to his grandmother about the kind of (tall) woman he needed to find to marry. And she told him “You don’t marry a body, you marry a mind.”

Her words struck his core profoundly, and he never forgot. “You are gorgeous,” he said to all 5’1″ of me, “But more than that, your heart and mind are astonishingly beautiful. I love who you are inside. Others don’t see it, but I do.” It was a raw moment of love and joy. To be truly seen, soul to soul. A moment I couldn’t believe I was lucky to have.

John told me often during our 22 years together that it was his job to remind me how beautiful I was, inside and out. To set things right and make up for traumas of the past. To help me to see my beauty and believe in myself. To help me experience that life could be fun. John taught me that I had a right to safety and that it was OK to have healthy boundaries. And he told me, over and again, unto the last weeks of his life, that I was the reason that he was a better man. That without me, his life wouldn’t have been enriched and that because of me he wanted that much more to be a better man. That he wanted that much more to do good things, to help others and make a difference in the world.

And here I thought it was he who taught me more about real love than anyone I’d ever known.

As I stumble through the shards left of my reality after his death, I try to hang onto his words. I remind myself that one of the best souls I’ve ever known never stopped thinking that my mind was smart and beautiful. He even thought I gave good advice. I always counted on his, and boy could I use some of it right now.

I wrote before about the gift of holding our children’s beginnings. The part of life that later our kids cannot remember. The part of their beginning that no one else sees. No one else contains more of those moments than we parents. We hold our children’s first stories.

I did not expect the astonishing reality of holding my husband’s ending. It is a terrifying, yet precious gift. To hold him, his heart and soul. To walk his last walk with him and share his nightmare. To fight for him with every drop of my blood, every beat of my heart, every breath in my chest. To crack wide open and pull out every possible skill I could to save his life. To be the one to bear witness to every honorable and gritty detail. The one who contains his final story. The one to be entrusted with his death.

I am his horcrux.

I hold his story. Together he can never be defeated.



Filed under Glioblastoma, Grief, NaBloPoMo

Strong Together…

I sit here marveling at how John has enriched my life
and helped me to believe in myself.

We love each other so much.
We’ve always been strong together.

John’s inextricably a part of everything
that I’ve ever become, in my adult life,
as I am in his.

My wins are his.
His wins are mine.

And yet–we’re two whole people who just happened
to like each other’s company–a lot.

In our 22 years together, we have deeply loved and
helped each other become more than our parts.

It’s actually difficult to explain,
but I am so much more today than when we met.

Like, I’m a whole multiple-reality universe bigger
and more detailed today than before.
At every possible level of the soul.

Like Shrek’s onion, I keep growing new layers.
Or is it levels of my soul, really.

And John’s love, friendship, and support are
threaded through every one of them.

John doesn’t complete me.
That’s not the right description.

He empowers me.
He takes joy for me.

He tells me that I help him see the strength
that he didn’t realize was there.

That he can do and be so much more because of me.
And that because of me, he wants to even that much more.

I get it.
I feel the same.
It’s an atonement.

Sometimes, even now, it’s a confusing reality
to realize how this really works.

Sometimes now, in the face of this adversity,
it’s also all so much clearer the importance of what we’ve crafted.
And its power.

Love doesn’t work like the fluffy images in the movies.

If we were to try to live love in that way,
it really couldn’t just work.

It’s not found so much as it’s crafted.

And it looks a lot like the richest,
most beautifully textured friendship you can imagine.

Without the solidity of our friendship,
this wouldn’t be what it is.

Honestly, if neither of us had the ability to be a quality friend,
I don’t think this could work.
Friendship is the well source of our love.

Because of John’s steadfast place in my heart and life,
I have so much more strength and confidence than I could have imagined.

Yes. Even in this adversity we face.

Yes. Even in the face of terminal brain cancer.

Yes. Even knowing that this fight may be impossible to win.


He believes in me. And I in him.

In every way.

June 27, 2017

Copyright © 2017, Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved. No part of my post, writing, or words may be copied and shared without my express written permission and attribution.

Strong Together

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Filed under Friends and Family, Glioblastoma, Inspiration, Writing

Love Your Life To The Fullest…

This is a variation of a piece I first penned in 2009.
I find renewed meaning in it, and a good reminder for today.

Love your Life to the Fullest.

Love Your Life To The Fullest

For to truly Live,
you must Love.

For Love is in every Act
and in every Breath
and in every Thought
and Word.

Love is both Passive
and Active.
Love is in the state
of ‘Simply Be.’

Love is in
the Abundance
and Clarification
of your Cause
for this Lifetime.

You must both
Love Yourself
as well as
Love your Life.

Without condition.

For the Two are Eternally Twined.

Originally written 01-28-2009.
Copyright © 2009 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.






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Filed under NaBloPoMo, Poetry, Writing

Unconditional Receiving…

This is more philosophical/spiritual in nature, something I am exploring personally and within my spiritual circles, but thought I would share it with you.  In part, because I think it’s something many of us in the creative fields can relate to, especially many of us who are women, mothers and other servants to greater causes than ourselves.

You see, around New Years this year I had an epiphany about receiving. I’ve always been a proactive advocate about the cycle of give and receive. It’s important to value things in life. Ourselves included. We often do not value when we do not give in exchange. And as artists, we often find ourselves having to learn much about this when we look at pricing ourselves and valuing ourselves and marketing/selling ourselves and the work of our hands.  So many women and so many artists feel guilt for charging for creation.  Or guilt over asking for more.  So understanding the divine nature of the cycle of give and receive is greatly beneficial in coming to a place of balance in this.

Is it logical?  Is it balance?  Is it even love to devalue oneself?  Because devaluing oneself is not being humble.  It is not an act of giving.  And it is not unconditional love either.  It is not the same energy by far.

These are subjects many of us are already exploring and more familiar with.  But earlier this year I came to realize there was something more. An augmentation of this understanding.

We know about unconditional love. We know about unconditional giving. But we rarely hear about unconditional receiving. It’s bad enough when we put up rules about when we will give and who we will give to.  Dictating a type of giving only where we deem it is “deserved.”  However, too much of the time, we put up rules about receiving, either blocking all together, or placing parameters and requirements on how we will allow ourselves to receive. We say we will allow ourselves to receive, but only this way, or with these conditions.

Sometimes it takes us becoming downright sick or injured before we allow ourselves to receive help of any kind. As if only then we have permission. We even do this with friendship.  And we avoid delegation.

Of course, in order for someone to have the benefits of giving, there must be a receiver, but when you look at unconditional receiving, as in – no conditions, just receive in gratitude – it takes on a whole new energy. No Conditions! No judgement! No comparing to what others have or don’t. No negative views on one-self, or others! Just purely receive! Unconditionally! I am blessed and whether expected or not, whether “deserving” or not, I will accept! And I will not turn down another’s gift of giving and deny them that experience either. And I do not have to work harder before I’m finally “deserving” of it either.

It’s a continued exploration, but something that really struck to my core when the phrase popped into my head. “Unconditional Receiving.”  That conditioned receiving is not really love. And I’m pretty darn sure, we are not supposed to judge too harshly the things that flow into our lives. If I were to meet Jesus, or the Dali Lama or another spiritual master, and offer them a gift, would they judge it?  Do we reject the gifts of children when offered?  So if I desire to be love, why would I do less for another, or to God?

I’m still exploring it and what it means for/in life, mine and others. Many times in my past, receiving was either forbidden, or it meant being owned in some way. And so blocking that was a way to comply with the rules, or to be free of bondage. It was also a way to avoid disappointment and judgment. And there was all that “deserving” stuff. Being open to receiving can make you feel vulnerable. Being honest about need can make you feel vulnerable. Even being honest about your feelings, or where you came from, can leave you open to judgment from others.

But I am not in need of those views or protections now. I haven’t been for a long time.  It’s an interesting exploration. I cannot claim to have absolute understanding of this, but I can say that the exploration of this is teaching me a lot.


Filed under Editorial, Inspiration, Random Thoughts