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June 03, 2008



This is a touching story.

It's hard to talk about death to children. It's unbearable to hear them, "Why did She die?" Because even if you explain the reason they'd still ask why.

I know wherever she is, Julia is happy to see a lot of children loving their time in her garden. I think that's what she's wanted. :)


Oh that looks magical.

In the Trenches of Mommyhood

I've been there with my boyz. I especially love the wishing well.
It's a great playground and a wonderful tribute to a little girl!


Ok, I am normally a crier but I am completely sobbing.
I can't wait to visit this park.


It is amazing what these parents have done. The unimaginable has happened to them and they are keeping their daughter's memory alive while making other kids happy. This is almost a weekly visit for us - we're lucky to live so close.

Lynda Cekala

I remember the night she asked me what it meant to die. How does one explain that to a little girl? I asked her why she asked me that question and she replied, "Because Jesus told me in my dream that I could die."

Julia was developmentally delayed. We didn't go to church. I didn't know she knew who Jesus was, never mind what death was. Julia informed me she was not ready to die yet.

Shortly after this emotional night, I had a dream. I dreamed that I was standing in a memorial garden that we built in memory to our daughter....

Julia died 6 months later.

During the her 5 months in ICU Julia was awake and very interactive. Despite her occassional ventilator and scores of abdominal and chest drains she still sat up in bed and played nintendo, had tea parties, played cards and blew bubbles. If she happened to be on a ventilator post surgery, she adapted and blew the bubbles with the vent. The other kids in the ICU unit that were on ventilators were medicated asleep and hands tied down. Not Julia. She's was sitting up playing "Go Fish" and watching Veggietales. She had elaborate hand signals for everything! She was a rather bossy individual who tended to rewrite "the rules"! Even her passing was unique and radiantly peaceful. The energy in her room that morning was powerful.

Julia has an amazing strength and spirit. Her life experience taught us about courage and faith and the importance of family. If she can be strong, I can be strong. One small child moved proverbial mountains at Boston Children's Hospital. She transformed the lives of many nurses and doctors through the experience of caring for her. She certainly transformed our lives....and continues to do so.

Through her death, Nicki lives. 12 Weeks after Julia died, Nicki suffered from cardiac arrest due to another error at Children's Hospital and miraculously survived. We owe his life to a handful of ICU staff who so loved Julia that they irrationally continued CPR long after hope had been lost. Through their emotions, tears and sweat they defibrilated Nick a total of 45 times and finally put him on a heart/lung machine. 3 days later, Nick was responsive. There was no heart or brain damage found. Despite the electrical burns on his chest from being "paddled" so much Nick was just fine. His first words were,"I see Julia" and "Can I have some chocolate cake please?" Two weeks later, my son, whose heart did not beat for 2 1/2 hours, walked out of Children's Hospital and came home. His kidney's failed shortly after, we switched hospitals to Mass General, he began dialysis and received a kidney 6 months later from our dear friend Ida. The kidney that Ida desperately had wanted to give Julia.

Nick continues to do well. Julia inspires us on a daily basis. She is still among us, giving us vision and strength. Julia's Garden is a living testimony to a remarkable little girl. She loved nature - it spoke to her. She believed in magic and collected unicorns. She adored playing in the water, digging in the sand, sliding on playground slides and she could swing for hours! This summer we are adding a new play area...a beach area. We spend summers on the Cape and Julia so loved the beach sand and our boat.

She had a rather magnetic personality that drew people to her and in turn, to us. Through the garden, she still does this! Miracles happen through Julia. She spreads her "pixie dust" and makes things happen all the time!

I was overwhelmed when I received a link to this blog. I am overjoyed that Julia's Garden brings happiness to so many. My dream has become manifest in reality. Julia's live has transformed from a caterpillar to a butterfly. The same life. Just a different form. The caterpillar never died. It just changed...

She is here among us, radiant and with wings... Spreading her pixie dust.

I thank you for your kind words and I hold them close to my heart. Thank you for visiting the garden and thank you for getting to know Julia. Please keep in touch, I have a feeling that there is so much more to come...........

With gratitude and love,

Julia's Mom, Lynda Cekala

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