Miss Julia, who has a large flare for the dramatic, exclaimed the other day at something that delighted her, “Oh my soul!”
We found the phrase particularly charming, as we are trying to get her to use the terms gosh and golly instead of Our Lord’s name in vain.
I have no idea, though, where she learned, “Oh my soul,” yet it suits her. She is a classic Southern Belle, and her precious spirit reminds me of times gone by. I can see her in a cotton dress, hat on, walking down dirt roads lined with oaks, flirting shamelessly with her favorite beau.
Miss Julia’s beauty is timeless, and she reminds me of my Bomba. Just last weekend, my Daddy said, as she and I were leaving the room, “She’s Mama made over.” I was so proud.
She has a little sass, too, and that side reminds me of my Granny Cheshire, Sylvia Mae (pronounced by our family as Silva Mae). My Mom wanted me to name her Julia Mae, begged me to, actually; but I thought that it sounded too country.
Mama would be proud to know that all of her teachers, without knowing the connection, all call her Julia Mae.
This week, Miss Julia Mae showed out pretty badly at ballet. I was embarrassed and frustrated with her, and I felt sad that I don’t better know how to deal with her spirited ways. When we got home, I sent her to bed early and chose a bedtime story from her shelf that I don’t usually read.
Just in Case You Ever Wondered by Max Lucado was my Mom’s favorite book. He was also her favorite author. I think this book may have belonged to her and, if it didn’t come from her house, she encouraged me to buy it when I was pregnant with Mason. Reading this book about God’s unconditional love for us, mirrored in a mother’s love for her child, is so beautiful. I read it to Miss Julia through tears and she kept kissing them away. I swear I felt my Mom’s spirit reading with me, reminding me of her love, even as she waits in Heaven.
I also felt like she was laughing at me for getting frustrated with her Julia Mae. I am being paid back ten-fold for my own independence growing up. Laughing or not, I am just glad the connection is still there.
To that reminder that love never fails or dies, I say, “Oh my soul!”