It is late. We are in a long season of caring for our daughter and her only son, Elias. Yet I felt inspired to sit at my computer, which is collecting dust, to pay tribute to Julie Powell. You may not recognize the name, but you most likely know her. Julie Powell’s story was featured in a movie in 2009 titled, Julie and Julia. Meryll Streep played Julia Childs and Amy Adams played Julie. It is a true story filled with many touchstones to my own life.
Imagine my sadness when I found out that Julie Powell died last week, October 26th at the age of 49.
I didn’t know what to think. This movie impacted my life in a profound way. It was the exclamation point to my new endeavor of blogging which had begun just months before in 2008. It also was a catalyst to my love of cooking. Her story mattered to me–every blog post, every recipe, every disappointment and achievement.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Julie. In the movie you asked if what you did in life mattered. Yes. It did. You took the time to put in words your adventure of cooking all of Julia Child’s recipes in a single year. While watching the movie I had to keep reminding myself that you really did this–Amazing! Your passion was evident. The scene of you stirring chocolate cream pie into a pie dish was mouth-watering. As was every recipe you prepared throughout the movie.
As you paid tribute to your beloved Julia Childs she helped you realize something…
“Julia taught me what it takes to find your way in the world. It’s not what I thought it was. I thought it was all about–I don’t know, confidence or will or luck. Those are all some good things to have, no question. But there’s something else, something that these things grow out of. It’s joy.” – Julie Powell
Joy is found when you pursue the things for which you were created to do.
A cardiac arrest took your life suddenly leaving behind your husband, Eric, of 24 years. I learned you both met playing the leads in a romantic play at your high school. What a loss he must be experiencing tonight. My condolences to your family and friends. Although we never met, I felt as if I knew you. Our love of writing and cooking was a deep connection that gave me the courage to pursue my own passions with joy, so thank you!
I’ll close with a quote from the movie with a chilling reality.
“So the end may be a long time coming, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a way of sneaking up on you.” – Julie Powell
Sadly, your words rang true. Bon Appetite, Julie.