Sunday, February 8, 2009

Go Back and Be Happy

I'm sorry, but there's no sound out tonight. I just can't write right now. I wanted to share an incredible story with you instead...

When I was at the Books & Such retreat in Sonoma back in October, I met 2 amazing women. Well, actually, I met, many, many amazing women, but I want to introduce you to 2 of them here. The first one is Julie Papievis. Julie lives near me, just outside Chicago. In 1993, Julie was in a horrific car wreck. A doctor and an off-duty paramedic happened to be nearby at the time of the accident and immediately tried to assist Julie who was unconscious. Her pupils were fixed and dilated, she didn't respond to pain, had a palpable blood pressure of 80, and an elevated heart rate of 120. After cutting her from the car with the jaws of life, the paramedics delivered her to the hospital. As they handed her over to the trauma team, she started posturing, she urinated all the water from her body, and started agonal breathing, the last breaths taken before dying.

Julie shouldn't be alive today. She shouldn't be, but she is. Before she awoke from the coma she was in for FOUR weeks, she saw heaven. She saw her 2 grandmothers who told her, "You can't follow us. You have to go back. Your body will heal. Go back and be happy."

from Julie's book, "I know that I must return. I don't belong here yet. It isn't my time to be in heaven. I have to go back and finish my life and find happiness. God must have a reason and purpose for me not to stay. I trust him. I feel such hope. I feel such unconditional love. I know that whatever happens I will be okay. My faith is no longer 'blind'."

In this inspirational book, you learn of Julie's time in heaven and her struggle to relearn everything after coming out of a coma. I have to admit that I had the TV version of a coma in my head where the patient lies there motionless and then suddenly wakes up, refreshed and ready to get on with life. Not so. Not even close, in fact.

I read this book on the way home from Sonoma. I couldn't put it down and finished the whole thing on the plane ride.

Meet Julie Papievis from Go Back and Be Happy.

DAWN: When I met you at the retreat, I never, in a million years, would've guessed that you'd been in a coma, suffered major trauma to your brain, been paralyzed, and endured years of rehabilitation. Do people have that reaction a lot?

JULIE: Always!

DAWN: What was the hardest part of your rehabilitation?

JULIE: Rehabilitation, as a whole, is the hardest work I've ever done. I just finished rehab. for my left eye this year. Every year, they pick a new body part :)

DAWN: A triathlon! I've never participate in a triathlon. Or even a marathon. Oh, who am I kidding? I've never even run across the street! I'm just so impressed that after suffering such a severe brain stem injury and having to relearn how to walk, that you were able to come back and finish a triathlon. How did you feel finishing it?

JULIE: Finishing the race, I said to myself "your body has healed" just like my grandmothers in heaven told me it would.

DAWN: The chapter that talks about when you died and saw your grandmothers in heaven just sends chills down my spine. What an incredible experience. Can you describe what it was like?

JULIE: The way Margaret describes it in the book is perfect! If I had to use 2 words to describe it, they would be "perfect peace". Trust me, we all want to go there :)

DAWN: What is the best thing that has come out of this?

JULIE: I got the chance to reinvent myself :) Don't we all wish we could that? :)


The other person I want you to meet is Margaret McSweeney who put Julie's story down on paper. As Margaret says, "I tried to be the voice of Julie's heart."

DAWN: How did you hear of Julie's story?

MARGARET: I heard about Julie's story through her Aunt Kathy. We were both active in a local chapter of Infant Welfare Society. At that time I
wrote a neighborhood column for The Daily Herald and featured Julie's
story along with a fund-raiser for Midwest Brain Injury Clubhouse.

DAWN: What made you decide to write Julie's story?

MARGARET: After the article, Kathy, Julie and I met for lunch in Oak Brook.
She asked me if I would consider writing her book. As I was sipping
my iced tea, Julie told me about her near death experience and waking
up from the coma. One of the first questions she asked the nurse was,
"How is my yellow Toyota?" Years after the accident, she still had no
idea why she had said that since she didn't ever drive a yellow Toyota
and she didn't know anyone with a yellow Toyota. I about spewed my tea
across the table. My first car was a yellow Toyota! That was
definitely an indication that I was supposed to write her story. I
tried to be the voice of her heart.

DAWN: Do you have any other writing projects in the works?

MARGARET: My next book is Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit Experiencing Grace to be released in July 2009 by Moody Publishers. Just like the oyster, women get "grit" stuck inside their lives, but God's nacre of
love and grace covers the pain and turns it into a pearl. This book
features essays by women about the difficulties they have faced. Any
proceeds I receive will go in full to two charities: WINGS and Hands
of Hope. WINGS provides a Safe House for women and their children
fleeing from domestic violence. Hands of Hope is helping to build
wells in African villages.

I have 5 copies of Julie's book to give away here. Just leave me a comment and I'll draw 5 random winners on Wednesday, Feb. 11. In the meantime, you can check out her website and/or order your own copy HERE.

347 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 347 of 347
Knitty said...

I died on the delivery table in 1982 but the doctors were able to save me so that I could continue being a mom to my two sons and wife to a great husband. The experience was technically about a minute long, but timeless in every other way. It definitely changed how I lived the rest of my life, all for the better.

I will definitely read this book whether I am a lucky winner or not. Pearl Girls will be a must read too.

Life is good, ladies. :)

Julie said...

This sounds like a great story. I'd love to win a copy of it. Thanks.

Sharon said...

I love to read books that put triumph over tragedy. Sounds like the tissues will need to be close at hand.
If you want a book to read that will really pull at your heart, I recommend "Into The Deep" by Robert Rogers. This man lost his wife and 4 children in a flash flood. He also gave a lecture at our church a while back..INSPIRING!
His unshaken faith in the Lord above is amazing.

Slots Around the Clock said...

I'd love to read the book. What an amazing comeback!

Sue

Stampin_melissa said...

I got choked up just reading about the book I can only imagine that actually reading the book will be so much more gripping. Thank you for the opportunity to win one of Julie's books!

Sharla said...

Sounds like an amazing story that I would love to read!

Anonymous said...

WOW........just the little bit I've read has inspired me already.
Love your blog, Dawn!

Buf said...

Wow...sounds awesome...can't wait to read it!

Janet said...

What an amazing story, I'd love to read the book.

DeT said...

It sounds like an amazing story. I'd love to read it.

Diana said...

This story sounds fascinating. I would love to read this book.
Diana G
Romeoville, IL

Amyb99 said...

Wow, that sounds like an amazing story! If I don't win, I definitely plan on picking up this book next time I'm at the bookstore. Thanks for sharing!

Melissa T., SC said...

What an inspiration...thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I would love a copy of this book.

Michelle

Katy said...

What an amazing story! I'd love to read it

Gabby said...

Wow, that gave me chills!

Nicole said...

Wow, sounds worth reading!

Stephanie said...

Dawn, again, you're amazing. I'm grateful for your positive, honest, and humorous outlook on life. You have done so much to help others! Thank you!

anawinston said...

What an amazing story! I would love to read this book!

Amanda said...

I would love to read this book. I recently finished "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper and it was amazing!

Ada said...

I'd love to read this book! I'll get it out of the library if I don't win.

knktoblesky said...

I was about to buy this book on ebay when I saw your post about offering five copies to random winners. I'd love to read it!

Karen said...

This sounds like a great book. I was just about to jot it down on my book list. I'll go for the win first, but if I don't win, I'll be looking this one up! Thanks!

Paulette said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds like an amazing story & book. That is something that I'm putting on my reading list.

Thanks!

Lyndsay said...

I'd love to read about it!

Veggiemomof2 said...

You would also like Don Piper's book "90 Minutes in Heaven." It is the only book I've seen my husband read besides the bible. Actually it's the only thing I've seen him read that doesn't have a deer on the front! LOL

Ashley said...

I love great stories like this one!

Stacy said...

What an inspirational story. I would love a copy of the book. If I don't win, maybe I can find it at the library. I'm always in need of something uplifting!

Ali H. said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I would enjoy reading it.

MommaSpaz said...

What an amazing story! Proof that healing can come at any time, and as loved ones of those in those circumstances, we should never give up hope. I applaud her strength!

lynnkaste@hotmail.com said...

I would love to read Julie's book!!

Ang said...

What an amazing story. I too had a life and death experince and started follow and listening to God more closely. Would love to be able to win the book so I can read it! Thanks!

AndiWrite said...

I loved "90 Minutes in Heaven"--makes you wonder how many times this happens, doesn't it? I'm going to have to read this sooner or later--winning a copy would be wonderful!

Jennifer said...

Can't wait to read it!! If I don't win, I will definatly go purchase it!

Christina said...

I'd love to read the book! Thanks for the insight!

Jessica A. said...

I would love to read this book and share with my friends. If I don't win, I'm definetly going to buy the book myself.

karos said...

Well my goodness, look at the comment count when swag is involved! LOL

I was going to say this is very timely your mention of this book as I have two friends for whom it would be perfect, one of which had a terrible accident which left her dead (twice) after she fell face first onto a glass in her kitchen! She ultimately lived after being brought back - twice.

gilroy gal said...

What a powerful story! I would love to read it and then pass it on to some friends!
Hope mine is the lucky number!

Allison S. in NC said...

Thanks for introducing these two ladies...I look forward to reading the book!

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness what a huge testimony I would be so blessed to read her book.

Esther said...

An inspiring story that I'd love to read...

rebecca said...

I'd love to win a copy!
Rebecca

Kate said...

I would love a copy of the book.

Mamapajama said...

What an inspiration. I would love to read Julie's amazing story!

Ren said...

Would love to read this book. Just amazing!

Anonymous said...

wow, what an amazing story, I would love to read it and share it with my girls (who take all their reading advice from me, the master!) Thanks Dawn for doing this!
Deb

JoAnn B In BC said...

This is an incredible, moving story. Thank you for a chance to win a copy. I think I will buy it anyway - it sounds amazing.

Colleen said...

Sounds amazing! WOuld love to read it and share. Thanks!
~Colleen

Patois said...

Win or lose, that's a book I'm going to have to read.

AuntyM said...

This sounds awesome, and I would love to read this book! Thank you for the contest! Margaret S. / Wyoming

Michelle said...

What an amazing story...

M.A. Smith said...

Sounds like a really inspiring story. I need to add it to my list of books to buy/read someday.

Leslie said...

I would love to win this book (it is officially Budget Year 2009 at our house) But even if I don't win, I will definitely be buying this one!

barefootinhighheels said...

Sounds like a phenomenal, inspiring story. Can't wait to read! Thanks!

hawkins_lori (at) hotmail (dot) com

HuNnY aNd PoPpA LeWiS said...

This sounds like a book that I would love to read!!! What a story to share with others.

Jennifer in Wisconsin said...

Wow and I thought I was having a difficult time with things in my life. Truly an inspiration. Thanks for telling us about Julie. I would love to read her book.

Paula said...

I agree with everybody else - Sounds like an incredible story. Pick me!

Jenny in OK said...

That book sounds absolutely amazing. I would love to win it.

Jill Buford said...

I want one!

strawberrymama said...

Oh, that sounds amazing! Please add my name to the drawing :)

Kimmykay said...

WOW! Now I need to go order some books this weekend. I know which one I'll be getting if I don't hear from you on Wednesday.

Melanie said...

An amazing story! I'd love to read it!

Michele said...

Thanks for the chance, her story is truly awe-inspiring. I would so love to read it and then pass it along to a fellow blogger who is chronicling her daughter's TBI recovery at caringbridge after a car accident this summer.

Kelly said...

I was on Amazon, and looked up your book. Would your publisher be able to have this also in the Kindle format, for the Kindle e-reader?

Thanks!

Kelly

Lucille said...

OOOOH - I would love to have a copy of this book. If I don't win, I am buying it for sure!

Odds are one of these days I'll win - right? :)

jennie gee said...

sounds like a wonderful story- so many of us can learn from it.

Beverly said...

Thanks for sharing this story, Dawn. I can't wait to read more.

Bev

pattymerry said...

That is amazing. I would love to read it.

Funky Kim said...

What a great book that I now need to read!

Chrissy Short said...

I would love to read her story!

Holly Wilcox said...

That sounds like an incredible story that we all need to read. I would love a copy! Thanks for sharing.

Dawn said...

Awesome story. My Father in law just awoke this weekend from his coma after 18 days. He was also in a car accident. He hasn't been able to speak yet so we don't know what he'll need to re-learn but we know it's a process and ready to lean on God for everything.

Koreen and Ryan said...

Thanks for inspiring me to read again.

Andi said...

What a really incredible story. I would absolutely love to read it!

Allykat said...

What an incredible journey. I'd love to read it!

Jen Bowie said...

Very inspirational to think we could have the chance to "go back" and make necessary changes in our lives. Sounds somewhat similar to the book "The Shack" in that we get a glimpse of Heaven; though, her story is real.

Anonymous said...

Julie's book sounds so good. I hope you pick me. I am an avid reader.....can't wait for someone else's book to come out!!!!! On April 1. :)

Have a great day.

Sherry Stout

Uniquarium said...

I want to win this book....please!!! It sounds like a great story.

Cheryl said...

I'd love to read her story! Thanks for introducing her to us.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read it!!!
Colleen Ohler
St Helens OR

DeeAnne said...

I must read this book one way or another. My significant other had a near fatal accident (he was electrocuted) and even his doctors say it is a miracle he survived. That accident and the subsquent coma and recovery threw our entire lives upsdie down.

danga said...

amazing... would love to read more.

1cvmommy said...

I would love a chance to read both books. Thanks for sharing this story Dawn.

janie t. said...

Put me in the running for her book. Sounds really interesting.
Thanks janie

Jenny T S said...

What an inspiring story! I've always believed in Heaven, this just reiterates it! Keep healing Julie!

Nicole said...

I'd love to read this book!

Nicole said...

This books sounds amazing! I would love to read it :)

heather said...

Wow, I would love to win!

jc said...

Hi Dawn. It has been a while since I have had time to read your blog, but I intend on catching up. It is my 45th birthday this Friday (the 13th, mu-wah-hah!). A copy of Margaret's book would be cool. God bless ya!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an amazing story, I would love to read it.
Kara
momof3beas@yahoo.com

Lesley said...

Wow! What a truly breathtaking story! I plan on reading this, for sure.

Melanie said...

I would love to read more about Julie's story

kirine said...

What an amazing story. Thank you so much for doing this giveaway when so many are in need of a bit of inspiration as well as uplifting.
~Jennifer F

Lacy said...

I would love to read this book it sounds very inspiring.

meg_arrant said...

This sounds like a great book for my book club.

Tara said...

I'm always on the lookout for good books...

Melissa said...

I'd love to read this book!

Going (a little) Green Mom said...

Wow, the book sounds amazing.

Marit in Boise said...

Thank you for sharing Julie's story with us! It sounds so inspiring! I look forward to reading it. I hope to win a copy of my own, and congratualions to those 5 lucky people that do!

Have a great day, Dawn!

ImakehairROCK4u2 said...

I got chills just reading that!

Abby & her happy things said...

haha, I totally just wrote the EXACT same comment as A Mom in Jacksonville... so of course I couldn't be a copycat.


I really want this book though!!! I hope I'm picked!

GrammaMack said...

I'm not trying to rain on the parade, but I really doubt that it is possible for anyone to visit heaven before experiencing true death. Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment." If someone were to visit heaven and return, would that mean that our perfect God got the appointment wrong or changed His mind on the timing? I'm sure that Julie is sincere,and the rest of her story is remarkable, but the heaven part must have been a dream.

Dee said...

If I don't win this one, I'll be buying the book anyway. It sounds amazing!

Mary said...

This sounds like an amazing story, I would love to read this book. I hope I win! (crossing fingers)

Angela said...

This sounds like a very fascinating book. I hope that you will pick me to receive a copy of it.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Count me in.

Shere said...

That book sounds amazing, I hope I get to read it, free or otherwise :) Thanks for the contest!

Laura G said...

Incredible story; I'll read it, if not from you, then the library!

Katrina said...

Sounds amazing, can't wait to read it!

Simple Country Girl said...

This book is right up my alley ~ I LOVE inspirational stories! She sounds like someone I would love to meet in person and listen to her story. Thanks for sharing Dawn.

Mama said...

Oh, oh a book giveaway! Yeah, I think I remember how to read a book. Please randomly pick me!

Tesia said...

Is it too late?

Sheila said...

Would love to read Julie's book! It sounds like wonderful inspiration to be thankful.

jana said...

Julie's story sounds amazing. Whether or not I win a copy, I'll be buying one to support the additional charities.

Kristy said...

My 6 year old daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was 3. It sounds like she is going through many of the things Julie has/still is.
So many people don't understand brain injury. Since those with a TBI often look the same as those without, why aren't they the same as others?
This book sounds amazing! Thank you for the opportunity to win this book!
Kristy

SuperSuz said...

Sounds like a fabulous book! How wonderful to have met these two ladies!

Aquaria said...

This sounds like an amazing story!

Tina Garcia said...

I had chills reading about this. I would be so happy, so thrilled to read this. My son was stillborn a little over 4 years ago & I crave anything that helps me keep thinking about him being in a wonderful place.
Thank you so much for all you share, Dawn!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

Wow, what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing all your wonderful experiences with some incredible people. This book sounds like a page turner, and to think that it is truly someone's life story. Wow. I think it would be a great book for those people we may know that don't believe in heaven.

Thanks for sharing, and thanks ahead of time if you pick me for the book giveaway. : )

~Lisa K, Dallas, Texas

valkyrie_lisa said...

This book sounds amazing! I'd love to have a copy!
Lisa

Weibs1 said...

That's awesome. I hope that I can get to that point in my religion where I not only love God but KNOW him too ( I just hope it doesn't take something bad to get me there).

Dawn2 said...

Would love to win this book!

Kathy said...

WOW what an inspiring story. I definitely will be purchasing this if I don't win it!!! Would be a great testimony to read, and share with others!!

Karen U. said...

Wow - what a story! I'm anxious to read more about her. Thanks for the give-away!

Kelly M. in Texas said...

Sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

This is awesome! I would love to read this book.

Rhonda from SC

Pattie said...

Sounds like a very interesting read!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read. I am crossing my fingers.

Jennifer Holm

Susan said...

wow, that would be a very good read. You have the most wonderful give aways!!

Valerie said...

What an amazing story. I'd love to read it!

Elsa said...

I would love to read this book.

Nicole L said...

It sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for the chance to win!

Step Monster said...

memememe

Lily Sunshine said...

I would love to read this book!

Zelda G said...

Sounds like an awesome book!

Prozacmommy said...

Wow! This book sounds amazing! I'd love to have a copy. Count me in for the drawing!

Cropaddict said...

Thanks so much for sharing Julie's story. Sounds like the type of stuff I love to read when I need some perspective on life.

Smiller said...

Um...this is a comment. :) I'd like to win a book. Can you tell I am in non-creative, new baby haze?

Sylvia Miller

San said...

What a wonderful story - and an even more awesome heroine!

Jayne V. said...

Sounds like an amazing story. I would love a copy!

Kirstin said...

I'd love to read this.

Kristina Roach said...

What a cool story. God is so awesome. I hope to win a copy!

Andrea said...

What an inspiration, even if I don't win I will probably go out and buy this book.
Andrea

Anonymous said...

This sounds like it would be a great book to read and to be passed around!

kaylene

luann said...

I'm probably too late but i'll post just in case - what a story.

Becca said...

I so want this book now. You made it sound so great. I am even thinking that I will perhaps use it for book club. It sounds like a book that will get people talking! Thanks so much for sharing it with me!

Becca

Please visit me at http://www.askbecca.com

Sondie said...

I would LOVE to read that book. What an incredible story!

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