Julie Yip Williams was a Vietnamese American who died recently from colon cancer at 42. She was born blind and her maternal grandmother ordered her death because she saw no worth in her, but the herbalist approached to help kill her refused. Her great grandmother intervened to protect her. When she was three her family fled in a boat and eventually got to the US. There an operation returned enough vision for her to study and qualify as a lawyer. She married and had two children. At 37 she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the last four years of her life she wrote a blog addressing much of it to her children who survive her.
“You will be deprived of a mother,” she wrote. “As your mother, I wish I could protect you from the pain. But also as your mother, I want you to feel the pain, to live it, embrace it, and then learn from it. Be stronger people because of it, for you will know that you carry my strength within you. Be more compassionate people because of it; empathize with those who suffer in their own ways.”
And, she wrote, “Rejoice in life and all of its beauty because of it; live with special zest.