"You were the love that came without warning; You had my heart before I could even say hello ..."
Julie Stafford's 'The Seagull, An Unexpected Love Story', is intimate and brave in its honest detail. A love story, it tests the boundaries of what we’ve become comfortable believing. Stafford's warm account of love reminds us how life sometimes knocks us down so we can rise higher, and how in the place we rise to, we so often find our higher, more evolved self.
At fifty-three, when her husband passed from cancer, Julie Stafford set off on a journey way beyond the perimeters of her comfort zone. She explored who she could become in the next chapter of her life without the man she'd loved for more than thirty years always by her side.
She grieves lost love in Dubrovnik (a city reborn from grief and redefined by the lessons and scars of war). She reignites her spirit in the lessons of Italy's exuberance, and she asks Paris (city of love) if she's entitled to more than one extraordinary love affair in one lifetime.
Julie Stafford's raw account of a life-changing set of events, reminds us that not circumstance or age defines who we are or who we can become, only love (the kind that makes us feel trembling happiness everyday) defines who we are and who we can become.
In her pursuit to find what destiny had always written for her, she listens to the whispers of her heart. She trusts the whispers. Her commitment to live every infinitesimal moment of life is inspiring. You'll feel you're with her on the streets of destinations that called her to be healed from grief so she could write a new chapter for herself.
By story's end you’ll be tempted to look inside your own journey and wonder about what might transpire if you followed Julie's lead.
Julie reminds us, if we want to fly, we need to give up everything that weighs us down and start over.
"Memoir is about handing over your life to someone and saying, this is who I am, and maybe you can learn something from it ."