When Julie Cox approached me about writing and editing
her life story, I knew immediately that I would try to “stay
out of the way” and let her tell the tale. What you are about
to read is her story—purely, totally, and fully. I merely
edited the lexis and copy. I tried to make it flow. I fixed
mistakes, added a few words here and there, and organized
the chapters. I tried to clarify what was unclear through
further interaction with Julie.
Although Julie and I have been acquainted for three years, I
only knew bits and pieces of her tale. Now for the first time,
I am putting together the full story of my friend. I believe
she has shown courage, honor, and kindness.
In life, when you are knocked down as Julie has been, you
have to find the courage to stand back up like in the Rocky
movies. Julie shows the reader a rare glimpse at what it
means to have almost limitless courage.
Of course, a project of this magnitude is not without many
obstacles. To begin, English is not Julie‘s fi rst language. Her
first language is Tagalog, which is what they speak in the
Philippines. She only went to school up to the seventh grade.
During the time I was asked to edit this book, I slipped in the
pouring rain and fell down two fl ights of stairs, separated
my shoulder, and wound up in a sling.
Thus every keystroke and every action involved intense
pain. This in some ways brought me closer to Julie and the
pain she had endured.
Since I edited the book on Ko Pha Ngan Island off the coast
of southern Thailand, we were subject to an impromptu
and unscheduled monsoon season (during what should
have been the dry season), frequent power outages, and
no running water for up to a week at a time. Of course, I
was propelled forward by the positive feedback I received
about the book from many friends around the world,
especially Robert Charette, a full-blooded Lakota American
Indian and ex-special forces operator with the US Army,
and my mentor, Dr. Loyal Gould, a giant of the journalism
establishment. Dr. Gould craftily told me to “strike while
the iron is hot.”
As for Julie, she is obviously not a journalist and had to face
the prospect of recalling all she had been through in life—
the rapes, the trauma, the abandonment, the separation,
health issues, and many other things—virtually all at once.
This was overwhelming at times for her. She showed (again)
moxie, bravery, and a willingness to face her darkness.
I must admit, reading and editing what Julie wrote also
drove me closer to the Lord and inspired me. This is why I
continued to edit and rewrite the book even with a dislocated
shoulder and little or no sleep. Thus it is my deepest honor
to tell her story. The writing of this book was one of Julie‘s
dreams. Now that dream has become a reality. Praise God!
– Anthony C. LoBaido