Love You So!
Laura was one of those friends who, even though months and years went by without a visit, you immediately caught up with as if no time had passed. And her enthusiasm for life, people, and nature was immeasurable. She loved it all, as was apparent in her expressions, her voice, and her actions.
She passed last month after a long and brave battle with a rare brain disease. Laura lived longer and larger after her multiple surgeries than anyone would have predicted.
I feel small as I write this, because Laura and I hadn't seen one another in some, due to our physical distance, yet she was such a presence to me, We were very close during our young motherhood years when bonds were strengthened as we grew in our understanding of our roles and our children taught us lessons we knew but had never before experienced. Our firstborns were a year apart, hers older, so I learned from her and enjoyed watching her with her newborn as mine grew in my belly and I gained confidence that I could be a mom, with guidance from friends like Laura.
Remembering Laura’s kindness and compassion during the most difficult time of my life, when I became a single parent of two young boys, will always bring me to tears. By then we lived in different states, but she visited, invited us to visit, and called to check on me. She told me she prayed for me and that she loved me. Her family embraced us during a very broken time.
When stubborn, pig-headed me finally (and somewhat accidentally) accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, the first person I called was Laura, because she had encouraged me, urging me to pray and let the Lord take over my worries. Not only did she come to my rescue with reading materials, but she also introduced me to her dear friend, Shannon, who lived nearby and attended a family-oriented wonderful church. Laura shared this friend, who is a dear friend still, and brought me to the church that helped raise my boys and where I found strength. That was how she was. Larger than life, wiser than most, and loving and giving always.
My last letter from Laura was several months ago. Her handwriting was shaky, words were catawampus, and it was clear that she labored over it. But it was filled with warmth and good wishes and signed “Love you so!”
She will be greatly missed, and her memory and footprints will be long lasting. Hers was a life well and happily lived. From the family she nurtured and loved to the travel, pets, and outdoors activities, she was a connoisseur of all that life brought forth. And she was one of the most faithful, sharing believers I have ever met. Since her passing I have thought of her and “what would Laura do?” in situations where I was perplexed and she would know the answer.
Friends like Laura don’t come along very often. When they do, we must open our arms and embrace them while we can, learn from them, and remember them in our hearts always. And be sure that, when friends share their friends, we savor those connections in order to keep memories alive and continue sharing the love.