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My Friend Laura

December 2nd, 2011 | No Comments

I would like to introduce you to Laura.  I have known her since our days at University of Michigan in the early 80’s.  She is a sorority sister even though I didn’t stay in the sorority for very long.  We have always stayed in touch. At age 40, Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Now approaching her 50th birthday, she continues to inspire me and many others with her faith, her resilience, and her energy.  I can’t count the times I stopped in to visit her thinking, “Oh well, I won’t stay long because she probably isn’t feeling too chipper, ” only to find her bounding to the door with the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager!

I admire Laura for many reasons.  Her book, Praying Through Cancer is a 90-day Christian devotion to help people get through the tougher times that come with the treatment and concern about the future when you have this disease. It has now been translated into several languages, something I am sure Laura never dreamed would happen.  In fact, I am certain that this book is a success because it comes from the heart and from her unshakable faith in God even through tough times.

Another thing that has always astounded me about Laura is her incredible recall of details.  She can rattle off dates and details and facts as if the information was written down right in front of her.  Or her attention to detail.  One day, I stopped into visit and she was talking about the weeds that needed to be pulled. What weeds, Laura?  Everything looked pretty good to me!   Your attention to detail makesyou good at everything you did.  I admire that for I lack that!

Then there was this delicious beverage we used to call, “Clark Iced Tea.”  Her mother used to brew fresh iced tea and top it off  with a mint leaf.  Every time I have iced tea with mint, I say to myself, “Clark Iced Tea.”  It’s funny how you you associate certain things with someone  and most of the time they don’t even know it.  Or the times that they are brought to mind without it ever being said or shared.

Well I am saying it now.  You have inspired me Laura as you have inspired so many others. Your hallmark achievement has been a gracious and tenacious battle with cancer but there are so many others.  Mother.  Wife.  Journalist. Friend. Sorority sister.

I think it was really cool how you recently received dozens of red carnations from the Alpha Chi sisters.  Your dad, an Alpha Chi super fan would have loved that!  But that just shows how many lives you have touched and inspired.  It’s really quite  remarkable.  And so, I raise my glass of Clark Iced Tea to you, friend.   You are awesome!


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