Laura and I met the summer we moved to our new neighborhood. Laura and her dear husband Mike's home is around the corner from us. Our children went to the same schools, played together and we all went to the neighborhood swim club. I first learned of the wonders of Holden Beach from Laura. At her urging we took our first vacation on those golden shores. It was the first of many and many spent with Laura and her wonderful family. Her two delightful children were close in age to two of mine. Laughter and sand and sunshine were a big part of our intertwined lives.
Laura was fully responsible for me working in Admissions at NCSU. What was a friendship born out of our neighborhood and children grew deeper with our love for the Admissions department. Laura worked there since 1966. By the time she left due to her illness she was Senior Associate Director of Admissions. The Admissions Department dedicated a bench near the university Bell Tower to her. She was given the honor of Chancellor of the Day by NCSU. They would have been wise to have her serve as Chancellor long before...and for years, not one day.
The last time I was able to spend quality time with Laura was at the baby shower we gave for her niece, Jamie. It was a fun afternoon and it was wonderful to see Laura enjoying herself and laughing and spending time with family and friends. Above is a picture of Laura and her beloved daughter Jen and Laura's friend/sister-in-law Jeannette and her daughter Jamie. Mothers and daughters...aunts and nieces...can't you see their love?
I have been blessed to live in a neighborhood that has a unique atmosphere of community and friendship. Many lovely and kind people live here. From this larger group of friends a smaller nucleus grew. I've introduced you to these lovely ladies before. We throw parties for friends, their children and the brides to be and babies to be. We go to dinner with each other to celebrate birthdays. We go to breakfast on Saturday mornings when at all possible to catch up on the news from the week.
Laura has always been central in this group. Yesterday we lost our dear friend to her battle with cancer. She fought a valiant and gracious fight. Our special group is forever changed and we mourn her loss and celebrate her life.
Laura, my dear, kind and loving friend...I honor you, I miss you and I will always, always 'Remember You'.