Laura taught me…

My friend died last night.  My sweet beautiful friend went rounds against cancer, fighting hard while living gracefully.  As it stole her energy, her comfort and her hair, what it failed to steal was her spirit.  Instead, her soul strengthened through the journey and reached out beyond her inner circle to everyone who knew her, like a rainbow whirlwind, sweeping up others with her love and joy.  

Laura gave people hope.  She continually inspired and astonished people as she marched on, full of grace and joy, down this path that I can tell you is rocky, intimidating, dark and full of danger.  When I found out a month ago that I have cancer, Laura paused on the path.  And she came back for me.  “It’s this way,” she said, smiling.  “It’s not so bad.  Lets walk together.  I’ll help you,” reaching for my hand and giving me some of her bracelets to wear for encouragement.  And she showed me that I could do it.  
I was willing to do it with her.  Now I’m standing here without her.  Ive got these bracelets, but she’s gone.  Another moment where I look heavenward, toward the God I love and trust and say “Are you freaking kidding me?!”
But The Lord, He is to be trusted.  His ways are not our ways.  He hasn’t said much to me on this topic but He’s clear that He has Laura and He’s got me.  His plans are “too wonderful for us to know.”  
So I have to do this without her now.  My heart is completely broken that she is gone.  I can’t even imagine how her family feels.  It feels like the brightest spot in the world just went out.  How can she be gone just like that?  But she is.  And we must look around and take inventory of what beauty she has left us.
What Laura taught me:
There are never too many bracelets. 
You can fight cancer with all you’ve got while accepting that your path is your path.  
Rainbows are awesome and not just for LGBT support. šŸ™‚
One should change one’s hair color and style frequently.  Why not??
Accept gifts graciously.
Give generously.
It’s possible to be kind and thoughtful even when you have cancer.
Hot baths are awesome.
Bald is beautiful.
Cancer is not something to be feared.  Neither is death.
Eastern cultures have much to offer us.  Tea!  Yoga!  
You can make a fun day out of a trip to the chemo bar.
Gifts are a great way to show a sick person love.
Dr. Who is a good time investment.
You can be positive and loving at all times.
Take photos of everything – especially yourself.  Cancer = permission to selfie it up!  Use filters when chemo washes your complexion out.  
Rest.  Enjoy it. 
Be silly whenever possible.  Dress up as your oncologist for Halloween.  
When you can’t go to the party because you’re sick, have your own.  Dress up even if its just for yourself and your dog.
Go to a spa whenever possible.  Treat yourself and let other treat you to luxurious things.
Let people help.  Let them rub your feet.  
When in doubt make someone a gift.  Loom it up!
Fuzzy socks.
Thank people often and express appreciation whenever possible.  
You can be truly grateful in the midst of deeply challenging circumstances.
Family is your staunchest force of allies but some select, special friends belong in that group, too.
I’m better because I’ve known Laura.  I’m stronger and less afraid.  She will always be in my heart.  I know she is in heaven, with God.  She trusted His plan.  Heaven is a little more colorful today.  

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