Laurie may have been born 71 years ago in Long Island, but she told me on several occasions, that she had two lives and the life she found after discovering this church and its loving congregation was the richer one and made all the difference. As someone said, upon hearing about Laurie’s death (Tuesday, April 11) we’ll miss her being in the back pew and holding down the fort.
And she held down the fort with a smile and a hug and an indomitable optimism. Within a week or so of her diagnosis I was sitting on the front porch of her house chatting with her not only about the things you’d normally talk about after the diagnosis of a fairly aggressive cancer, but about everything else too, her childhood on Long Island, her life long love of sailing, her work (from which she’d been retired for a few months, but which continued to occupy a near and dear place to her heart), about her husband Dan, and about her plans for the winter and for this summer coming.
Laurie has so faithfully served this church as clerk for so long that the first annual report she wrote as clerk is filed in storage. Turns out this year was her 15th annual report! Without fail, on the Monday following a church council meeting I’d get some kind of message from her along with the minutes she’d so quickly and diligently transcribed from her shorthand. Here’s an example of one of those emails from November 2009:
Peter: I signed the minutes and scanned the signed in as a pdf in case you needed them signed to mail with the eligibility verification sheet. Wasn’t it chilly this morning walking to school? It’s so nice to see Dad taking his children to school; very sweet! Laurie
Talk about sweet. . . . Also on a regular basis Laurie would leave a box of homemade chocolates on my desk and the desk of our administrator, be it Denise Doz, Susie Perkins, Lesley Clark or Polly Sabin. She claimed that she liked to bake, but couldn’t eat them so she had to give them to us. But in reality, she was just being the kind of positive, lovely, genuine human being she was.
And for that, we are diminished by her passing, but forever grateful for her gifts to us.