Laurel Is With The Lord
I read Gary Nagel's brief but poignant e-mail message with a sober heart. It said:
Laurel is with the Lord.
She lost her battle with cancer on September 17, 2007.
I had mentored Laurel in 2004 and 2005. She was a mature woman but a new believer at the time. I turned on my printer and downloaded the e-mail for my records. A few days later, I pulled Laurel's file and right there in the front of the folder was a message from Laurel herself, signed by her hand, dated Monday, May 2, 2005, 7:28 pm.
"Once upon a time there lived a Princess in a far off land...STOP. This is how I would have liked my story to begin but not even close. When I first began with Prickly Perspectives, I was asked to "harvest wisdom from my past." I quickly crossed out the word "harvest" and replaced it with "salvage." This was a grueling experience and I had great resistance to recounting my life, especially my childhood years. I didn't understand why it was important to examine painful times and in some instances, unearth long buried memories. After completing the course, spread out over half a year, I feel I have grown like a plant fed with MiracleGro. I had such a fragmented understanding of God and even doubted whether what I was learning was true. After a particularly difficult Christmas holiday, I was about to give up. The only thing that made me keep my January appointment was the knowledge that I would find comfort in my hour and a half with Holly. Somehow she always managed to give me some hope for a better tomorrow. I was hanging by a thread. It was hard for me to trust anyone on such a personal level especially when my own parrents taught me gross lies and had molded me into a child with a skewed view of the world."
Then, she went on to say:
"Now, on my last day of personal time with Holly I am sad not to have more mentoring ahead. However, she gave me wings to lift up and to fly high. Remarkable changes have taken place and that old person I was is no more. There may be some small traces of the unsettled, hopeless woman I was but for the most part I have a new vision, a new direction. There were times when I felt she should be spending her precious time with someone more worthy. She never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself. She got through the many layers of barriers and brought God and me face-to-face. I felt a love I had never known. Everythings looks so beautiful. I look forward to each day with great promise. Never will I be able to thank Holly enough for performing a spiritual CPR on me whose insides were so close to being dead. And, as I write all this, I realize the hand that was working. Thank you, God, for orchestrating my time and my life-changing sessions with Holly. I pray that I live worthy of my new found life."
Memories flood my mind as I re-read these words once again. I am so glad I was available for Laurel and that my help made a difference. I also decided to commemorate her here in my blog and say that her life mattered to God, and because it mattered to God, it mattered to me.