Laura was strong of spirit and mind, pure of heart and soul, and she did for others without a thought for herself. Her priority was always to bring joy to those she loved. Laura spent her life as a giver, and managed her life as a mother, wife and professional with independence and grace. She was a loving guide to her husband and two children, a tireless advocate for her special education students, a mentor to her colleagues, and an inspiration to her friends and loved ones.
Laura was a gifted communicator whether in deed or the spoken or written word. Many of those closest to her remember meticulously- and lovingly- crafted notes she sent over the years - an amazingly thoughtful thank you, a holiday or birthday card -- always right on time and always full of feeling. Laura relished the opportunity to support those closest to her, listening intently to their stories and requests for advice. She chose her unassuming words of guidance wisely, acting as a constant fountain of positivity, always savoring humor and laughter. Laura often told her family she was blessed. They told her that she was the blessing.
Laura, a voracious reader and writer, believed that individuals have limitless options in life, and that education keeps those options open. During her 30 years as a public school educator, Laura approached challenges with unyielding passion and perfectionism, whether she was planning a class lesson, counseling a student, or developing an event for the Roslyn Teacher's Center, which she co-directed. She was totally devoted to whatever she did, whether it involved work, planning a surprise birthday party, or loving her friends and family.
Soon after Laura was diagnosed with amyloidosis, as she waited in a doctor's office, she turned to her husband and children and said, "I only have a certain amount of energy; why waste it on negativity?" Never once during her a two and a half year battle with amyloidosis did Laura ask, "Why me?" One of her physicians said she was the most courageous person he had ever met, one of the most well-informed and intelligent patients he had ever encountered: "She made you want to help her even more than you knew you could," he said. "She makes you not want to give in, because she never gives in."
Most weren't allowed to know the extent of Laura's fight - she wanted to shield people from that; protect them from her sometimes harsh reality. She wanted life to be as near normal as possible during her struggle with amyloidosis. She always felt that it was a gift that she and her family could see each other so frequently over this time, be together so intensely, and immerse themselves in each other so completely.
"We stuffed 30 years of love into the past 30 months," she said.
Laura died on March 13, 2006. She was 58 years old.
On piece of paper slipped inside one of her journals, she wrote 11 words that encompass her credo:
Determination is key.
Compassion is vital.
A smile gets you through.