How do you get to know someone you’ve never met? That, my friends, was my challenge. I had a name, a little background, a little context, but that was it.
So I set out on a mission to get to know this wonderful person that so many people loved and adored. I spoke with a dear friend of Laurie’s, a principal she worked with, and her sweet daughters, Michelle and Ashley, who appear as kind, compassionate, bright and strong as their mother. And during those conversations, I began to know Laurie Whitt.
And with a link provided by her dear friend, I read her Caring Bridge Journal. Instantly, I felt like Alice as she dropped into the rabbit hole. I was immersed in Laurie’s words, in her thoughts, her joys and her pains, and I started to get to know her a little bit better.
I pored over the entries that spanned almost four years (her first post was in 2004). I read how she signed off most every entry with her “Live, Laugh, Love” credo and, in spite of having been dealing with numerous setbacks of her own, asked people to pray for others who were battling some type of illness.
She posted jokes. She gave updates. She shared her life. And through it all, she remained optimistic.
I saw a photo of Laurie all decked out in pink, a wide smile on her face and kindness in her eyes; it brought me to tears that I never knew her in person. But I guess knowing a little bit about her through her own words is the next best thing.
Before losing her long battle with breast cancer in April 2008, Whitt touched countless lives and started the Fernbrook Elementary Walk for the Cure. Read all about this event in our April issue or visit maplegrovemag.com starting April 1.
For more information on Fernbrook Walk for the Cure, or to donate, please contact Carol Joelson at [email protected].