I met Laura at Westminster School in Oklahoma City. We were very close during our elementary and middle school years at Westminster – I look back on that period of my life very fondly and Laura was often the reason for those happy memories. We loved to do arts and crafts together and probably annoyed our mothers with our frequent requests to go to Hobby Lobby for new supplies. However, my favorite memories with Laura involved our mutual love of the Winter Olympics. We were huge fans of figure skating and we would spend hours recounting the routines of our favorite skaters, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski. In middle school, my parents moved to a new house and before they bought furniture for the main living room, we would use the open space to practice our triple-triple combination jumps (probably more realistically our single – single combination jumps). We would spend hours perfecting our jumps and critiquing each others form. We had the best time and countless laughs over how ridiculous we were. I realize I haven’t known Laura for a very long time but the Laura I knew then was kind, passionate, smart, creative, beautiful and fun. I want to send my warmest and sincerest condolences to her family – in particular – her mother, her husband and her beautiful boy. I was lucky to have known her.
Dignified until the end; utterly without self pity. And always kept her sense of humor, as exemplified by a story her dad (my twin brother) told me while visiting Laura on his birthday. I asked what she had planned for him, and he replied that she told him he could do and have whatever he wanted, wisely (and not necessarily sarcastically) adding “within reason.” I got to see Laura shortly before she passed, hooked up to countless wires, tubes, bags and monitors, and I was in utter awe of her bravery and composure. I will always love, miss and respect her.
I first met Laura in 6th grade at Westminster. To tell just one story about her and the memories we have together is impossible. She was one of my best friends.
We TP-ed Senorita Verstrait’s house and had Chris drive us there and back in middle school. Laura once made a joke about a lima bean in Spanish class but pronounced it like Lima the capital of Peru; we could barely control our laughter. I laughed so hard and so uncontrollably that I was asked to leave the classroom. We were total dorks, but thought we were so cool and rebellious when we snuck out of Jennifer Snider’s house in the middle of the night to walk around Nichols Hills. We smoked our first, and I think possibly last, cigarette together. We went on our first college tours together. Once at the mall when trying on swimsuits she forgot to take off a pair of bottoms that were over her pants and didn’t realize it until we were well out of the fitting room. We took my mom’s Oldsmobile out several times well before either of us were even slightly legal to drive. We made up hand motions as a dance to all kinds of NYSNC and Britney songs. We made absurdly awful home movies, A Run To Forget and Intersections, with Jennifer Snider and Laura Young.
We shared so many firsts together, and I’m so sad that she’s gone. She was a kind, funny, smart, genuine, and beautiful friend inside and out. I’ll miss her dearly.
My wife Julie and I moved from Florida to Las Vegas in 2007, and Laura visited several times over the years. I’ll never forget her first visit, when her reaction to everything she saw — the fountains at the Bellagio, the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, the volcanoes at the Mirage — was, “It’s crazy!” She aptly described the Venetian as “Venice in a box.”
True to her careful nature, she stuck to the $1 blackjack tables for her gambling, playing a reasonable facsimile of basic strategy. She also played a little nickel video poker, but only on full-pay machines. Jay’s national convention of athletic trainers was held a couple of times in Vegas since we moved there and he brought Laura and later Maddox with him for very enjoyable family reunions.
My 66th birthday occurred this December, during my last visit with Laura before she went to Mexico for cancer treatment. I asked her at one point what we were going to do to celebrate my birthday. Her reply: “Anything you want — within reason.”
When Laura was a teenager I was living in Florida. One time I came to visit her and was trying to think of something to do. I came up with the idea of taking a trip to Dallas to visit the museum there dedicated to telling the story of the assassination of President Kennedy. When I proposed this to Laura, her reaction was immediate and emphatic: “You can drop me off at the mall!”