Yesterday was Laurie’s memorial service and if imitation is the highest form of compliment, then Laurie received her bounty! Of the several hundred people who attended, I doubt that a single person left without uttering the thought or prayer, “I want to be more like her.”
I sat and listened to Greg, the kids, and others tell of the impact Laurie had on their lives. The cache of stories carried familiar themes—Laurie’s ability to love unconditionally, to speak boldly of God’s love to strangers as well as friends and to live authentically and transparently from her own weakness and brokenness.
Laurie had a huge heart of love to give away because the love of her Father was real to her. She had struggled with a chemical imbalance that began during her young adult years. At times, her battle was severe and debilitating. But Laurie learned to press into Jesus. And as she did, she let him love her in her weakness, fear and desperation.
A few days ago, while on a walk, I prayed something I don’t think I have ever prayed before. I asked God, like Elisha asked Elijah, to give me a double share of Laurie’s spirit—a spirit of grace, generosity, authenticity, vulnerability, boldness, gratefulness, fun and adventure. If imitation is the highest form of compliment, then that is my tribute to Laurie. I want to be like her as a wife, mother, friend and lover of those who feel most unlovely.
I still can’t believe that she is gone from here. When I saw her body, though, it was obvious. Her spirit no longer inhabited the beautiful gown she once adorned. She has been set free. I still feel her. I even talk to her and I sense that she talks to me. I just can’t see her, go to her, call her and hear her voice and that makes me really sad. But I feel her in my heart and pray that her spirit will rest on me so that I might be more like her.