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Do Not Worry

Finding that “close to one’s heart, special person” does not happen every day; however, Laura was just that individual. Explaining her is something hard to be put into words. However, she was strong like a brick wall that couldn’t be beaten down. She was as beautiful as a painted sky. She was as goofy as a circus clown, and no matter what, she was always her one-of-a-kind self. People can come and go out of my life, but Laura was one of those individuals who didn’t just leave a mark. She left a dent on my heart.
Age ten was when I first met Laura. She and many other college students attended my parents small group every Sunday night. For as long as I knew, my parents had these small groups, and I envied and became attached to some of the girls. Laura was one of those girls I could never wrap my head around. Quirky and weird, but hilarious, she possessed a fire within her that could not be contained. Growing close to our family, I fell in love with her. However, for a period of time, she didn’t come around as much and left my life and mind. I still, to this day, regret that. Laura, although, was not finished in my life.
Two summers ago I was asked to attend a mission’s trip our church was going to take. I was very reluctant at first until I discovered Laura would also be attending. After hearing that, I agreed to attend. While on the trip, we were split into groups, and ironically she was my group leader. I was always by her side, and together we played with younger kids every day. I loved seeing her light shine through to the younger children.
A few months later on a Friday night while I was with my friend, my dad asked me to come into his room. He sat me down and explained, “Laura has been diagnosed with cancer.”
“She has what?” I, full of emotion, immediately responded. I did not want to believe the horrible news. My heart sank to this idea, and I was devastated. I continually asked, “How could a wonderful person like her have this happen to her?” I did not understand but tried to stay optimistic. Despite all that happened, I am thankful for all the times I experienced with her throughout her illness.
During her illness, Laura came to one of my volleyball games. I often snuck quick glances up to the stands to see her fragile but still-holding-a-smile body. I knew she didn’t obtain much knowledge about volleyball, but the fact that she came meant very much to me. I unfortunately struggled throughout the game, and disappointment filled me afterwards. However, following the game Laura rubbed my back gently, and I can still to this day hear and feel her feeble voice whisper into my ear, “You played well, Emily. I promise. Do not worry.” Those words truly took all my worries away.
Then came Sunday, October 3, 2010. I was sitting at home when I heard the phone ring. “Hello?” I heard my dad answer, and then he grew silent. He said, “Ok” a couple times; and by the tone, I instantly knew what had happened. Laura’s cancer had completely taken over her body, and she departed this life. I was completely destroyed inside. I was sad beyond relief, very angry, and did not want to accept it. We cried as a family, and my dad held me, telling me it would be all right. He was just as shaken up as I.
The very next day I had a volleyball game; ironically, it was our Volley for the Cure game. This game was going to be a struggle no matter what, but the fact that I was playing for cancer hit me hard. The whole day was difficult, and I fought, trying to not be depressed. When I was joyful, guilt set in. Once to the locker room for our game, however, I knew I had to be strong, so I attempted to woman up and calm myself.
The game started and ended so quickly it is hard to recall. However, that volleyball game was expected to be my worst, but miraculously it wasn’t by far. I made it through the game with God. He held me up and truly took care of me because on my own I could not do it. I was very weak physically, emotionally, and mentally.
October 4, 2010, was the hardest game I ever had to play. However, I played for Laura. She is always in my heart, and when I face hard times, I feel her gentle hand on my back and her soft whisper in my ear telling me, “Do not worry.”




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