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    Monday, August 06, 2012

    I have been thinking about this blog post for a long time.

    My best friend, Lora, died today. She battled cancer since the summer of 2010 and we knew she would be taken from us before we were ready to give her up; we just didn't know when. Her health began declining in the past couple of weeks as a tumor in her spine and some more in her lungs were growing quickly. I am so lucky to have spent an evening with her last week when she was in good spirits and little pain. I will forever treasure the message she sent me when I got home "Had fun tonight. Thanks for coming over."

    Many things will be remembered about Lora in the coming days and weeks. She was an amazing mother who always put her two daughters (aged 9 and 11) before anything else. She was fiercely faithful in her Christianity and her belief that amazing things were awaiting her in heaven. She was kind, giving, caring, supportive, strong, brave, and honest. She offered me a shoulder whenever I needed one. She possessed all of the qualities that most people would list if they were to specify what they wanted in a best friend.

    Even as I type this I have to laugh because I can't help but think about how we would sit back to back in our office at Mayo yelling questions to each other about grammer, computers, spelling, whatever.  I just corrected a sentence up above by adding a semicolon and had I been sitting next to Lora I would undoubtedly have asked her if that was the correct way to type that.

    I'm not sure of the exact time of her death this evening, but I want to believe that it was during the best part of my day.  Tonight I was feeling a lot of extra stress and desperately needed some release, so the kids and I took a drive out in the country with all of the windows in the car down.  We laughed as the wind blew through the car and we took turns sticking our arms out the window and shouting over the noise as I drove.  It was incredibly freeing and very fun.  I want to believe that she was there with us, once again helping me through a tough time and preparing me for the difficult days ahead.

    I am not ready to say goodbye to her.  I will miss her so very much.  For now I will just look back on our many adventures and how lucky I am to have had her in my life...

    Lora driving her NEW Rondo home!!!

    Lora on her way home after we drove to Wisconsin to buy her Rondo!

    Lora as Pippa Mint and Jessica

    We shared so many fun times in crazy costumes...this was Death by Chocolate murder mystery at the Plummer House.

    Julie Andrews (Lora), the Princesses (Liz and Leia) and Mike

    Lora and her girls at Mike's 30th birthday party. She dressed up as Julie Andrews as Maria in the Sound of Music.

    Amuzing Race - Team Rojo

    Team Rojo (me, Mike, Lora, Lizzie and Lora's brother Lance) - the first year we raced in the Amuzing Race.

    Lora and the giraffes at Houston Zoo

    Visiting the giraffes at Houston Zoo on our trip to Texas for her second opinion appointment.

    Lora the prairie dog at Houston Zoo
    Her prairie dog impression - even through all of the pain she was having on this trip, she got out of her wheelchair and climbed into the tunnel so I could take this photo of her. Her spirit was amazing.