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Notes To Laura

Hi laura,
My name is Diana Gay, and I am a long-time patient of your mothers. She's been giving me updates on your journey and suggested to look up your web site. It's wonderful (the site) did you design it? Your such an inspiration. Your strength and courage is incredible. I too believe in the Lord and your thoughts for the day are so great. I'm sorry to here about your friend.
Take care and write back if you'd like.
From a Christian friend 
God bless.
If it's ok with you, I'd like to pray for you. Your
mom said it was ok, but I'd like to get your ok too.
PS I can't believe it but its snowing. Yesterday, I
was outside without a coat washing my car and today it's snowing. Well, all things are possible. Diana

hey! I'm
talking to you right this moment! and i am proud to say that i haven't fallen ALL day, this is quite the achievement! :) well, i hope you get better, ASAP! ahh! i gotta go! we have to get the little brat who posted that message on nikki's site back! i think we should tp his house! actually, i  probably wouldn't do that even if i knew where he lived! well, i gtg! ttyl (or now! ) Annie:)

 Hi Laura,
Although I haven't written in awhile, I have kept up-to-date with your wonderful website. You continue to be an inspiration for all.  Please give
my love to your mom and Joelle.  I have wonderful memories of you girls when you were both very young!  You continue to be in my daily prayers and
thoughts!  God Bless.
Laurie Reynolds

2/19/02 Hello Laura,

Just a quick note to see how you are doing.
I'm fine. I have much of this week off due to school vacation during which there is no Learn-to-Skate.
Have you been watching the Olympics? Who do you want to win ladies gold?
Please say hello to your mom and Joelle for me.
Sarah D

Hey ia m nikki's friend! from swimming. i have been checking you're page to see how you have been doing and as well i was checking nikki's page so wazz up? i hope you will right me back nikki used to so have a good day love ya mcguire kelly

Hey kiddo,
I sort of met your mom on a website, and I want to say hi to you.
My 16 yr. old son Christopher has T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma and was diagnosed just over one year ago. How old are you?
You kids are the bravest people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.............all kids fighting this beast are a special bunch!!
Keep your chin up kiddo!
Feel free to email us anytime, maybe you could convince my son to finally get to know another kid going through the same thing! I am sure you both would have a lot in common!
Leslie <leslieandian@sympatico. ca>
Aurora, Ont Canada - Saturday February 16, 2002 8:17 PM CST

Dear Laura,

Boy do I miss you and last year's class!  Let's just say that my current 8th graders need some work.  Recently, we did the pickle experiment and now we are working on electricity and magnetism.  Fun ?!  Well I just took a look at your journal and was happy to hear that you went to the semi-formal.  Did you happen to see the couple whose outfits were made of duct tape?  Mrs. Wolfe showed me their picture. Weird but clever.

Anyways,  things at AMS are OK.  This will be the final year with the sixth graders.  The new school will be ready in September.  So far most of the teachers are staying at AMS. 
Our coffee house performance will be on 3/19 and 3/20.  I'm not sure if you made it last year, however, some of the teachers and I performed last year and will be doing the same this year.  I hope you could make it.  Last year, Miss Greco and Miss Cannella sang "I Will Survive"  This year, we're keeping it a secret. 

Well I hope all is well.  I think about you and pray for you often.  Until next time, here's a science joke:

Two atoms were walking down the street when all of a sudden one atom turned to the other and said "Oh no! I've been robbed. Someone stole my electrons" 
The other atom replied, "are you sure?"
The first atom said, "Yes, I'm positive"

Email me with an explanation as to why this is funny within 24 hours to reassure me that
you remember my class and to win a prize :)

Mr. Famiglietti

Joanne, I hope you're OK and that Laura is already home. I read her semi-formal was a lot of fun for her. I'm sure you were as happy to see her happy, as she was. I'm sending you a Valentine's greeting, a big hug and a small text that I hope you can read. I found it very encouraging. A kiss for Laura and Joelle.


Una noche, un hombre tuvo un sueño. Soñó que él estaba caminando por la
playa con Dios. A través del cielo pasaban escenas de su vida. En cada
escena, él veía dos pares de huellas de pies en la arena, un par era de él y
el otro de Dios.
Después que vio la última escena de su vida, el hombre volteó para mirar las
de  pies en  la  arena y  notó  que  muchas  veces a  lo largo  del sendero
de su vida había solamente  un par de huellas.  También  notó que esto
pasaba  en los momentos más tristes y penosos de su vida.
Esto le preocupó realmente y le pregunto a Dios: "Señor, tú me dijiste que
una vez que yo hubiera decidido seguirte, Tú me acompañarias para siempre.
Pero he notado que durante los momentos más difíciles de mi vida había
solamente un par de huellas. No comprendo por qué, cuando yo más te
necesitaba, tú me abandonaste".
Dios le respondió: "mi hijo querido, muy preciado, te amo y nunca te
dejaría. Durante tus momentos de prueba doliente, cuando tú veías sólo un
par de huellas, era cuando yo te llevaba cargado en mis brazos".
Parece imposible...imposible hasta que se tome en consideración el poder del
Raymond L. Aaron

Hello Laura,
Just letting you know you are still in our prayers, God bless you. Keep up all the great work in getting better.

Karen Shields and family

Hi Laura,
You don't know me, but I was a friend of Nikki's. I just wanted to say that you have so much strength. Both you and Nikki have impacted so many peoples lives. When you sang that song at the funeral it definitely made me cry!!! That took a lot of strength to go up there and sing in front of all those people!! I probably would have chickened out (I get the worst case of stage fright!!!) I hope that your doing well and keeping your head high!! I'll be following your story now and praying for you!!

!!!Thursday!!!  Laura, I am not too good at this internet stuff and am having a hard time trying to write another entry in Nikki's story. Natalie and Jessica aren't here to help me!! maybe you can help me when we get together!!!!  it is very quiet around here and I am also looking forward to a sleepover at your house soon...I wont keep you up tooooo late giggling i promise.   I hope you are feeling better...;you made that surgery seem like a piece of cake but I know better. I'm glad the maintenance chemo is not as bad , but , just like Nikki you don't complain...the rest of us would be crying.  I am glad those songs were playing for you when you woke up from anesthesia...I don't think that was an accident:)  I am also so glad that the purple wheels are more comfortable for you too...I know Nikki is smiling at you   she sure loves you and I do too!! sweet dreams little one, 
love Nikki's mom       

hey Joelle... Nikki would be proud of me ...I finally have your name right!!!(I am so bad at names, that I sometimes call my girls by the dogs name!!!)  Laura is sure a lucky girl to have a great sister like you  (I'm the little sister in my family too)  whenever I see green i think of you!!  I also have good memories of the day of the fair when you guys had your funny pictures done. We had Nikki's framed but I could have a copy made for you.  Did you get green cotton candy or was it a slushy?  I am glad we shared that day with you and Laura and your mom!!! love Nikki's mom

Dear Laura,
I am one of your mom's patients. I am so sorry to hear of Nikki's passing.
I am sending you the words to a VERY wonderful book titled The Next Place.
It was written by Warren Hanson. The ISBN is 0-931674-32-8. The text is wonderful, but when coupled with the art work, it is a masterpiece. So here goes.

The next place that I go will be as peaceful and familiar as a sleepy Sunday and a sweet untroubled mind. And yet... it won't be anything like any place I've ever been...or seen...or even dreamed of in the place I leave behind.
I won't know where I'm going, and I won't know where I've been as I tumble through the always and look back toward the when. I'll glide beyond the rainbows, I'll drift above the sky. I'll fly into the wonder, without ever wondering why. I won't remember getting there. Somehow I'll just arrive. But I'll know that I belong there and I will feel much more alive than I have ever felt before. I will be absolutely free of the things that I held onto that were holding on to me. The next place that I go will be so quiet and still That the whispered song of sweet belonging will rise up to fill the listening sky with joyful silence, and with the unheard harmonies of music made by no one playing, like a hush upon the breeze. There will be no room for darkness in that place of living light, where the ever-dawning morning pushes back the dying light. The very air will fill with brilliance, as the brightly shining sun and the moon and half a million stars are married into one. The next place that I go won't really be a place at all. There won't be any seasons- winter, summer, spring or fall. Nor a Monday, nor a Friday, nor December, nor July. And the seconds will be standing still...while the hours hurry by. I will not be a boy or a girl, a woman or a man. I'll simply be just, simply, me. No worse or better than. My skin will not be dark or light. I won't be fat or tall. The body I once lived in won't be part of me at all.
I will finally be perfect. I will be without a flaw. I will never make one more mistake, or break the smallest law. And the me that was impatient, or was angry or unkind, will simply be a memory. The me I left behind. I will travel empty handed. There is not a single thing I have collected in my life that I would ever want to bring except.... the love of those who loved me, and the warmth of those who cared. The happiness and memories and magic that we shared. Though I will know the joy of solitude...I'll never be alone. I will be embraced by all the family and friends I've ever know. Although I might not
see their faces, all our hearts will beat as one, and the circle of our spirits will shine brighter than the sun. I will cherish all the friendship I was fortunate to find, all the love and all the laughter in the place I leave behind. All these good things will go with me. They will make my spirit glow. And that light will shine forever in the next place that I go.

As my dad said to me the last time I saw him alive- "keep the faith". So I say the same to you Lamb, please keep the faith.
Rik Prechtl

Hi Laura, you don't know me but I was a friend of Nikki's. I was one of the girls playing a flute at the funeral. You have such an awesome voice, and I just want to tell you that it must have taken so much courage to get up there and sing. I'll be following your story now, and I'll be praying for you. Keep singing, you're awesome at it. Also, keep fighting hard, you're doing great, and I know you can beat this thing!

Hola Laura, no me conoces pero desde la distancia te envío todo mi apoyo y mi fuerza.
Yesterday is history.         Ayer es historia
Tomorrow is mystery.      Mañana es un misterio
Today is a gift.                 Hoy es un regalo Un fuerte abrazo, Pedro.
Hola Laura, me alegra haber recibido tu respuesta tan pronto. Espero que no te importe que escriba en español porque mi inglés no es muy bueno. Conocí tu correo en tu sitio web cuando navegaba en busca de información. Comencé a leer los extractos de correo que enviaba muchísima gente apoyando a tu amiga Nikky, y me dije que aún estando tan lejos, al otro lado del mar, un mensaje de alguien a quien ni siquiera conoces te gustaría.

Me llamo Pedro, soy de las Islas Canarias, cerca del continente europeo.

Hi Laura -
Just wanted to check in to see how you were doing.  Things are getting back to normal on the pool deck.  Well, as normal as possible.  All the kids write NIKKI on their arms.  Everyone is swimming for Nikki.  It is pretty cool to see.  Have you sang anymore lately?  You really do have a beautiful voice.  You should be sharing it with everyone.  By the way, what was the name of the song that you sang?  Anyway, it is getting late and I have to be up early for a swim meet.  Just wanted to drop you a note.  Talk to you soon.  Enjoy your day off on Monday!!!


Dear Laura,  Hope you are doing better today and feeling more comfortable.  Hope to see you soon; we'll check to see when you're up to visitors.  We'll find something interesting to bring (no explosives or firearms).  Keep up the good work!  Love, Marianne and Aaron

Hi Sweetie!
Hope you are feeling better today.  Saying prayers for you and the family.  Hope all went well for you today and things work out.
Mr. G just brought me home a new iMac to replace the dinosaur we had.  I love it!!  Now I have to learn it.
Cat has her cheer leading competition at Saint Domenic's in Auburn Maine. She's so nervous but they performed tonight at the girl's basketball game and they looked terrific!  St. Dom's is a brand new 13 million dollar high school that opened two weeks ago.  Some morons took to  spray painting the new brick buildings and the religious statues.  They did make some arrests.  Unbelievable!
Laura - keep your chin up and know we're plugging away with you.  We send huge, soft, warm, mushy hugs to you all!!

Love,   Mrs. G  xoxoxoxo

I'm an old friend of your mom's.  my name is Nancy MalcolmI first met your mom when my daughter Christina was 3 years old.  she will be 30 in April. we shared a lot of good times and not so good times but nothing compares to what you are all going thru right now.  you sound like you are an incredible young lady.  you and your sister are just beautiful!!  well, your mom is certainly one of the strongest people I know and evidently that has passed on to you.  I wish you the best of luck and I always have you in my prayers.  take care.  love, Nancy

Hi Laura,
       I went to Florida for 3 weeks, Nov 18th through December 8th.  Really put me behind on all the things I needed to do before Christmas but it was fun visiting with my mom and step-dad in the St. Petersburg area. Also got to see my mom's sister, Aunt Bea and her husband, as well as my cousin Joe's children and wife, who I had never met before. My parents give a Christmas party each year for all their friends and I finally got to attend one. It was fun. I knew a lot of the people (from all over the world), and met a lot more. My sister and her husband and daughter were also there and I hadn't seen them in a couple of years.
       It was terribly hot in Florida though so was glad to get back home, although we haven't had very much snow here in McCoy at all this year. It was quite warm for a while. I think you are hogging the snow over on your side of the U.S.! You can send it back anytime! It did get cold here the last couple of days, only reached a high of 20 degrees outside today.
       I have some new postcards to mail to you and your sister. Hope to send them off this next week as soon as I find where I put them!
       Love and hugs, Barb

Hi Laura.....  I ran on the cross-country team with Nikki when I was a senior last year and was friends with her sisters. As I was looking at Nikki's website, for the millionth time, I saw the link to yours. I recognized you from Nikki's funeral when I saw your pictures on your website. I just wanted to let you know what a beautiful job you did singing at Nikki's funeral. I was really impressed and it was very touching.....and to hear that you learned it in one night-- WOW. I have heard good things about you from the girls on the RHAM track team, and I wish you the best. You'll be in prayers. 
                                                                                        Kate Lally

Hi Laura, I am a friend of Nikki's Mom and Dad, and of Nikki's in a way.  We have been friends with John and Gail for years, and visited with them while Nikki was growing up. I am so saddened at Nikki's passing, and in reading her journal, wanted to let you know that there are people in the world who care and are praying for you.  People who haven't met you, but want you to know they'll say an extra prayer just for you.  Nikki is at peace now, and I know she watches over you and everyone who came into her life.
It's always so odd to say , "You don't know me, but....."  How about, "our paths in life haven't crossed until today."  That sounds better I guess.  Anyway, I am praying for you and hoping you are well.
God Bless, Cindy Pinell

Hey How are you doing...  I just read in Nikki's journal about recording the song-you go kiddo I bet it will be awesome especially without a bunch of grieving people there.  You know she will still be watching over you.  It is going to be hard to top that performance but I am sure you can blow the other one away.  Also how cool that you will be trying or looking into that flying thing-you know you will always have that angel on your shoulder and now you will be soaring with her.  That is like the best thing I have heard of in a couple days.  Well, keep up the good work and continue down that road of maintenance to recovery or survival.  Take care.  Hello to your Mom and baby sister.  Lots of love, the tutor

Hold On there Laura!
You don't know who I am but I go to school with you.
I want you to know that you are very very special, and although you are going through hard times right now it wont last forever.  I am praying for you for the
cancer and that you will have the mental strength and stamina to endure the treatments and everything else that comes with it.
Life is hard, there is no way around it, and we all come up against hard times at one point or another, but if you hang on, this challenge will create amazing things in you. God doesn't give us more trials than we can bear.  It might be more than we can bear alone, but with faith in God and Jesus Christ his son anything is possible. I know the fact that I am even alive today proves it.
I have battled sever depression and anorexia in my life, and neither was fun, and I know that on my own I am weak and never would have made it through, but one day this girl I barley knew asked if she could pray for me and through her I found God. In Jesus I found the perfect love and acceptance that I needed. He loves you too, just the way you are no matter what happens. and he will never let you down ever.  I know that if you put your faith in him you can make it through this, but even not, there are people out there who care about you and are praying for you and are deeply concerned about you.
You are not alone in this world and never have to be, talk to people share what you are feeling and never give up.  It may be the middle of the night now, the middle of a long endless night, but morning will come. The tears will stop and there will again be happiness.
Please Please please don't ever give up.  If you feel like giving up talk to someone anyone. There are many people who are here for you even if you don't know them all. Hold on Morning will come. 
<3 Watching Angel

Hi Laura,

You don't know me but I'm a patient of your mother's.  Today was the first time I've been in to see her in about 2 years so I just heard
today about your illness, what you've been going through, and the recent loss of your friend.  I'm glad to hear that you won't have to go through the radiation treatments and that the chemo is working.

I also heard about your plans to get involved with the Cloud Chasers at Robertson airport.  I've been a pilot since 1984 but I started my flying in an ultra light that my wife and I built from a kit back in 1981.
These days most of my airplane flying is in a Piper Seneca II that the company I work for owns and keeps right there at Robertson.  I thought you might be interested in another form of flying that I got involved in about 3 years ago and that I enjoy more than any other kind of flying I've done - hang gliding.  There is a school right in Winsted where a friend and I took lessons and now we do most of our flying either in Ellenville, NY or at Talcott Mountain right over in Simsbury.  I have a small web site which may give you a better idea of what is involved in case you're interested:  http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/Ramp/3328/ - you can also visit www.tekflight.com which is the school's web site.

If you've come this far you can go all the way.  We're all pulling for you.  Best of luck to you in 2002.


Hi Laura-You don't know me, but I was a friend of Nikki's. I just wanted to write to you and tell you that i am so amazed at the strength that you have. You and Nikki both have impacted so many people's lives. The song that you sang at the funeral certainly brought a tear to everyone's eyes, CERTAINLY mine. Every word of it made me think about the two of you. I couldn't stop crying and I listen to it every day since. You sang the song with such strength it amazed me. That took so much to stand in front of so many people and sing a song like that without shedding a tear. Your an amazing individual and you are lucky to have a beautiful guardian angel shining down on you. You are in my prayers and so is your family. Keep singing you have a wonderful voice. Stay strong and keep positive....God Bless-
Tracy Riedl

If you ever have free time, you can write me an email (Trsoc7@aol.com). I would love to hear from you. Keep me posted on how you are doing. Keep smiling hun :)

Hi Laura!
I haven't been on the net since Christmas and am sorry to hear of your friend Nikki's passing.  Please take comfort in the fact that she's in the Good Shepherd's arms and at peace and pain-free.  Through you and Nikki, you have shown your friends and family friendship through faith in lousy circumstances.
How's Mom and Joelle?  They must be happy that your in the final phase and maintaining!!  What good news.  My prayers are constant for you and Mom and Joelle.
Over the holidays, I had attended the memorial service for a new friend of mine who recently lost her 21 year old daughter to cancer.  What a wonderful tribute to her.  I work with her Mom who developed a reading program at the elementary school and every Wednesday I go to the school and help the children to read.  I love it.  Secretly, I'm going to try to take a few ski lessons and surprise the kids.  No face plants I hope!  
You keep doing well and when we get back to Avon for a visit (probably in February at this rate) we WILL connect.   God Bless all of you and hope 2002 is your banner year!!
Love,   Mrs. G

Good morning Laura!  I hope this note finds you well and refreshed from this most difficult but somehow peaceful weekend.  I was honored to meet you at Nikki's services.  I can see why the two of you hit it off so well.  It must have something to do with the color purple and maybe great moms and sisters. I also wanted to thank you for making me cry.  I thought I was all cried out but your incredible singing helped get the juices flowing again.  I knew Nikki would get you through it and you displayed no nervous signs at all.  You hit right on the money kiddo and fabulously.  I think you try courage continued to shine through at that moment. What a brave soul you are.  Singing at that service has gotta guarantee that you have this cancer thing nipped in the bud.  that was a tough one. Anyhow, you my friend, keep going.  I know I will be checking in with ya.  Besides I don't think Sarah will let me not know how you are doing.  Nikki continues to unite more and more people together.  What a gal!!!   God bless and hope your side effects are nonexistent.  Keep singing.  You are awesome at it.   Love and  All the Best, Jenn, the crazy tutor

Hi Laura - My name is Greg, and I am a good friend of Nikki's.  You were a very a special person to her, and I am glad that there are so many people like you that care about Nikki.  It was very moving to see you sing yesterday at the service.  Keep up the good fight - I am pulling for you! 

Greg Perlstein

Hi Laura, you don't really know me. I'm Allie, I met you today at the funeral, I was sitting to my left of Sarah. I just wanted to write  to you and tell you what an amazing job you did singing today, and that it was a beautiful piece you picked. You have a great voice. Nikki talked about you a lot, and said what a good friend and nice person you were  so I figured I should introduce myself to you and maybe we can get to know each other. If you have some free time, write me back an email, I'd love to hear from you! Bye.
Allie Fergione

Hi Laura.  My name is Terri and I had sent u an email once before.  I wanted to tell you that you did a beautiful job singing at Nikki's funeral.  She was such a beautiful wonderful person and will be missed every day by each of us that loved her.  I admire your strength and courage both in dealing with your own cancer and then having to watch a dear friend die from it.  Nikki was lucky to have you as friend.  We were all lucky to have known her.  May God be with you.  ~Terri Gilbert

Hi! I'm a friend of Nikki's and I have visited your site a couple times, and have to say that I was very impressed by your singing at the service today. It sounded wonderful even though it made me cry. You have a wonderful voice.

Hi Laura,
I know you don't know me, but I am a close friend of Nikki's.  I wanted to write to you because she talked about you often.  I don't know that much about you, but Ii hope you're feeling all right.  Sometime soon, I'll write again when I have more to say. 

Meg Duffy

      I am one of Nikki's friends.  I, like you will always remember her and know that she is my guardian angel.  Nikki often talked about you and told me how awesome it was to have a friend who knew what she was going through and understood her in a way that non- cancer friends never could.  She showed me her Nikki's Call bell, and believe me that bell got used!  Keep on fighting, you are incredible, just as Nikki is.
Love, Sarah

Laura -
We were so sorry to hear about your friend.  I'm sure this is a very hard time for you, but as you move ahead know that your presence made her days much, much brighter.  Keep that sense of humor that you have going - Nicky will still be able to hear your laughter!
Let us know if you need anything that we can help with . . .
Mrs. Ketchiff

Laura, this is Nikki's crazy tutor.  Thank you for being such a great friend to Nikki.  I saw her on Christmas Eve and she was wearing your exclusive jewelry line.  She was so proud to show those jewels off, especially because it was a part of you.  We will all mourn her loss, however, you my friend must continue your battle.  Nikki will continue to live through your own strength and courage through your own war.  This I know.  Don't give up no matter how bad it gets.  This is Nikki's legacy and she is watching over you.  Heaven could not handle the excitement and energy you both have to offer.  You are the checks and balance in this partnership.  Good luck, God Bless and Keep You, and please Have a Happy and Healthy New Year.  Much love, prayers and respect to you and your family, Nikki's tutor, Jenn

 This is Kaeley, one of Nikki's swim coaches.  I wrote you once before.  I just want to thank you for being such a good friend to Nikki.  She talked about you to me more than once.  I have no doubt in my mind that she is your guardian angel.  I have learned more about strength and courage from you and her than from anyone else in my life.  Thank you again, and I will be keeping tabs on you.  I am glad to hear that you are in the final phases of chemo.  I wish you the best of luck, and would love to hear back from you every now and then.  Stay strong, that is what Nikki wants all of us to do.  

Kaeley Steinnagel

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