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Dear Joanne, I want you to know that I am thinking of you and Joelle this day. Actually, I think of you every day......do you know how many pennies I pick up daily.....lots! If I were closer, I would run in to give each of you a hug. Nothing I can say, can make this day easier for you........but maybe knowing that Laura is being remembered will bring a smile. Laura still has an impact on the lives she touched....I know I am richer for having known and loved her. While surely tears will be shed today....hopefully as many smiles will shine through as we remember Laura ......she certainly was a Blessing. My love  to you. Nancy


WOW!!!!!!!!!  Joanne, although I am amazed, I am not surprised by this account.  So much is going on like this all relative to Laura and prayer to her.  I wonder if perhaps, someone (Joelle???) should journal all of these little miracles.  What's unbelievable is how her presence is truly felt.  I keep seeing her with this knowing smile on her face, quietly doing God's work. 

Let us pray Laura will take care of the little 6-year old boy you wrote about.  Please let me know how he is doing these week.  My love to you always, Donna

Joanne, I received this from Bill's youngest sister, Dellamarie and she wanted me to forward it to you.  It is a most beautiful story about Laura's continued good work.   Hi there! Our CCD program participates in the Relay for Life every year.  They send bags home with the students and ask them to collect coins.  I am attaching the poem they send home with the bags.  It makes me think of Joanne and her daughters.    My beliefs tell me that Laura lived a beautiful life and died in a state of grace.  So therefore, she is a saint.  As I do with the other more famous saints, I sometimes ask for Laura's intercession.  Once, my friend's unborn baby was breech, through prayer I asked Laura to pray for the baby. The baby turned into the proper position soon after and is now a feisty toddler!  When foster baby Michael was with us and our hearts were breaking because we wanted him to stay, but we were not sure if he would, I asked Laura to pray for us.  I asked that I be given the strength to give this baby back if that was in God's plan and mostly I asked that God's plan be shown to me. The next day I found two pennies touching each other side by side in my driveway.  One had the year of Michael's mom's birth and the other the year of his birth. I knew I had to start following God's plan even though it would not have been my choice. I knew I had to start preparing my family for Michael's eventual departure.  And although, it hurt so bad to say good bye, it helped to know we had a friend in Heaven watching over him when we no longer could.  I never met Laura but I was moved by her faith, and her courage.  In other words, my emotions were strong because you never want to hear that another mom loses her child. But my heart was touched because of the life Laura led, not because of her death.  She reminds of Saint Terese of Lisieux who said her good works for God would not really start until she reached Heaven.  I think like Saint Terese, Laura is a great intercessor of prayer.  I mostly ask Laura to pray for my 7th grade CCD students who are preparing for Confirmation. Having taught 1st year Confirmation studies in our CCD program for the past 13 years or so, I was touched reading about Laura's Confirmation.  I just wanted to share this poem with Joanne and Joelle.  I hope you can forward it to them. Maybe they have seen it before, but in case they have not here it is..... Love, Dellamarie


Joanne, thank you for sharing that beautiful letter and poem.  Laura lives a new life as an intercessor for so many -  what a comfort this must be for you to know your "little" girl is continuing her work and calling in heaven.  Be Well.

Peace and love,


Hi Joanne, It really was nice to hear from you regarding laurasurvival as a mother of a seventeen year old daughter I can feel the need for Laura's memories to go on forever. I really enjoyed hearing about the fountain how beautiful, somehow this seems such a wonderful thought to have of Laura. May you and Joelle continue to walk in your blessing, and allow Christ to feel any voids in your heart. Clara Bennett-Joseph & Candace


Hello!   Of course we were thinking and praying for Laura, you and Joelle on the 4th. Another year up in Heaven. It's so hard to believe.   It was nice to get your newsletter. It's great to hear that Joelle is doing well. I worry for her when I see the closeness of two sisters, and am always relieved to hear that she does well. You raised two amazing girls, and you should feel so proud. The roller coaster emotions you feel must be very difficult for you, but as each day and year passes, hopefully there will be many more ups than downs. You will always continue to be in our prayers.   Christina continues to do great, and is scheduled for a check-up at CCMC next week. Have you heard anything new about Dr. Gillan? I still can't believe you saw her on TV. I know she voluntarily signed up for this, but it must be so terrifying. I'm sure I will get an update when we go on Thursday.    Tell Joelle we say hi!   Love, Colette

1/13/05 Joanne,   I was so shocked to hear your news.  I had no idea of your heartbreak and loss.  I don't even know what to say but I send my love and prayers.  I received your letter today and had to log on to the website you gave in your letter.  I am sitting here an hour now, shedding tear after tear, after opening picture after picture and letter after letter.  Growing up, I've always had such fond memories of you and your mom,  and felt lucky enough to catch glimpses of the girls as they would sneak downstairs when I would come for treatments.  I remember you trying to get them back up as you were visiting patients ;).    My heart breaks as I watch the pain you had to endure through her life (through the pictures you have posted).  As a mother, I can't begin to comprehend how you are doing this.  I say doing, because it will always be ongoing for you.  It sounds like you and Joelle are doing the best you can to have a healthy life and pay tribute to the things that were most dear to Laura.    I teach special education reading in the 8th grade and sign language as a world language in the high school here in my town.  I look at Joelle and wish some of my students could understand how much they take for granted.  She is probably very mature for her age.   I cried after seeing the beautiful pictures of Laura as a baby...I think partly because we take so much of their early years for granted--trying to juggle working and taking care of them--  Sometimes I'm so tired at the end of the day, I'm counting the minutes until I can tuck them both into bed.  I have to remind myself to cherish the little moments.  Tonight after reading your letter, I held Ashlyn a little tighter and a little longer.  I kept kissing her head and telling her I loved her.   The spiritual side of me knows my children are only lent to me, not really my own, and I think that is what scares me so much.  I don't look at life as if...If I'm good, then good things will happen to me.  I know that is not how it all works.  There is a plan greater than my own, and I just pray that plan includes me having my children by my side as long as possible.     I'm so sorry Laura had to have to much pain, and you and Joelle as well.  From what I see on your site, Laura has touched more lives in her short lifetime, than I will probably ever know in my whole lifetime.    Thank you so much for taking the time to write me and letting me share in her life.  I called my dad as soon as I opened your letter today and I will email him this site so he too can be touched by her.    My prayers are with you and Joelle.  Laura has found peace, and through her, I'm sure she will help you to find it day by day.    All my love, Jennifer Kupcho

Hi Joanne - I so enjoy hearing from you and your progress along with Joelle. I too can't believe it is two years already since Laura went back to God.  It doesn't seem possible.     Are you working full time?  Sounds like Joelle is doing well.  of course, life will never be the same but it can be good.  just different.  I loved the "balloon" story.  of course, like you, I believe it was a sign.   Love hearing from you. Jackie

1/13/05 Hi Joanne,   Thanks for the wonderful update.  Laura was a very special person.  It was good to hear from you, and about Joelle.  She must be so grownup now.    Love,   Judy T.

1/13/05   Dear Joanne, Not a day goes by that you and Joelle are not in my prayer's. Laura doesn't need them any longer as she is in the ultimate place, our hearts. We here in Colorado are continuing to help with Laura's pennies.  So many families, so much to do.   Lots of snow here in Colorado. I have been down with a cold for a week now but starting to feel better. What grade is Joelle in now? So good to hear from you. Love to you both, Barb

1/13/05 Joanne,

How is everything going? I hope your holidays went well and Santa was good to you and Joelle. I wanted to share with you a story. I was at the post office last week bringing several boxes of catalog returns and items left behind by Colette's sister. I got out of the car and proceeded to unload all of the boxes and was trying in vain to balance all of them as well as close the back hatch. Well boxes started to drop and I let out some deleteive deletes and when I went to pick up the boxes that fell there on the ground near a puddle was a penny. It immediately brought a smile to my face and I was instantly transformed from a fire breathing ogar to a peaceful and content human being. Laura has a way about her always trying to improve even the most silliest of situations. This is one of many times that the penny appears and it is always when I need it the most. She, as well as you and Joelle, are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. The spiritual connection is a very important one and it is great to be able to share that connection with both of you. I ask God every day to bless the two of you and give you the strength to get through the difficult times. I wish you both well for the new year and let's get together soon. God bless you both.



1/13/05 Joanne, Happy New Year.     You and Joelle continue to amaze me and inspire me.  You continue to be in my daily prayers. Laura's journey will always hold a very special place in my heart.  It was certainly an honor to have known her.  She was an extraordinary young girl  and developed into an even more extraordinary young woman.

 These difficult times, we can only pray for God's blessings and strength.

Thanks again for writing. 



1/13/05 Thank you for sharing this with me. You made get very teary eye. I know Mom thinks of you guys often. Greg and I do too. Hopefully this summer we can get up to see the new pool and see how much taller Joelle is.   Best, Jennifer

1/13/05 Dear Joanne, I have just read your letter to us all on how you and Joelle are doing. I can only  begin to imagine how you feel and  when I do it is so painful - so your's and Joelle's is  a burden of grief yet filled with so many loving memories. You have been and are a blessed mother!  I will be so happy to come up for you and  the pool.  All my love and prayers, Karen 

1/13/05 Joanne and Joelle,
Thank you for keeping me on your email list; you write so beautifully.
I feel so bad that, as your neighbor, I communicate through email. And I
apologize for that. I communicate with my kids this way, too! We have a
big jar of pennies collected over the years. I will drop it by your


Dear Joanne,
Your beautiful update brought tears to my eyes.  Believe me, after almost 6 years the tears still come at least expected moments and I never go an hour without remembering.

We, too, love to hear from Jill's friends and there are still so many who are so good to us.  Of course, as the years pass the numbers have dwindled  but that is to be expected.  We went to a wedding last summer of one of her best friends from college where we saw five others.  So many sent us their baby's pictures this Christmas.  How it makes me wonder what Jill would be

Wonder if you saw the article on the front page of the Courant Dec. 23.  It was about the couple from Simsbury who lost their 7 yr. old son on Block Island 2 yrs. ago.  It told how a mother's worst fear is that their child will be forgotten, etc.  It was a very good article about how parents like others to mention the child, etc.  I wish everyone could have read it.

Next summer I would love to see your beautiful pool and fountains.  It sounds very special.
My thoughts continue to be with you all.
Take care.


Hi Joanne,

Thanks for including me in your letter.  I am happy to hear about so much going on for you and Joelle.  It always puts things in perspective to hear from you.  We count our blessings every day.  Hope 2005 is good to you and yours!



Hi!  Thanks for your heartfelt letter.  I feel for you and Joelle as you try to live purposefully and honor Laura in your journey.  Supportive friends make such a difference, as youíve said. 

Take good care.  Iím thinking of you, and continue to pray for you and Joelle. 

Love, Joan


God bless you, my friend.  God bless you all.  Love, Donna  xxxooo

Dear Joanne and Joelle:  I  have had you in my thoughts and prayers.   I know I never got over to see the pool and I regret that.  Lots to catch up on.  Love and Kisses! Leslie