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Dear Joanne,   We are thinking of you, Joelle and Laura today, especially today.  It is so difficult, because you can not think of anything but what you were doing last year at this time.  I can't believe it is our second Easter with out Nikki.....I can still hear the pitter patter of her little feet, all excited, running into our bedroom with her sisters, so excited to see what the E.B. brought....that excitement never left Nikki.....she was just as excited on her 14th Easter as she was on her first!  Good memories, mixed with the pain of missing our girls.....so much confusion in the emotional department.  I am hoping that you and Joelle are having a special visit to Disney this week, knowing how much Laura is Loving that you are there.  She is always in your heart......OUR ANGELS....  love Gail


This was sent to me by my friend Anne Yolles!
Subject: Penny
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 21:08:41 -0700
        Remember this every time you pass that little penny in the parking
 lot. I always thought that it was for Good Luck, but I love this
 version better:
I found a penny today
 Just laying on the ground.
 But it's not just a penny,  this little coin I've found.
 Found pennies come from heaven,  that's what my Grandpa told me.
 He said Angels toss them down.
 Oh, how I loved that story.
 He said when an Angel misses you,  they toss a penny down.
 Sometimes just to cheer you up,  to make a smile out of your frown.
 So, don't pass by that penny,  when you're feeling blue.
 It may be a penny from heaven,  that an Angel's tossed to you.
 So now pass this on to the people who you care about  and who you feel are Angels to you,
  I just did.
 An Angel is now watching over you.


Hi Joanne and Joelle,
       Just wanted to send you a quick note to tell you how much I have been thinking about you and Laura especially during Holy Week and Easter.  I just know that she is up in heaven watching over both of you with Michelle, Nikki and others around her.  She is surrounded by love and peace. 
       One of the sermons during Holy Week was about carrying our cross and I immediately thought of Laura.  She certainly carried hers and she did it in the most Christlike manner. Despite missing Laura terribly, I hope that your Easter was peaceful and with the knowledge that Laura, too, was resurrected to an everlasting life.
       May God bless and watch over you.
Love, Patti

Hi, this is Erin Buonome and since the Santiagos are in sunny Florida now, Joanne wanted me to tell you about what we did on Easter. This Easter was very hard because  two years ago at Easter Laura was diagnosed. My family and Joelle and Joanne went to the mausoleum after mass on Sunday to visit Laura. The sun was hitting the stained glass in a way so that the colors from the glass were being reflected on the floor. It looked so beautiful. We turned on the CD player and started dancing because it made us all feel better. We even got Daniel to dance a bit. It was the first time that I had been back since the day of the funeral so I started to cry when I was dancing. My mom's necklace got caught on my dress and we got stuck together so we were all laughing through our tears. We all think that Laura did that purposely to make us laugh. Some people came in while we had the music going and probably thought we were a bit crazy but everyone has different ways of dealing with loss. We wrote a short note to Laura on a small slip of paper and slid it into the wall. I had a few roses in my hair so I took them out and put them at the base of the wall. Knowing Laura she was dancing next to all of us.


Hi, Doctor It is around 9:00pm and I was reading Laura's journal. While reading I cried so much that I couldn't keep reading. Laura was and will be a great young lady that taught me so many things about life. I am so thankful to God for gave the precious gifts of met your and your angels Laura and Joelle. I have always wondering why I came to America, and now I know why. Thanks so much Doctor for let me be part of your family I love you Jolie


dear Joanne, I went to the website and read Laura's journal.........
I am so glad you found it and that you have shared it with all of us, and sorry for the boo-boo.  I did not realize that you just given the Disney gift and hadn't gone yet. how kind and generous.



hi again Joanne - just finished reading Laura's writings.  wow.  just reading them showed my how very special she was.  you were a very lucky mom to have her in
your life.  what a gift.


Joanne, Isn't it amazing what the love of 2 sisters can do!!!!!!!!  I am proud of Joelle and Laura:)  

A nearby elementary school decided to do Laura's Pennies From Heaven when my 9 yr. old grandson told them about Laura. They got the community so involved with their slogan "See a penny, pick it up" that people were driving by and leaving pennies all over the sidewalk for the kids to pick up... which allowed them to raise $1000! You have to believe after that! That is a lot of pennies! The kids are very proud of themselves and the money went to families down at the Denver Children's Hospital, donor unknown of course.
Just thought you would like to know that. Love, Barb


I miss you Joanne. I think of you and Joelle and Laura everyday. Her loss is still hard for me. Amanda had a fever admission last Sat and we HATED being there. Too many memories. I would love to somehow get together with my CCMC moms someday (you especially). Seems I'm always waiting for things to settle down. I hope you're coping as well as can be expected. So many people love you -- I am one of them!  Love and miss you, Judy


Dear Joanne,
I can feel from you that Laura's spirit is growing stronger and closer to you as spring approaches for you. Blessings will come forth for all who have known you and the girls.

Hi Joanne,   Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures, they brought tears to my eyes.  I think about you often and I'll call soon.  I'd love to get together and chat, even if it's only for a short time.   Nancy


Hi! saw the photos of Laura's teen room dedication---how wonderful--Laura's hard work and her dream lives on.  how is Joelle's hip doing? how are you doing?  a day at time.....

love from all,


Dear Joanne,
I have read and cherished each line. I was just imaging how you and Joelle are doing through all of these ups and downs of daily life.

Your love and the love from all these others are such a wonderful joy to hear about. Glad to hear her hip is improving.

I know your tears will be more and will fill a great lake in heaven.  It will be a lake of suffering warmed by the gentle heart of a mother's love. In time the lake will change from one of suffering to one of complete compassion and courage for such was Laura's life.

Take care. Your friend,


Dear Jo, I just got finished spending about an hour going picture by picture and I still can't believe it....you did such an incredible job of sharing the essence and spirit of Laura...it was so special "seeing" your parents again as well...I keep going back to the website and just staring at the pictures...you also have to be incredibly proud of the teen room...the star is so totally appropriate....that is truly what Laura is!!  Give yourself and Joelle a GIANT hug....Miss you....Love you always, ME


Hi Joanne - just found the time to go thru ALL the new pictures on the website.  WOW
they are wonderful.  i loved going thru all the family pictures and seeing the teen room.   was that your brother jimmy in the last room with the teen room.  i am trying
to place everyone.  i am probably way off, but it looked like the same person in a
picture with Laura by an airplane.  

how is work going?  are you back full time yet?   having you practice in the house
is really good for times when you need to rest.

keep well.

Hi Joanne,

It was nice to read your update.  Hope Joelle is feeling better, what an awful scare for you. Just want you to know that you continue to be in my daily prayers.


Dear Joanne:

Thank you so much for keeping us updated!  It was good to hear from you.  You are a  very special  person. You, Joelle, and of course Laura continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.
    Hugs, Anne D.

Dear Doctor Santiago.

We’ve been thinking of you and Joelle so often and are happy to hear you are finding some peaceful moments during this hard time.  I was sorry to read about Joelle’s fall but hope she is much, much better. What a scare for you though.

Wanted to let you know you are in our thoughts and prayers every day. You and Laura and Joelle are truly inspirations.

Love, Andrea and Brian Keigan


So glad to hear from you.  You are always in my thoughts and prayers.  I can't help but think these nice warm spring days our a gift from those special angels in heaven to boast our spirits and lift us up from the recent winter storms. 
God Bless and keep you, the crazy tutor

Hi Joanne,
I hope things are a little better for you as time goes by. I am sure you are still having a very difficult time and want you to know the Smile Quilts Angels have you and all of our grieving families in prayer.

I wanted to let you know the Memorial Quilt for Laura has been completed.
I apologize for taking so long but our group has had a lot of illnesses and several have left the group and that just means it takes us a lot longer to complete our projects.

You can view Laura's Memorial at
We hope you will be pleased with the effort and if anything needs to be changed or added, please feel free to let us know.

Keeping you and your family in prayer.
Sprite for Smile Quilts

Dear Joanne,
I am sorry I did not know it was yours and Joelle's Birthdays.  HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO BOTH OF YOU!

I am having fun helping out with the Passion Play.  It is so good to see Joelle smiling with her friends as she does her part!  She is beautiful!

Hope to see you soon.
With Love,


It is good to read that you and Joelle are marching on with your heads held high - as Laura would have you do God bless you all. Alastair

Just wanted to say that although you may be flooded with many past birthday
memories today, those where Laura/Joelle have honored your day in such
special ways are indeed what it is about. You will be in may prayers in a
special way honoring your birth.

Much love/ Dorothy