Friday, November 11, 2011

My Sister Laura

         It was about 1978.  Laura was working at Bob's Big Boy in San Jose - a Friday evening.  I was on my way somewhere but I stopped in to see how she was doing.  As I recall, she had only just started and was nervous about how the evening would go.  I remember seeing Laura - I guess in the kitchen.  The where in the restaurant part of the memory is fuzzy. What is distinctly NOT fuzzy is the memory of how beautiful she looked.  It was an ordinary time and she was working, for goodness sakes!  AND she was stunningly gorgeous.  Dressed in her black skirt and white shirt uniform, she beamed a welcoming smile.  Her  beautiful eyes were shining and that smile was genuine and stunning.  Her hair was long and pulled back in a pony tail and she was the epitome of confident youth.  Though I was not a heck of a lot older than she, I remember being in awe of her youthful beauty. Today, although she may be a little older, she has certainly not lost that beauty.

     The thing about my sister is that she is one of the most genuine people I know. She is grounded, honest, kind, and smart, very smart.   Laura is also very capable.  Her talents and skills are wide ranging and include the logical/mathematical realm as well as the world of words and music.  She can quickly and calmly assess a situation and determine what needs to happen.  If you are in Laura's family you are in luck as she will give you the money she doesn't have to be sure that you have what you need.  She will rearrange her life to be there for you no matter when and what you need. Laura is this remarkably strong woman who has had more than her share of challenges over the past 35 years.  She digs right in and goes forward almost as if she has blinders that will block the obstacles.  She sees what needs to be done and she does it.

     Yes, Laura is a hard worker.  She also makes the most wonderful music to liven up the days.  She has always been a musician.  She would drive me crazy when, as  a little girl, she would pick out tunes on the living room piano.  On the one hand I was envious because she could even do that.  Lord knows, I couldn't.  It also drove me crazy because I got tired of the ping ping pinging of the piano.  But she was drawn to it and it didn't matter.  She took that initial musical talent and turned it into a life long avocation.  She can play a bunch of musical instruments (most recently taking up the ukelele) and has a lovely singing voice.  One year (1982?) she played the lead role in the community theater's production of Oklahoma.  She wowed that audience both with her voice and her beauty.  I know for a while she was the music teacher at the school in Laytonville and those kids were so lucky to have her enthusiasm and energy.  

   Laura is a dedicated mother and, from where I sit, a loyal and loving wife and life partner.  From the time she learned she was pregnant with her daughter Erin Rose, Laura has always put both of her girls first.  The early single parent years with Erin were a tough time for Laura and yet she worked hard and made the best choices for her little family.  Later, when Isabel arrived, Laura was more settled in Ft Bragg with Doug.  I think those years in Ft Bragg were the happiest time for her.  She was in love with Doug, her beautiful daughters gave her great satisfaction, she made a lovely flower garden and she thrived on caring for these three people who were so important to her.   I have been in Laura's home and witnessed the playful affection that gets tossed around so comfortably and warmly.  When Doug was so sick a year ago, Laura couldn't do enough for him.  She literally had to fight the insurance companies and went to bat to be sure he had the best doctors she could locate.

     My sister has been there for me through some very bumpy times in my life.  I know, she is the younger sister but in many ways I think of her as the stronger, more rational, more down to earth one.  I tend to be more philosophical, more emotional, more careless than she is.  Don't get me wrong.  I am diligent and a hard worker in my own world , just not too focused on anything but now.  Laura is a planner and a doer.  She thinks about the future and gets things in place.  Me?  I just try to deal with today.  That's about all I can handle. That's what I mean about Laura being strong.  She can handle whatever comes her way (including me and my life issues....).   We can have a blast together.  Back in the old days, we used to make cookies every time we got together.  But then we decided to pay attention to weight and all that.  No more cookies.  But now we substitute long walks and occasional shopping trips - just for fun!

 Anyway, I just want the world to know that I lean on Laura all the time.  What would I do without her?  I try to give back to her but I don't think I will ever be able to make up for all the times when she has been there for me.  Life is funny, heh?  She , who used to be the mostly annoying much younger sister, now becomes the confidante, the trusted one.  And I look to her for lessons.  Life is indeed odd and surpising


  1. OK Oklahoma,
    I’ve never been to the state Oklahoma, but I have been to the second best thing, a production of "Oklahoma." I remember going to an evening production of that particular musical that Laura starred in in Laytonville. A whole group of us had come down off the mountain for some quality entertainment. I remember that Laura came out to see us, after the show was over. She was positively glowing. I thought to myself that I couldn't even get up on stage and babble, and here was Laura, blowing the doors off with her singing. I was so proud to say, Yep. that's my sister!

  2. Yes! I think that was the night I was there. She was and is gorgeous. And such a talented person!. I can only imagine having all the smarts and talents and beauty that she has. I must have been over there reading a book when all that genetic material was distributed.

  3. What beautiful women in your family...
    The menfolk are truly lucky...

  4. As a manfolk of the family, I want to be the first to agree. :)