June 10, 2017

For Laura

Six months ago today someone who was very special to me lost her life-long battle with depression. I can't tell you how sorry I am she's gone.

Her name was Laura Travis when I got to know her, but for more than half of her life her name was Laura Caudle. She was only 14 when we met, 15 when this picture was taken, 46 the last time I saw her, and just a few weeks short of her 48th birthday when she died. She is survived by her sister, Kate; her husband of twenty-five years, Keith; her daughter, Lisa; and two grandchildren.

I am grateful that I knew her when I did. She was good for me when I was 16 and 17; it was a great gift to be close to someone who was smart and funny and loved books. It was because of her that I read Stranger in a Strange Land and learned to play backgammon. She helped shape who I am today.

We grew up and went our separate ways, as people do, and stayed only loosely in touch as adults; we both married people who were good for us, and had kids, and led our own lives, and, frankly, probably didn't think about each other all that often. But the world feels emptier without her in it.