Laura and me at Mt. St. Helens, Summer of 1987
(I'm the one with what appears to be a goggles on my head, it was the 80s, man).
I met Laura at the bus stop on Alameda one morning when Martin and I started going to McCarver Elementary. She was wearing a hat and she was funny and outgoing and that's all I remember from that day, the hat and that we've been friends ever since.
Even though I can count on one hand the number of times we've seen each other over the years, we've never lost touch. When I see Laura's handwriting in my mailbox, I always make time to read the letter right there in the car and I love that we connect this way. She's the kind of friend you can pick up right where you left off, like it hasn't been seven months since you last talked. And, despite the distance and number of years passed, I know that if I ever needed to talk to someone who really gets me, I could call Laura because she's always been someone who understands me.
Laura was one of few friends who used to come to my house and play regularly and vice versa. I was even allowed to spend the night at her house which was huge for my parents to allow. We always did fun things and she was and continues to be one of the most creative people I know. She taught me to use funky colored nail polish and toothpicks to make cool designs on my nails, the same thing women pay a pretty penny for at salons these days. She taught me it was cool to have your own style. She reminds me to be brave and stay steady in the direction of my dreams. And those are just a few of the reasons I'm glad she was born.