Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Extraordinary Day

The North Downs, above Kemsing, Kent (by L2F1, Flickr Commons)
On Tuesday, March 26, I celebrated 14 years since my diagnosis with cancer, and one year since the signing of my first book contract. Today, March 28, I mark another milestone, and I've celebrated the life, and home-coming, of someone who was there at the beginning of my writing journey.

I met Louretha in 1993, just after Brian and I moved to Oregon, twenty years ago this spring. The first thing one noticed about Louretha was her elegance and poise, and her marvelous South African accent. But as I got to know her during time spent in a small fellowship group that met in the home of a man who, years later, would be my oncologist, I learned Louretha and I had in common a passion for writing.

When I asked, Louretha graciously read my first completed novel (a tome of a novel, approximately 200,000 words, in the fantasy genre). Then she showed up at my door and took this then twenty-something, largely clueless writer out to lunch, and shared much wisdom and encouragement. I had never heard the term "beta reader" at that point. I had yet to meet another published writer, or attend a conference, or read a writing craft book. But I'll never forget that lunch date with Louretha, and the fact that she gave of her time, wisdom, and insight for me, and I've been blessed today to join her family and hundreds of others she loved and encouraged, to celebrate her life. It fills me with wonder and longing to think of her in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ--cheering us on still, I'm certain, among that great cloud of witnesses.

I learned today at her memorial service that Louretha was also writing a book. Though she didn't live to finish it, her husband intends to do so, and see it published. I made the long drive out of the mountains, where our church is, singing one of Louretha's favorite hymns, and looking forward to reading her book one day.

Once home, I received a knock at the door. A man in brown. This is what he handed me.

Typeset galleys for Burning Sky
Life is full. God is good. Heaven is real. Louretha is there.

May her words left behind go on blessing many in the months and years to come. May these words of mine be a blessing, too. 


  1. Oh what a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing, Lori. Louretha sounds like she possessed a beautiful, kind spirit.

  2. Lovely! That's the way life is when we quit micro-managing it. Thanks for sharing, Lori. ; )

  3. That is so touching. I am sure she is surrounding you in that great cloud of witnesses and cheering you on as you reach that finish line. Congratulations, Lori, on your galley, and your soon coming book baby. Rejoicing with you on a beautiful season of remembering what was, and anticipating what is to come.
    A blessed Resurrection Sunday to you and yours.

  4. I am in awe over the marvelous works of God, even His timing. I am sorry for the loss of your special friend, Louretha, and know you look forward to meeting her again in Glory. You have a fascinating journey, Lori, and God's hand is upon you! Many blessings yet to unfold.

  5. Hi Lori--

    Praise God for Louretha--that she was at your side as you accomplished your purpose for the Lord. I do hope to read her offering some day, too. Thanks for this uplifting story, and may God's blessings be on you and the tasks that lay ahead. May you have a beautiful and peaceful Resurrection Sunday as you continue in your work for Him.

  6. A Happy and Blessed Easter to you all. Thanks for stopping by and sharing my memory of Louretha. :)