January 27, 2002

Dear Laura,

I never expected that losing you would be such an untidy process. You continue to be free of pain, and it appears through my journals God continues to offer me transformational possibilities beyond any conceivable expectation. The process is uncomfortable, but I remain open. Today will be cathartic as I speak at the St. Stephen’s annual meeting. Talk about a living, breathing, Serenity Prayer opportunity. Please give me strength and courage.

My struggle at our beloved church home has escalated since your death. It mirrors my failed attempts to keep you alive and to fix our family of origin. Do you remember our childhood nicknames from Mom and Dad? You were “Little Sweetheart” and I was “Doc” – capable of familial fixing … or so I thought.

I am slowly integrating new internal connecting emotional knowledge, Laura. These lessons are a result of your death, so thank you! Something in my gut told me to politely decline multiple offers through the years to participate formally in church governance. God helped me with that valuable decision of self support, and I remain grateful. My supreme lesson is: God is in charge here on planet earth … not me, not you, not our Rector, nor any authority figure.

With the help of a dedicated Senior Warden we successfully convinced the St. Stephen’s vestry to donate 5% of mom’s $600,000 gift to the YWCA Laura’s House program. For the past 30 plus months since you died I have been way too concerned about how our church spends the other 95%. It’s not my call and never was. I will proudly lift up your memory today. This is the largest charitable donation St. Stephen’s has ever offered in its 130-year history. I know young women may survive an addictive path and possibly teach others to do the same because of this gift. Interdependent teamwork produced beneficial results … even in the midst of chaos. Thanks be to God!

Love, Brad

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