June 13, 2009

Dear Laura,

On the tenth anniversary of your tragically premature alcohol-induced death, I still miss you like crazy. When Janet and I first learned you had died, I felt numb inside. How could this be? We can both be heartened because my mission to make your memory matter continues. Sharing your story offers hope and help to countless others, and the snowballing benefits are overwhelming. 13 articles chronicle your journey at www.bradmersereau.com Laura’s Story webpage. We must be transparent, Laura. I believe illuminating your struggle and offering the possibility of consistent sobriety-maintenance will save lives.

Central City Concern dedicated a 24/7 monitored drug-and-alcohol-free 4-plex to you in February 2009. It’s called Laura’s Place and I couldn’t be more proud. Young mothers are grabbing on to the wonder of a lifetime sobriety paradigm-shift. 125 students from 25 different Portland Metro area high schools participated in last December’s Laura Mersereau Memorial Essay Scholarship Contest co-sponsored by the Oregon Partnership. Mayor Tom Potter announced two first-place cash awards at the City Hall ceremony. Most importantly all 125 students won by writing thoughtfully about their individual drug-and-alcohol-refusal skills midst a sea of peer pressure. 47 youngsters have pledged to honor their minds, bodies, and spirits by simply following the law and not messing with drugs or alcohol before their 21st birthdays. You also inspired me to establish a Sobriety Anniversaries Page at our website dedicated to your memory, Laura. 219 brave souls have documented 2820 collective sober years. Your legacy warms my heart and I will remain devoted for the rest of my days.

Love, Brad

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