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This past June 24th would have been Laurie's 70th birthday.
To mark that occasion I sent the following text to family and friends:
So, today we celebrate Laurie's birthday for the first time without her. To mark this event I sponsored the Oneg Shabbat last night and today's Kiddush.
Last night our Vice President somehow found the most touching words to express Laurie's impact on the congregation, their love for her and their sharing the grief of her loss to me and my family.
I have said it before, Temple Sholom is my home away from home.
Once more we will, today or tomorrow, celebrate the life of Laurie. A life that I have had the privilege to share with her albeit for too short a time.
My love to you all with the wish that you in your own way will celebrate her birthday with me.
No matter how difficult, make this a day of joy for having known her.
I met the love of my life under your careful Ulpan watch! Jennifer and I had an exceedingly impulsive get-together--mainly my fault--that was appropriate for our tender ages in the second half of 1991. Yet, as the immaturity peeled away, we discovered that the chemistry really was there. To be sure, the charm of the kibbutz (shabbat dinners, dancing in the pub, our cozy accomodations, nature walks, spending time with our kibbutz families, ...), encouraged our romance. Almost 25 years later, we are proud of the relationship we have nurtured over the past quarter-century as well as our two children (who bring us much nachas)!
Kibbutz Matzuva, we think of you often with much nostalgia and fondness!
Baruch, likewise, we fondly remember your kindness and generosity!!!
I have no idea if anyone still stumbles upon these pages. For those that chance to arrive here, I have posted many pictures of Matzuva in the 1960s and many pictures of Laurie.
Just search Facebook for Leo van Esschoten and send a Friend request.
Dear Leo, I just found out about Laurie’s passing..I am so sorry to hear! She was such a wonderful warm joyous person! So filled with life, fun and creativity. I grieve with you. I don’t know if you remember me but I always enjoyed my chats with you when Laurie was busy. I hadn’t spoken with her in a long time but she told me she had gotten sick again when we last spoke. I have always kept you both in my prayers and will continue to do so with you. I will miss her. I am sure that your son and his family are a great comfort for you. I wish you long life and good health and all blessings. Be well, Rev. Shelby Hammitt
I know this is not the proper place to put this note to Leo but if anyone knows how to forward it to him I would be very grateful. If you need to reach me my email is: email@example.com. If you or Leo would like my phone number please let me know. If you know another way to reach him I would appreciate it. Thanks!