I’ve been trying to write this entry for days, but I can’t get very far without stopping. I can’t quite find the words to describe my feelings about Laurence, nor do I think anything I say can give him justice.
It breaks my heart every time I hear bad news about Laurence’s health. Last night I was on the phone with my parents and they informed me that the entire right side of his body is numb and he has taken a pretty rough turn. My heart aches for him; I can’t imagine what he is going through.
Laurence is one of the most amazing people I have ever known. I hate using the word amazing because it almost doesn’t seem to give him justice. I find the way his heart shows in everything that he does and his passion and motivation for helping others breathtaking. If you’ve read the couple news articles that have been written about him, I know you agree with me. If you’ve met him personally, you’d know with your whole mind and heart that this kid is truly a blessing.
My little cousin Laurence has always held a special place in my heart. He was adopted from Korea as an infant by my cousin Patrick and his wife (they are now divorced) Lisa. I’ve always admired Patrick; he is my dad’s nephew and one of my many first cousins on the Carolin side. His father, my Uncle Jim, was a wonderful man who I barely knew because he passed away from lung cancer when I was just six years old. So, the whole “great guy” view runs in that family. I’ve always felt very close to Laurence and knew early on that he was a special kid. My family used to vacation to Florida every Easter, one year I drove down with Pat, Laurence, and my aunt Ellen. Laurence was young and still struggling with the English language; it pained me every time he would get frustrated with himself. We had a wonderful time and I looked out for him as if he was my little brother. Since then we’ve had a few more family vacations and events, and every time I am more amazed by his spirit and kindness.
Last summer I worked with kids who were suffering from life threatening diseases, many of them cancer. Each one touched me in a different way, with their encouraging smiles and words of wisdom. I’ll never know the pain and suffering that those kids, Amanda, or Laurence have faced, but I know that they inspire me and touch my heart.
I hope that Laurence continues to fight and that he continues to motivate others on the charity causes which he is so passionate about. I pray that he teaches all those around him to appreciate life and to love and accept everyone.
My prayers go out to you my buddy and hero, Laurence.