My Sistership with Laura

Laura, you have always been my sister, a major, critical and significant link in my life to the story of Peoples Temple.

Laura and I went into Peoples Temple together in 1970. I spent week days in the city working. She sheltered other women who were joining.  We rented a house together in Redwood Valley. She kept my dog, but it was her cats that clawed up a $20 couch that I bought. We recently had a good laugh at my reactions to that couch incident. Well, that’s the day that I knew how much we loved and respected each other. Nothing would change that.

Years later, we rekindled our precious sistership. Laura connected and re-connected me and many others; with so many people, about whom we had knowledge and/or remembrances, people with whom we had lost contact and some whom we had never known.

She was a great catalyst as well with for others who sought information about their loved ones. She was lovingly diligent in facilitating forgiveness and reunion, and worked so hard to help heal and repair.

That wasn’t only in her work with PT survivors and families of the deceased, but also as a teacher. She also took a depth of love and concern into her classrooms, into her daily life with coworkers, and into her work and dedication as a Quaker. She was a wonderful mother as well.

We can’t stop life, of which both birth and transition are integral parts. Our only meaningful contribution to the process of life is to love unconditionally. Living daily with intentional integrity and positive purpose seem to be of comfort to our loved ones. We know. Laura mastered that.

No matter how long it is, I will miss her forever.

(Janet Shular is a regular contributor to this site. Her complete collection of writings can be found here.)