A letter to our dear friend…

Dear Maria,

You see, we had this assignment of sorts to write you a letter for your ACTS retreat this weekend. Well, I was never very good at homework, so of course, I’m doing this last minute, but I’m doing it up big. For the whole world.


You have been such an integral part of our lives since the day we met. You have been there for every step of our relationship, from the starts and stops when we first started dating, to standing in our wedding, and to being a wonderful Godmother to Rachel.


When we first found out about your cancer, we were almost paralyzed. How could someone so vibrant and full of life get a disease that is so terrible? However, though it all, you handled it as you handle everything – with strength and serenity.


I don’t know how you do it, how you remain so positive in the face of everything that is so potentially devastating, but you do, and in the process, you make all of us feel like everything is going to be OK.


A couple of months ago, you called us to come over to distract the two of you for a while. I think you and Gregg were going a bit stir crazy, and you needed some different people around besides yourselves. We were more than happy to come over and chat, hang out, whatever we could do to help. Later that evening, your brothers showed up, then your cousin, then Andy and Cindy, and a few more folks, and we ended up having an impromptu party. I told Monica later, “That’s exactly what they needed. Their house has always been the place for people to get together, and Maria looked so happy tonight to have all of her friends around her.”


I think that is what we love most about you. That you are a friend to so many people. That you always welcome people into your home. That you are such a positive influence on everyone around you.


You bring people together. Your strength and courage has been an inspiration to us all. We love you.


The Laleman Family


I’m not going to go into details here, because it’s really not my place to do so, but just know that our good friend Maria needs all of the prayers and good thoughts she can get right now.

We’re all pulling for you, girl, and we hope you get well soon.