I had a million things to get done yesterday. In addition to all of the work stuff that needed done, we just got the living room walls painted, so furniture is still pushed away from the walls and in chaos. So, what made me decide to pull a cardboard box out of the china cabinet and go through it? Not quite sure. In fact, when I saw the closed cardboard box, I was going to push it further to the back, but pulled it out and opened the top. There were a couple of surf pictures of Robert from Costa Rica, and under those was a paper folded in half.
I opened it up and it was the program from the funeral for Laura Stedman. We served in Peace Corps with Laura. Her birthday was January 24, 1970… which is today. Why/how did I find that paper the day before her birthday? Coincidence? I don’t think so.
It became a must for me to sit down today and take a moment to honor the life of Laura Stedman. Having known her as a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer was an honor. She was the ultimate volunteer, always willing to share her knowledge and her laughter with anyone who was with her. She was truly living life.
It’s customary for most Peace Corps Volunteers to travel for awhile at the end of their 2-year service. Most of the group we were with did just that. Robert and I had returned to America a month early because Robert’s mother had passed away the summer before and we were anxious to come home and have a memorial service before Christmas. It was a sad time. So, we were already home in America when we received a phone call that Laura had passed away while traveling in South Africa. It was a total shock. If I recall, it was just a fluke that her heart had stopped while hiking and while there were heroic efforts for her rescue, she didn’t make it. Some of the other volunteers were still traveling in far away places, making it hard to even get the news to them, much less make arrangements for them to hurry home for her funeral. But there were many who were able to make the sorrowful journey to Portland, Maine…. where we laid Laura to rest. It was a very sad time. Laura was dressed in traditional Swazi attire.
The Peace Corps Director came from Washington and spoke. Peace Corps Volunteers who served with Laura served as pallbearers.
The message I feel like Laura was trying to send to me (and all of us)?
It was in the scripture that was read at her service.
There is a time…