Last Christmas Eve, Laureen spent time with her best friend, who was always stopping by. She says they were closer than sisters, and friends since she was 16 years old. This friend even married her cousin and lived at her home reserve.
Laureen recently lost her best friend, who’s birthday was Dec. 25th, so Christmas will be hard this year.
When asked how she’s coping with the season, Laureen says she’s still missing her brother and sister who also died within the past couple of years. She’s feeling sad, when she thinks of all the ones she’s missing.
Laureen shared how she has candles with pictures of her loved ones that she will place on her table. This will bring comfort knowing they’re in heaven and hopefully she’ll see them again. The candles represent the light that was reflected in and through the lives of the ones who have passed. And they bring back memories of love.
Laureen has noticed something quite profound. Before we were in lockdown, before covid happened, when we asked someone how they were doing, they’d usually say, “I’m ok” or “I’m fine.” And we would assume they were fine because we saw them all the time. She would phone people to encourage others, and it was a casual conversation. Now, Laureen is being intentional, as she has begun to send written encouragement to others over facebook or messenger. Words really come out of our hearts!
There are so many people going through so much. A recent death was especially sad for a family she knew. They weren’t living on the reserve, so couldn’t go with the body of their son to be buried because the lockdown didn’t allow them back on the land.
We just don’t know what's going on with others – and a lot of us are “not just fine” and we’re “not ok”.
Although it’s a time of isolation, and she spends her days in her wheelchair, Laureen is a blessing to many. Her face smiling, she continues to enjoy time alone and finds comfort and peace in her prayers. “Seek the Lord – that’s where I’ll be! I’m going to be with the Lord.”
And as Laureen continues to encourage others, the light within her is shining brightly for all to see!