“Happy Journey” to One of my Influencers

2013_12_18_holidayThe text message arrived on Saturday. I read it standing in the middle of a furniture store. It said, “Laura left us today. I’ll call in a day or so when I can put a coherent sentence together. Love, Ed.”

Ed is Laura’s husband. I later found out he texted me just 63 minutes after Laura took her last breath, surrounded by people she loved and who loved her. The text was a Herculean effort and Ed knew I would understand better than anyone that he couldn’t call. He and Laura supported me when my beloved Bill died of the same pancreatic cancer that claimed Laura. In fact, we all met in the waiting room at UCSF the day Bill and Laura underwent the CT-Scans that would confirm this awful diagnosis.

Shopping alone, I cried out loud,, “Oh, no!” in such distress that another shopper, a kind woman asked, “Are you okay?” I told this stranger, with tears in my eyes, “A dear friend of mine died.” She murmured her condolences as I tried to catch my breath.

Laura Grand with QuiltLaura was a teacher by profession and also by nature. During the four and a half years she spent living with cancer she taught everyone who knew her how to live and love to the fullest. Indeed, her last FaceBook posting was less than 66 hours before she transitioned and she wrote, “I’m not running these days. I cut up some of my race tshirts to make this quilt. Reminds me to be strong and stay in the race! This post is why the text took me by surprise. I knew she was dying; I just didn’t think it was imminent. (Nor did she, I suspect.)

I am writing this to you because so many of you have followed Laura’s journey with me. A few years ago, some of you donated money to help her get the treatment that would ultimately prolong her life. It worked, my friends! Because of your kindness and generosity, Laura got to do so much more than anyone anticipated.

Laura Grant, Kids and GrandkidsLaura was the very best sort of Influencer. She led by example. She set goals and then stayed focused on them. Her initial goal, when she received her diagnosis, was to live long enough to see her daughter Lily married to Joe. She not only accomplished that, she was there to help with and celebrate the birth of her daughter’s son Grayson a year later. In the Summer of 2013,  Laura and Ed danced at their son Turner’s wedding to Celia and the following year, got to meet their second grandchild, Turner’s son JeTeo.

Laura used the Law of Attraction brilliantly. She never allowed doctors to tell her how long she had to live. She didn’t want that in her head. She was focused on life and that’s what she lived, all the while doing what she could to stop, or at the very least, slow down the cancer that would ultimately claim her.

Laura Grand and Ed LisheidShe loved her family and no one more than her husband Ed. She knew her friends and family would help him through this and I won’t let her down.

Pancreatic cancer is a debilitating disease and yet, I saw a photo, posted by one of Laura’s many friends, of Laura, just days before her departure, dancing exuberantly. She was flashing that famous smile, the smile that proclaimed, “Isn’t life AMAZING?

More than anything, Laura taught us all the power of NOW!  There’s a famous quote by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu that sums up Laura’s attitude beautifully:

If you are depressed, you are living in the past,

If you are anxious, you are living in the future,

If you are at peace, you are living in the present. 

Laura was at peace when she left and I know she’s at peace now. But do not think “at peace” means she is resting. She is out there, dancing with my Bill and leading others in a Conga Line. If I know Laura, ever the teacher, she has already taught her Higher Power a few new dance moves. She lived with enthusiasm and I’m certain she is still doing so, unencumbered by the body that slowed her down.

See you later, dear friend.


Margo Dorrough - August 20, 2015

My sincere condolences to you and Laura’s family and friends. It sounds like she lived life on her terms with a positive and influential spirit. We’re the unlucky ones to be left behind, but there is encouragement that we will meet our loved ones again and spend eternity with them!

Sending you Peace,

Lisa Amaya - August 20, 2015


My deepest sympathies to you and Laura’s family/friends. I’m at a loss for words, but please know that I’ll keep you, Ed, and Laura’s family/friends in my prayers….praying for comfort, peace, and endurance as you all grieve your loss.


Carrie Grant - August 20, 2015

(I am dictating for Laura’s Mom, Carol Grant):
Dear Silver,
I think I know you from what Laura has told me about you. And now, hearing the article that you’ve written, I feel I know you better, and I appreciate your wisdom, your sympathy, your love more than you know. You said it all, from your heart, and your tribute is a treasure I will keep forever.
Thank you for your support of Laura and your thoughts of her family and her husband. We will treasure those thoughts and support.

With love,
Laura’s mom, Carol Jean Grant

Raye Street - August 20, 2015

So sorry for yet another painful loss in your life, Silver. My condolences and thanks for sharing your love of Laura and confirming her joy of life right up to the very end.

karly - August 20, 2015

What a beautiful person, and a beautiful story. I currently have a friend with the same beautiful, peaceful outlook and attitude on life in spite of her diagnosis of stage 4 ovarian cancer. She is one of MY influencers and a true role model. I have never missed an opportunity to tell/show her what she means to me. Thank you for sharing her story.

Dolly - August 20, 2015

Of course, I remember Laura! It was like she was a friend.
Thank you for including me on the journey. She and you are both amazing, Of course, Bill, also!
Much love ,thank you !

Janine - August 21, 2015

What a beautiful tribute to your friend, Silver…she sounds like an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing a bit of her with us…hugs!

Tracy Van Emmerik - August 21, 2015

An amazing tribute to one class act of a human being..thank you for sharing that. Here we are sitting around our dinner table, reading this aloud, finding it difficult to get through each line without being choked by tears. Life is a grand adventure indeed.. so thankful for the people that come into our lives. Laura was a brave, grace filled soul. Until we meet again my friend- ❤️

Haley - August 21, 2015

Beautiful. Thank you.

Audrey - August 21, 2015

Beautiful tribute to the life of your friend, as only you could give, Blessings, Peace and comfort to you and her FAMILY my friend~

Susan Cooper, CAP-OM - August 21, 2015

First and foremost, thank you for the touching goodbye email. I’m so glad she lived life to the fullest – she definitely left a mark on the world! My heart aches for your and her family’s loss – all are in my prayers.

Peg Hadley - August 21, 2015

Dear Silver,

Two years ago, as I followed your journey with Bill, I lost my husband to cancer. You were kind enough to reply to me. I still follow your articles and am delighted each time I see one in my inbox.

I wish I’d known Laura personally, but your sharing her story was amazing enough. The quote you shared in today’s post is going up on the wall of my cubby at work. I struggle to stay in the NOW. I have fibromyalgia, have also lost my step-daughter (cancer) and step-son (overdose) since my husband passed. I got tired of the narcotic painkillers, so, with the help of my doctor, I’ve been weaning myself off of them. Almost there, but it’s been awful.

“Live in the Moment” is a good thing to do, but what if the moment – the NOW – really sucks?? I struggle so much trying to follow your Law of Attraction, but when the focus is nothing but “when will this pain stop” I have so much trouble trying to focus on positive things.

I so admire you, and your friend Laura, for having the strength and courage to live in the NOW, to make your lives joyful and appreciate each golden minute we are given.

I will continue to read your posts and try to re-focus. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know last time I wrote it made me feel better to have written my struggles and send to you.

Vicki Hall - August 21, 2015

Your comment brought more tears to my eyes. I am her sister i law. She was married to my brother Micky. He too left us way to young and I miss him so. I know he loved Laura very much.
Even 2 weeks before her passing, before we ended our conversation we would say you will always be my sister. Love you. I will mss these moments.
I had the opportunity to meet Ed when my sister and I were there for Lily’s wedding.
I could see the deepest love between them and such strength. I spoke with Ed and he motioned how she was really doing, which was not well. But to look at Laura and hear her, she was always so positive. She had more heart then anyone I have ever known. And Ed, thank you for making her life and world so complete. I love you for this. Lily and Turner, you are your mom and dad. I see so much of them in you. Your laughter,your smiles, sense of humor. We love you so much and are here for you.
love you,Aunt Vicki, Uncle Steve and Aunt Cindy

Jacque Frusetta - August 22, 2015

What a beautiful “goodbye” you wrote to your dear friend. Life is too short not to live every moment to its fullest and to be grateful for each day. Your friend certainly personified the essence of joy in living every moment. You both were blessed with each others friendship. Very touching indeed.

Gloria Moore - August 27, 2015

I love you. You allow the strength you have to be seen, but also the hurt, weak and needy you to be viewed. It is such a lesson for all of us. Please know that my heart is with you. May God comfort you.

Silver - September 3, 2015

Thank you so much, Gloria. As you completely understand, adversity makes us stronger, but it doesn’t have to make us tough.

Silver - September 3, 2015

Thank you so much, Jacque. She impacted so many in a powerfully positive way.

Silver - September 3, 2015

Thank you, Vicki. She spoke of Micky often. I always thought it wonderful that she allowed her children the happy memories of him and left out any troubles. I am so happy you took the time to write. We are all part of Laura’s extended family.

Silver - September 3, 2015


Thank you for taking the time to write. That, and your prayers, mean so much.



Silver - September 3, 2015

Thank you, Audrey. You know as much the pain her family is going through. But even in the midst of the pain, there has been so much laughter (and dancing). As Laura would want it



Silver - September 3, 2015

Thank you, Haley. It’s so kind of you to take the time to reach out.



Silver - September 3, 2015

Oh, Tracy,

Thank you so much for reaching out to me. She was a brave, grace-filled soul indeed. I feel honored that you read my piece at your dinner table.



Silver - September 3, 2015

Thank you, Janine. She was a huge gift in my life – and will always be.

Silver - September 3, 2015


Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out. It means a great deal to me.



Silver - September 3, 2015


Please tell your mom: Laura often shared photos of you with me and I can see where she got her spirit. You have raised a beautiful and diverse family and all of your children are a tribute to you. I know that losing a child is one of life’s more difficult challenges. I will continue to pray for you and your entire family.

Carrie: Losing a sister is horrible, too, and I know you and Laura were very close. My sisters live apart from me and I would, of course, mourn their deaths but there is something particularly difficult about losing someone who was a regular presence in your day-to-day life. I am so sorry for your loss.

Hugs and love,


Silver - September 3, 2015


Thank you for reaching out. It means a lot to me. I am so very sorry to hear about your friend. I can’t begin to imagine why life has to be so difficult at times. It’s interesting, though, that often it’s the people who are facing a shortened life that learn how to really live. There’s a lesson in there fo rus all.

Hugs to you and your friend,


Silver - September 3, 2015


Thank you so much for taking the time to write. It means a great deal to me.



Silver - September 3, 2015


Yes, it is a comfort to know that we’ll meet again. I amuse myself in between tears by imagining my Bill and Laura dancing in heaven. Bill had an adorable dance style and I can hear Laura’s incredible laugh as he entertains her.

Thank you for sending me peace. I am sending some right back to you.



Silver - September 3, 2015


I am so sorry to hear of your struggles. My oldest daughter also has fibromyalgia and I know how difficult and painful it can be.

There is a theory that much of the pain in the body is caused by stored trauma and grief. There is something called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) that may or may hot help but it would certainly be worth a try. At the very least it would help you with your grief. They are using it with great success with Vets with PTSD. There is all sorts of information about it on the internet.

I wish I could be more help than that. I pray daily that they find an effective treatment for it.

I am here,


Silver - September 3, 2015

Everyone’s your friend, Dolly! Thanks for writing.



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