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LETTERS TO LAUREL

Life Lessons

LT, 26 years we have known each other. Ups and downs we have definitely shared together. I don't know why tears come to my eyes as I sit typing this letter, since, as you and I have already discussed, you are in fact NOT dead. You have, however, been monumental in my life and that must be it. You knew my mom, not many in my life can say that and I am thankful you are one. I can't believe she wrote a letter complaining about Betsy competing again after college. That was so her! Mama Bear... Do you remember when we got the diagnosis that I had the fracture in my back (and multiple stress fractures in both my lower legs)? I was told I had to be in a back cast for a month and then a Boston Brace for 2 more months? NO gymnastics, no anything for 3 months! I came into your office and asked you to not give up on me. I told you I would make it back. I don't remember what you said in that moment, but I do know you believed in me. I know you helped me get back and compete AA that next season. I do know you never gave up on me, through college, through coaching, through quitting on you, through me being a parent, through me coaching and quitting on you again. You NEVER gave up on me. THANK YOU! Deep down you always believed in all of us. You always pushed. You have always stood up for what you believed in. I have watched your loyalty shine through some very dark days. Thank you for your loyalty. Thank you for the truth you have spoken into so many of our lives. Thank you for "not treating us equally, but treating us fairly". LT, as you embark on this next journey try to embrace it. Look back on these last 46 years with fondness and confidence in the impact you had on so many lives. Look ahead to the impact you will have on more lives, other kids who get the opportunity to be coached by you, your children as they become parents and look to you for wisdom and guidance and your future grandchildren who will be so blessed to call you grandmother. (Granny, Nana, Grandma, Grams, Yaya, Nona, etc). Thank you for loving me. Thank you for believing in me and putting up with my silliness, my passion, my energy, my temper, my tears, my overwhelming-ness and my endless questions. I will forever be blessed by having you in my life! I love you LT!! Deni

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