Sitting here with tears in my eyes, I realize that you will cross my mind each and every day for the rest of my life just like you have since that night. I find myself consumed with all that has transpired in such a short time and it continues to sink in that you are no longer here with us on earth. My soul aches as I realize I will never visit you again, or attend another Dodger game with you, or receive another hilarious video of my dog while you puppy-sat him, or see another one of your infamous “Woo! Hoo! Dodgers win!” status updates, or eat another one of your delicious meals on Corey’s birthday. In my sadness, the words “never again” linger. But in the rare glimpses of clarity, I realize that never again means there once was. Over the course of your lifetime, you shared many experiences and many memories with countless people that feel eternally grateful to have known you, and I am one of them.
In 2007, your son Corey invited my future husband, Jeff, to hangout after school. When Jeff told his dad about your son, his dad asked if Corey was related to you. Jeff wasn’t sure. Upon arriving at your house, you asked Jeff what his last name was. When Jeff replied, you couldn’t believe that Jeff was related to two of your old classmates. On that day, a brotherhood began between your son and my husband.
Four plus years later, I began dating Jeff and shortly after, I met Corey. Because of a friendship that began in 2007 between two young boys that shared a love for baseball, I had the pleasure of meeting you, getting to know you, and spending many days and nights at your house. From the very beginning, you treated me like family and it didn’t take long before you became family.
Since 2012, Jeff and I have taken countless trips to Vegas and each time, you graciously welcomed us to stay with you. To this day, nowhere else have I felt more comfortable. You had this way about you; it didn’t matter who you met, where the person came from or how long you knew them, you warmly welcomed everyone and treated them as if they were a lifelong friend. You not only gave Jeff and I the royal treatment each time we visited you, but you loved our dog as if he was your own. You always made sure we knew that Ranger was welcome (and the hilarious video you filmed of Ranger pawing Pepper off your bed will always be a favorite of mine). You were kind to humans, but you were especially kind to dogs and you know what they say about dog people; they are some of the world’s best.
We shared many laughs and memories. But my favorite memory with you was experiencing Kershaw’s no-hitter when the Dodgers played the Rockies. Jeff called me in the middle of a summer day asking if I wanted to go to a Dodger game with you and Corey. I said “no” because I was interrupted from my nap (and I love naps), but he convinced me otherwise. I was lucky enough to watch history that night. There’s no one else I’d rather share that memory with than the biggest Dodger fan I know!
To me, family is more than blood. Family is about opening your arms and your heart to those around you. Family is about seeing someone after months pass by and nothing has changed. You don’t have to know someone for your whole life, you just have to know they care. You cared about Jeff, Ranger and I, just like you cared about each person you met. I will forever cherish the feeling of welcomeness and comfortability I felt around you and your family after such a short time. I wish I could have told you sooner, but I really appreciate the kindness you showed towards me.
As I sit here listening to Round Here Buzz, a song that played in the car after the memorial lunch we shared at your favorite restaurant last Wednesday, I know “there’s higher highs, where the high risers rise.” I believe you’re somewhere up high looking down on us, especially Corey, and I feel your love and spirit all around. I feel your love in the way your son honors you. I feel your love in the way your family has supported each another. I feel your love in the way the community has come together. And there’s absolutely no question that your spirit will live on each time the Dodgers take the field.
You were funny, warm, kind, caring, loud, dedicated, and truly a one-of-a-kind individual. Always up for a good time, you enjoyed life until the very end and I dream of a world where we can all do the same. You made your mark in this world and though we greatly miss you, we will continue to honor you as we #LiveLikeLaura.
WE LOVE YOU!
“Laura always had a great attitude… She was bubbling and full of life. I have known her since she was thirteen and she always was bubbly. I will miss her enthusiasm and zest for life! And will remember her every time there’s a “Woo! Hoo! Dodgers win!”
“The thing I remember the most was no matter if Corey was around or not Laura would always take care of us when we were over at their house. Like offering dinner, drinks, a place to stay, or just anything to make use feel like it’s our home too.”
“She loved kids; every chance Laura got she would always tell me ‘When can I babysit?’ She built pride in being very vocal about every week coming to Chili’s. ‘I need one of Danny’s margaritas, just how Danny does it.’ It was like clockwork every Friday.”
“Laura was a bundle of energy, her laughter contagious, and her smile lit up the room.”
“Laura was a mom to everybody. She took care of everyone around her and always made sure you had what you needed to be comfortable. She wanted Corey and all of his friends to be as happy as possible. Laura was a second mom to me.”
“Mother Shipp always had a smile on her face. Every moment with her was filled with laughter and joy. You could hear her from anywhere in the house, especially during a Dodger game. Laura was the only mom I knew that was cool with teenage kids doing everything teenagers weren’t supposed to be doing during those years.”
“It didn’t matter how long you knew Laura. She felt like someone you knew your whole life. She could talk to anyone about anything and it was as if she’d been a friend for life.”
“I have never seen a mother love her son as much as Laura has with Corey. Her eyes glistened when she would talk about him, she did anything for him. Her love for everyone was visible and welcomed you with open arms. Her pride and joy was to make others happy and of course watching the Dodgers play. The few times I went to TO, she would take me and Hailey to get our nails done and always treated me like the daughter she never had. Her laughter filled the rooms and they will never be forgotten. She raised a strong man who is just as selfless as her, putting others before himself and will greatly miss her but her memories will live within him and through him forever.”
“Laura was always trying to make people happy. She always had a huge smile on her face, and wanted you to have the same. She knew I loved guacamole and wine, so every time I would come to hang out with Corey, she would have both on deck and ready for me. She made everyone feel like family.”
“Whenever she entered a room her joy and energy would fill it. I remember the night we went to see Mariah Carey, her excitement became my excitement and it was the one of the most fun concerts I have ever attended. She knew every word and had us dancing and laughing, which is how I’ll remember her always with a smile, full of love and joy.”