7. Laura

In 2013, I spent ten months working at the Discovery School of Virginia as a group leader. One student in my group, Nathan, was a veteran at the school so he helped me adapt to my new surroundings. He and I bonded pretty quick. We had a similar sense of humor and he had a laugh unlike any other. We enjoyed cooking the group’s meals together and he was always a joy to have on our nights out off campus. I learned a lot about myself and my role in the world through Nathan. I am forever grateful for my time spent with him. His laugh will always make me chuckle; one of the best. Unfortunately in 2014, we lost Nathan, putting his parents in the “club no one wants to be a part of.”

Nathan’s mother, Robin, is one of the kindest, most generous, appreciative humans on Earth. I have known her since her first visit to the school when she told me, “Nathan got mad at me during his home visit because I don’t cook like Mr Krasney.” I have stayed in touch with this sweet woman through the years. Robin, I appreciate all of your support through the years.

When I asked Robin to select a person for KustomKyle Nominated Smiles, she mentioned Laura, telling me her story. Laura is a mother in Amherst, Virginia, battling the same heartbreak of losing her son Drew at the age of 22 a year earlier. She approached Robin to share their unfortunate connection. As time continued, their friendship grew and their bond tightened. Robin had this to say about Laura, “She is a close friend and an intrinsic member of the church and community. Her husband is one of the three lay leaders of the church. Laura is involved in nearly every church aspect as well as volunteers in the community with Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Her faith is unwavering. Her friendship to everyone she knows is complete with loyalty. I could certainly go on, but I think you get the idea. She’s amazing!”

Laura, I’m so sorry for your loss, but grateful to know about such a spectacular, resilient woman. Thank you for being so strong and helping others battle such an unimaginable struggle. You are truly a special person!


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