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In a nut shell : I'm a full time working mom, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a breast cancer survivor of almost a decade and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Laura's Story





Dr. Chad Moutray's , My Life with Laura: A Love Story, retelling is moving. This is their story, both Chad and Laura's. This is Charlotte's legacy, a gift from her father in order for her to know her mother. So when I was asked to take part in his Blog Book Tour, I was eager.

I received my copy of Dr.Chad Moutray's memoir, My Life with Laura: A Love Story, on December 17, 2008. My first reaction was, " Am I ready?", Can I do this? For a day or two the book sat there. I sat there looking at it, picking it up and putting it down all while the most beautiful woman stared back at me. Still, I could not open it. Then when I woke up on December 19th I knew I was ready. I took a deep breath, opened My Life with Laura , A Love Story and began a journey I will never forget. I laughed, I cried and I shared her struggle. As a Breast Cancer Survivor, I understood what was in front of Laura. I knew the choices she was making almost too well. I knew I would have loved Laura. After all, she was and is in many aspects still a sister in arms.

Laura was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in May 2007 just as I was in the middle of my own battle with Triple Negative. Laura was a fighter and a survivor, but Laura lost her battle in November of 2007 just as I was finishing my chemo. Still she left all of us a legacy of both faith and survivorship. Through Laura's own words I clearly saw God's love and His peace working through Laura and moving through her even as she was losing her battle with the beast. Laura was courageous in faith. She knew God's grace and allowed herself to be a vessel of strength for all of us to embrace. In this book My Life with Laura: A Love Story, we learn how to be brave from Laura herself. Laura was beautiful, courageous and a true fighter.

Laura had courage beyond most of our comprehension and understanding. She and Chad built a life together and made a family in the short five years they were given together. As I read, I found myself drawn into their lives and the love the two of them shared as a couple and as parents. I also found parts of myself in Laura and her story, just as so many of you will find as well. In my opinion I feel that's what makes this book, the telling of Laura's life, struggle, faith and ultimate death so real, so meaningful and so memorable.

It didn't matter how little time she had, Laura pushed forward and revelled in life, in her husband Chad and in their beautiful daughter, Charlotte. Her life was not lost without cost or cause. The cost was great as she left her daughter without a mother to tuck her in at night, kiss her boo boo's or see the woman she would become one day. But I will tell you this, in the telling of Laura's story, her journey shines as a beacon in the darkness for all of us who are left behind.

In My Life with Laura: A Love Story, Chad shares his journey with his wife, Laura, and her fight with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Through bits and pieces of her own journal we get a glimpse into Laura herself in her own words. I was taken back as I read Laura speak. Death was a thought she pondered, as she hoped for life to prevail. In her journal Laura wrote, " I have a meaningful existence, I feel as though God is calling me to a higher level of His understanding." Then again she writes, " I will sacrifice my breast to save my life so I can live God's will in my life."

In Chad's telling, the reader is brought in on a personal level into the Moutray's fight. This is a love story, beautiful, tragic and compelling. It is a journey through beauty, joy and struggle. As I read this book I felt as if I were personally invested in Laura and Chad. I wanted things to turn out differently for them and for Charlotte. I cheered for her, felt for him and cried for their beautiful baby girl. I knew the outcome before I even turned the first page. Still the life, the hope and determination of this amazing young woman filled me full of hope.
My Life with Laura: A Love Story, tells of a strong woman who, as Chad says," always asked the hard questions. At one point, she asked Dr. Favret to tell her how long she would live." Laura had faith and she knew where her Hope ultimately lay. Laura's faith and love carried her through till the end. Her courage and strength resounded throughout each page and for those of us who have just now had the chance to know her, well, all I can say is, it is an honor.
Turning each page I gained a greater knowledge of Laura. It was as if I were truly there with the Moutry's on each vacation, holiday and even as Charlotte ate her first lobster. I both laughed and cried as I read Laura's words in chapter #30. On vacation in Aruba she now required the use of a walker. Laura was tired. She was in pain. Still she declared, " There was no way you guys were going to have fun without me." Chad goes on to say," That was classic Laura. Living a fulfilling life was more important than dwelling on the pain." These words really touched me. As both a wife and mother, living in the shadow of breast cancer, I understood the need to embrace the day and allow oneself despite the pain to imprint those memories upon her heart. I completely identified with Laura as began to feel her life was going in a different direction than Chad's. "She was the patient" and had to deal with fighting the disease every day Chad explains. "Her body was being taken over" by this cancer. As Chad continues to express, Laura had to answer to someone everyday as to how she was doing. I truly related to those words, especially when Laura spoke of feeling on her own with breast cancer. Of course this was not true as Chad writes. Of course, he was battling this beast too, just on a different battle field.

On Tuesday, November 13, 2007 both Chad and Charlotte lost their beautiful Laura, wife and mother. Chad sent this email addressed as "Heaven" just after Laura took her last breath. " My beautiful Laura passed away at 3:57 a.m. this morning after a long battle with breast cancer." Laura was gone, taken and placed into the arms of her Lord at the age of 36.

As my reading came to an end, I felt as if Laura was now a part of me and her family was a part of my own family. If you take nothing else away from reading this book, take this:"It is not length of life, but depth of life."~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~ Laura knew this well. She left us all a life not only to remember, but a hope to live by.

Christina


You can pick up your own copy of Chad's book for $24. 99 (paperback) or download it for $5 at
You can also keep up with Chad and Charlotte( The Moutry Chronicles) via Chad's Blog at

4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful Tribute to Laura and this book dear one. I can see you, in the words you spoke about Laura. I'm forever grateful you made it through your battle.

    Forever in my thoughts..(Hugs)Indigo

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  2. Quote: 'I truly related to those words, especially when Laura spoke of feeling on her own with breast cancer.'
    I related to those words too Christina and shed a few tears of my own when I felt like this during my breast cancer. I wasn't alone though; None of us ever are with God always being there for us at our darkest moments to lift us back up again.
    I was given a book to read too, about a cancer survivor,and didn't want to open it at first either. I'm glad I did as it showed me how to live in the moment. None of us on this wonderful earth have any guarantee that we will have a tomorrow.
    I was glad I read it as I realised that cancer was not unique to me and that others faced the same beast as myself and could pull through too.
    God bless you and your lovely family.
    Hugs
    Jeanie xxx

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  3. You have so much going on yourself, but are always ready to take on other things of import, amazing. I will read that book.

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  4. what a beatiful tribute..
    Christina, please go back and read your comments from your 12/28/08 entry.. I don't know how I missed that entry..my mother brought it to my attention..
    I thank you.. and you are truly an inspiration to many...
    Kelly~

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