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March 15, 2021

The Laura McDonough Memorial Fund

It’s no surprise that after a full week without Laura’s physical presence in our lives, friends and family are experiencing a range of emotions. Deep sadness can give way to laughter when a funny memory pops up, and then that laughter can provoke tears. There’s also a “what now?” feeling.

How can we continue to share our lives with Laura? Where can we go to talk and connect with her? The answer, of course, is anywhere. Yet we earthlings really like to have a place, a destination, a special spot that is dedicated to the memory of the ones we’ve loved.

Laura found solace in the water. The grand body at our doorstep serves as a place to watch, listen, and just—be. So let’s meet Laura at the water.

A memorial fund in honor of our dear friend has been established to cover the cost of erecting a bench in Laura’s name at Covill Park in Red Wing, Minnesota. It will sit just where she’d like it to be, right next to the water.

As spring nears and we all run outside to breathe in the fresh air, this will be a place to sit with Laura and tell her about all the forbidden treats we are indulging in at her directive. To contribute to this forever Laura spot, please send a check to The Laura McDonough Memorial Fund, c/o Red Wing Credit Union, 3303 N. Service Dr., Red Wing, MN 55066. Any extra monies collected will be donated to a charitable cause dear to Laura’s heart.

Many thanks to Linda Flanders for conjuring up the idea, and to both her and Evan for bringing it to fruition. I plan to celebrate with cheese.


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March 11, 2021


One thing I loved about Laura was her expansive vocabulary. There were times we’d be talking and I’d have to stop the conversation and say...Hold on! Big, new, unknown word alert! And then she’d politely attempt to expand my brain by defining the big, new, unknown word—no shaming involved—and we’d move on. I should’ve kept a notebook because I’ve forgotten those words all over again.

Except for this one: “Meh.” 

No, this is not an official Webster vocabulary word, but it is an official Laura vocabulary word. She used it in place of “whatever,” or “what do I care?” 

During her end-of-life process Laura was open and communicative about next steps. She gifted jewelry and clothes, participated in paperwork necessities, and worked on keepsake photo albums with her kids. But when asked if she wanted to give input regarding her memorial she said—“Meh.” And that was that. 

Laura talked freely about death, but continued to be interested in life, so she left the business of a memorial up to her loved ones. She also hated to be the center of attention so the idea of an All-About-Laura-Day just made her nose wrinkle. Too bad, we said, it’s gonna happen. And it will. And she knew it. And, ultimately, it made her happy.

We don’t know when it’ll happen because there’s still Covid to consider and there are family members who need to travel, but when it does happen we’re going to refer to it as—Laura’s Meh-morial. Can you hear her laughing? 

In the meantime, let’s celebrate this Throwback Thursday with some throwback meh-morial photos.


March 7, 2021

Dear Friends and Family,

Our dear Laura hopped on to her magic carpet this afternoon and began her new adventure. As a consummate caretaker, she made sure that we were all as well prepared as we could be to see her off. Laura’s graceful spirit and positive influence on our lives has been noted both here on this page through heartfelt public comments, and also in the overflowing box of personal letters that crowded her mailbox and lifted her spirits each day. On this day, let Laura, and the rest of us, be lifted once more by the following words from Evan—her friend, her greatest love, and her partner in all of life’s shenanigans.

With a heavy heart I say goodbye to my love, Laura. I will miss my wife, my partner, and my friend. You are the love and the light. As the words of your spiritual journey so perfectly say... “The universe is made from, and of, love/light, light/love.” You, Laura, have spread love and light all around you, to all you met. You are a healer of the soul, a listener like no other, a teacher, even if you did not say so. Your energy is embodied, here in our home, within everything you’ve touched. Your funny expression of compassionate irreverence, that ability to say how much you loved, and were grateful to the world while simultaneously dropping a curse bomb, your love, understanding and wisdom have blessed my life beyond words. So, softly I say—go in peace and love. 

Yours always, Evan


March 6, 2021

Laura still has some business to do here in this earthly realm. She continues to tend to it while we continue to tend to her. ☀️ 


March 4, 2021

Laura has moved into a more active stage of transition. She’s sleeping most of the time but occasionally opens her eyes or offers up a grin. She knew that this stage was part of her path, but she also knew that others might get lost, so she gave us directions.

About two weeks ago, something Laura made very clear was that our presence would not go unnoticed. “I might look like I’m sleeping,” she said, “but I’ll still be able to hear you.” It was a melancholy truth that made me pause, but not for long because then Laura added, “So don’t talk shit about me.”

Today I must make a public apology to Laura because yesterday we talked shit about her all day, and long into the night. But it was good shit. We told good stories, laughed over good memories, ate really good homemade pizza, and held a good vigil. It was obviously fun for Laura too because, yes, she’s following her path, but she’s also still here, still listening along the way. 


March 2, 2021

Today’s Wedding Dress Word: Identity.

I’m choosing this one because last night Laura said something that was so, so, Laura.  She’s having times of restlessness (part of the passive transition process) and during one of these moments when it seemed she might hop right out of bed, Susan said—Laura, where are we going?  To which Laura replied—On a magic carpet ride.

Indeed. ✨


March 1, 2021

Community and Strength are two “wedding dress words” that feel appropriate for today’s update.

After a very full Saturday of sitting on the porch, typing up the wedding dress words, reading, and telling jokes, Laura’s body made an overnight shift into a passive transitional phase. Despite her deep sleeps she has cognitive “Laura” moments where we see the impish grin brightening her face as we tell stories, play music, and offer up sponges full of water—a happy elixir.  

Magic Moo is being a helpful assistant and giving me (and the rest of our lil bubble) some strength. As Laura’s constant companion her “kitteh” is making sure that we’re all doing things right. With more letters continuing to flow into the mailbox and an array of flowers continuing to scent the house I’d say Moo is pleased with the wide circle of community support and love that’s been pouring in. That said, Moo and Evan want to offer up a big THANK YOU on behalf of Laura who continues to emulate her own sense of strength, and is, as always, a bringer of the light.


February 28, 2021

Laura’s wedding dress has sparked some curiosity. As in, what are all of the words running down the front? And it wasn’t just one person asking, it was many people asking.

Not one to ignore her adoring fans, Laura took some time over the past week to write them all down. Yesterday she took more time to type them up, and today I have the pleasure of releasing them. So for all of you curious George’s and Georginna’s here’s the Wedding Dress Word list. Let Laura know which one is your favorite!