A true warrior ………

A true warrior ………

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04/09/1983 – 28/12/2019

On December 28th I (Dad) promised Laura I would write the next post in her blog. I don’t know if she heard me but I’m pretty sure she did. I actually said to her that I couldn’t do as good a job as she did, and just the look on her face said it all ……. “Of course you can Dad”

And that was Laura to a tee, giving people confidence, hope, to do whatever they thought they couldn’t do. I guess as I had done to her as she was growing up, encouragement to achieve, succeed, at whatever you set your mind to do.

However I know that on this occasion she was wrong and I really wont write the words as well as she could – so my apologies Lol; but I did try!

Most of you who read this will know that on December 28th Laura’s body could no longer sustain her life. I use those words carefully. Laura’s diaries were called Warrior Diaries for a reason. She was in a battle, she knew she was. She wasn’t a lone warrior, she had support from a huge army of family, friends and most of all the support of her faith, her belief in God, The Saviour, as they all battled against the cancer that was enveloping her body. It was through this faith that she won the battle. Her faith stayed with her until her body breathed its last breath and she entered into the Kingdom of the Lord

Laura’s positivity for life was inspiring. It rubbed off on all she met. I don’t think in the two years of her battle did I ever hear a negative comment about her illness.

Never an excuse; never an “…if only…” comment; never a “why me?” Yes she would get cross but as in “I’m going to fight this attitude ” Yes she had times when she questioned things but without doubt something would come along that would re-ignite that spark of hope, be it small or a blinding light, every time she felt unsure of her path the spark was there. Constantly willing to share this light with everyone.

Her blogs absolutely portrayed her life; positivity, hope, faith, caring , thinking of others. All 83 of them are a true testament to her life.

“How are you ?” is the general greeting usually given and Laura’s response literally up to the last day of her life was “I’m fine, How are you?” I know she made me think hard about her words, as she did everyone she met. She lived her life as a shining example of her faith. Every discussion, with her, every deed she undertook made those around her feel more positive.

Standing joke with Laura was that I would always “go round the houses” before getting to the punch line; so although I could, if pushed, not only go round the houses but along several streets as well, as a supremely “proud Dad” and with watering eyes I can safely say ………

“Laura won the battle”

17 thoughts on “A true warrior ………

  1. Beautifully written Mike. An apt tribute to a true warrior of Christ. My dear friend will forevermore be an inspiration to so many. Loved beyond measure. She walked with sheer determination, ALWAYS positive, faith-filled and gracious. She showed us how to live every moment – to enjoy the little things in life. Her strength of character and mind are unmatched, although I’d argue she may have inherited that … 😘🌟❤️
    What a girl! Dear Lol. Our beloved warrior. A shining light to us all. Xx

  2. Absolutely beautiful words, I’m sure Laura would be extremely proud of this fabulous blog and her amazing family.

  3. I think Laura would have been very proud of you. You definitely itely did not go rou d the houses on this occasion.
    I have just been reading some of Laura’s other posts.
    What an incredible woman.
    Thinking of you all

  4. A wonderful tribute, Mike. I know this must have been very hard to write, but you have done her proud. ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ must be the family motto.
    Rest in peace, Laura, you don’t need to fight any more. xxx

  5. Such a wonderful tribute Mike. You always were good with words. You have done your daughter proud. She must have been an extremely brave and courageous lady. No wonder you are so proud of her.

  6. Every ‘Warrior Diaries’ post I have read has never failed to inspire and uplift me and strengthen my faith. And my love and thanks go out to you, Dad, for this truly heartfelt and beautifully written final item 💖 Laura’s incredible faith, strength and passion for people leaves a legacy that will impact more lives than we can ever imagine. She truly was and is an awesome Woman of God and so very worthy of the words “well done thou good and faithful servant.” A true Warrior has entered her heavenly home. I feel privileged that one day we will meet again. With love and hugs as always Laura.🙏🏻🙌 🤗 xxx

  7. Beautiful words. Sending love and strength to Mark, the girls, and all of Laura’s family and friends x

  8. Words fail me at you and your families loss. She was a beautiful person inside and out. Treasure her memories xxx

  9. Mike what a wonder tribute to Laura in the blog and today at the service. You must be so incredibly proud of Laura. What a strong, positive and amazing, daughter, mum, sister, friend and human being she was. I met Laura and Heidi at gymnastics and met you there on one occasion also Mike. I’m so thankful to have met Laura and I learned so much from her. Her positively, trust and hope are truly inspiring and through this her legacy will live on in the lives she has touched. Much love to all the family. Penny x

  10. Beautifully written, something a father should never have to write of their daughter. Laura will be very proud. Fondest memories of a true warrior. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Sleep well beautiful! Xxx

  11. Hey Barnes/Stephenson family,

    I knew Laura at university – we lived in halls across from each other. Mike’s post sums up the person who became my friend, fiercely loyal, a family focused lover of a drink known as a ‘Brew’. As you can expect from my southern delicate nature … a northern brew was something to be revered along with the laughter, chatting and sage wisdom dispensed as and when needed, along with toast should the situation get very serious! She was an inspiration back then with a canny knack for making me stop and think, then after some long thinking coming to the conclusion she was right!

    Although our paths inevitably diverged post uni, she still remained the same bright, fun character she always was something I will forever value. Most of all was the conversations about faith! The strength she has unswervingly shown in recent times is the same I experienced back in first year when i showed doubts in my own faith – to this day Laura was one of the biggest encouragers of me being in church!

    That was Laura – the compassion and strength of character to help guide you with the delivery of a doc martin boot being firmly kicked up your backside (if needed) – I will miss her presence and influence but never forget the wisdom and friendship she gave.

    To you all, my biggest condolences at this time but i also known her influence will be present in the family she was very proud of.

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing this here but i wanted to share one or two of a few great memories of the person i remember. God bless

  12. Beautiful words and a fitting tribute to Laura. I really wish I could have travelled back from Australia to attend her funeral and say goodbye. I’ve read and re-read every post a number of times since she started writing, they are inspirational and a true reflection of the wonderful human she was. I hope they stay up here for a long time for people to read. Thankyou for sharing your story Laura, you really are a true Warrior woman! 😘

  13. Laura’s amazing legacy will continue on and on Mike. She was a true woman of God. I’m so grateful that she shared her walk in the way that she did. She has been and will remain an amazing and inspiring testimony. Thank you all for sharing. Sending you all love xxxxx

  14. I didn’t know Laura personally but I know of her through my partner and have been following her battle and sending up prayers. Even though I did not know her personally her light has managed to reach me and others close to me and I wanted you to know that. She will live on through those who knew and loved her. RIP Laura. xx

  15. Yesterday (April 19, 2022) I saw a online news article about your beautiful daughter and I looked up her blog that was mentioned in it.

    Today, I have read every word of it and I feel so honored and blessed to be her sister in Christ and I too believe what you wrote in your lovely post here, “Laura won the battle.”

    Her words and example are a testament to that and she continues to help others to this day with this blog.

    And I know in my heart with a faith that strengthens when I read words like those she wrote, knowing the circumstances under which she wrote them:

    John 3:16

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


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