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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Losing Leah

Isn’t the name Leah Lowe beautiful.
I loved her name before I ever met here.  Three years ago I first heard the name Leah Lowe at church.  Her name came up in a conversation with another church member who was talking about her in such a sweet way. Leah had helped and reached out to her.  I heard her name again at another time spoken of in the same positive tone.  Leah was a pretty popular girl.  She seemed to be every one’s friend and one day I did have the chance to meet her.
I first met Leah on a Sunday at church in the mother’s lounge.  I was nursing my baby Reef in a rocking chair.  Leah, a few years younger then me, was holding a baby, not her baby, but helping a friend out who had recently had a baby. 
“I just love babies,” Leah said, “but I can’t have anymore.  Instead of being sad about it, I just help everyone else with their baby.”
Leah was the mother of 4 beautiful children, two boys and two girls; happy children, loved children.  Leah radiated around her children and her husband.  She was a smiley person, hugging those around her, a sympathetic listener, very caring when someone was sad.  I was so happy to be her friend.  About a year later, Leah told me she was moving to Colorado.  She’d been offered a well-paid job and would work full-time while her husband attended school.  When Leah moved, there were a lot of sad hearts, including mine.
But, a few months later, I saw her at church again. 
Leah told me she’d brought the kids back to Arizona on vacation to visit family.  They’d cried the entire car ride home back to Colorado, missing their grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles, so Leah and her husband decided to move back.
Just like that.
What dreamy parents, huh.
While I knew Leah she worked with the elderly and with special needs children.  She just couldn’t get away from helping people.
After finding a small and painful bump on her leg that wouldn’t go away, she went to the doctor.  Leah was diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of cancer called T-cell lymphoma.  It quickly spread throughout her body.  She started cancer treatment and was soon heavy into chemotherapy.
Every time I saw her she was smiley and she was so optimistic.  She would fight this; for her children, for her husband, because she loved life.
She continued to help others, even while she was sick.
Members of my church have been amazing.  So many people have reached out to Leah’s family.  Meals, babysitting, contributions, countless words of encouragement, prayers, fasting; all to honor the Lowe family.  I was so touched when my own boys wanted to fast for Leah.  Praying for her became part of our daily routine, as I know it did for some many others who loved her.
You may remember last year in June, Kelly and I had a benefit yard sale for Leah Lowe (read about that here).  
A benefit yard sale and bake sale was a great way to get friends and family involved in something positive.  Everyone wanted to help, everyone wanted to do something and to share love and we did it by selling our dear trash.  We were able to raise $2,000.00.  This helped Leah and her family cover everyday expenses they were struggling to meet.
Through Leah’s 1 ½ year battle with cancer, she fought with everything she had.  Her faith in Jesus Christ shined through her eyes.  She held hands with God through two bone marrow transplants.  More then once, she would return home to her family only to go back to the hospital with more complications.
This weekend, Leah was placed in hospice and died just a day later.
Sweet Leah Lowe, beautiful wife, mother, daughter, friend and now angel, is in heaven.  Her family has been so strong and with amazing faith know they will see her again.
I saw Leah a few hours before she passed.  With my mom by my side, I held Leah’s hand and kissed her forehead.  I told her she was so beautiful, that she had fought with everything she had.  I told her I loved her that we, her friends, would love and look after her children.  
I wondered if Jesus was in this room.  What angels were here?  Perhaps Leah’s brother, who had passed away a few years earlier, was waiting for her?  
I believe in Jesus Christ and love Him.  
Painting by Greg Olsen
I believe in life after death.  I know we lived with God before we were born and when we die, we return home to Him.  I believe families are eternal, that these special relationships live beyond the grave.  I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and that he atoned for my sins.  Every life has a purpose, every person is known by Him, not a sparrow falls from a tree that He is not aware of.
There is comfort knowing Leah is now in His arms.  She is out of pain and heaven’s most beautiful angel.    


  1. It is so hard to lose someone in the prime of her life. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

  2. Thank goodness for the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to have it in our lives. I am so sorry for your loss. Cancer sucks. I know your friend is so grateful for all the love and support you have given. Friends are our angels on Earth. Some of us have them on both sides of the veil. We are truly blessed to have them...wherever they are. Hugs to you.

  3. Cancer sucks.

    The first I heard about Leah Lowe was when you said you were having a yard sale for her. And I already knew that anyone you felt that strongly about was someone that I wanted to get to know, too.

    Rest in peace, Leah Lowe.

  4. Thank you Laura, for this wonderful tribute. The Lowe family is in our prayers.

  5. Thank you for sharing your testimony of Jesus Christ. There are some days....ok right now some months...that I really need to remember that He is aware of each of us and our needs. It is hard to understand the whys of this life. Especially when young children lose a mother like Leah Lowe or my friend Denise who died at the age of 24 last week from ovarian cancer with her 3 and 1 year old by her side. This post has really helped to give me an eternal perspective today. My life isn't easy, but I feel blessed and need not to take for granted each day I have. Thank you, Laura.

  6. Wow, what a beautiful tribute to Leah. You did a wonderful job of describing her. It made me feel like I had just visited with her. She was a good friend of mine, but I hadn't kept in touch much since she moved to your area. Thank you for your insight and your sweet testimony. She was a great lady who will truly be missed.

  7. Laura:

    I'm so sorry about Leah. I first heard of her through your benefit sale last year.

    How wonderful that she will always be known for her love and kindness towards others--and that so many were touched by her. Living the gospel. How awesome.

    Cancer is such a terrible thing (my dad had leukemia and 2 bone marrow transplants before he passed). But I will always be grateful that I knew what could be coming and could share with him, while he was alive, how precious he was to me.

    Her family and friends like you had that opportunity too, and it may be great comfort to you in the years to come.

    It's all about love.
    Peace to her and her loved ones.


  8. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing lady!

    Your dad and I are so thankful for you Laura and for the love and service you give to so many people.

    May you always be blessed.

    From Mom and Dad Hinze

  9. Your tribute to your friend Leah is beautiful, and I feel like I knew her too. Laura, you have that way about you, you know. Bringing your world into ours, those who read "My Dear Trash". Peace be with her loving family and friends. I know Jesus has wrapped his loving arms around each one, and Leah is experiencing peace forevermore. Take care.