Remembering Laura Nisly (1934-2005), a former employee of Messiah College and recipient, along with her husband, of the 2005 Alumni Appreciation Award
An open letter to Laura, the love of my life, with whom I have shared bed and board for over 42 years. You have been totally loyal, and I can't imagine life without having taken matrimonial vows with you.
We have shared many deep joys, chief among which are the birth of our three children and our three wonderful grandchildren. We have also experienced the overwhelming grief of the loss of our oldest child and only daughter. For some people, intense pain separates; for us, it drew us even closer in a tightly knit bond of mutual support and care. You have unwaveringly loved our children, nurtured them, prayed daily for them.
You have shared in the joy of serving at Messiah College and later in the church through vows of ordination. You have supported me when I didn't always know how to say "no" to additional assignments and was probably busier than I should have been. You were willing to move numerous times in the first years of our marriage, though you might earlier have preferred living in the Kansas community where we both grew up.
You have suffered more physical difficulties than any one woman should need to bear. Through it all you were determined that the family should have as normal a life as possible. A chief example was your willingness — indeed your insistence — that we go to Nairobi, Kenya in 1981 for my sabbatical as scheduled, though you had five more horrid chemotherapy treatments to be taken in Africa. We took with us the drugs for the five treatments; you accepted an oncologist whom we had not known; you endured the awful nausea of the treatments — and, despite it all, we had a wonderful family time together.