Nora was the missing piece. She connected everyone and made them a family. She made a point of being there for everyone and was a true friend. She was a helper, someone who would go out of her way to pick up a dropped book or toy and hand it back to them knowing they couldn’t get it themselves. When Nora was having a good time, her laugh and 1000-Watt smile would light up any venue. She loved trips to her Grandfather’s cabin, Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving – for eating popcorn with friends and setting the table with lots and lots of dishes. We will never truly be without Nora, the lessons she taught us we can now share with others that we love. Nora will live on through our kindness, love and curiosity.
Sweet and loving,
My sister is an eagle no one has power over,
She is the North Star leading all who believe,
She is a light that will never go out,
She is a horse galloping to no certain place,
She is a sister with her head in the sky with
She is my sister and a leader of above.
-Paul, 6th Grade
Memories of Nora from her brother, Paul
Growing up with Nora was an experience beyond description. She could be a whirlwind of fun and excitement, and correctly capturing what being Nora’s brother was truly like is a large undertaking. Some of my earliest memories with Nora are with Megan, Caroline, and Amy, our baby sitters throughout the years. I remember we would go to Como Zoo to feed the seals, ride rides and checkout the various animals. Nora always gravitated to the rides, and would often times be more convincing than I in her desire to do rides exclusively. But rides are fun so that was all right. Getting to see movies and riding around in Caroline’s car are also some fond memories I have with Nora.
Even though they are less vivid, and more so emotional memories. As Nora and I got older, she became a neighborhood celebrity among my friends and the local businesses (namely the corner deli). I remember groups of 3 boys and 1 Nora bouncing on the trampoline and playing games. Nora could always be seen having a blast, participating in her own way, as us older boys rough-housed around her. When Nora was having a good time, her laugh and 1000 watt smile would light up whatever venue she was in. Whether it was the back seat of the green station wagon on the way up to Grandpa’s cabin, a weekly trip to the blue dishes store, or hanging out at my parents’ house in St. Louis Park watching the animated Robin Hood for the 832nd time; if Nora was having fun, so were the rest of us.
After college and moving back home, I had the opportunity to connect with my sister in new ways that I will cherish forever. One of my fondest memories is when Nora and I went to the University of Minnesota’s arboretum. We must have seen every plant, smelled every flower, and crunched every acorn shell that had fallen from the oaks overhead. That was the first time Nora and I hung out as adults with no parents, and the memory brings me such joy.
A few months later at Halloween, I was invited to the Summit House to spend time with Nora and the other girls. Nora and her friends were dalmatians, and I was a goofy state trooper. That night was fun because while all the proper grown-ups were socializing in the kitchen and dining rooms, Nora, her friends, and I were hanging in the living room watching the animated Tarzan (only my 32nd viewing). Both of us were having such a good time spending time together that neither of us could sit still for a picture. Something that at the time I found annoying, but now can’t imagine being any other way.
This loose smattering of thoughts and fragmented recollections probably doesn’t portray Nora’s impact on my, and everyone else’s life adequately. But if I can leave you with anything, I’d just like it to be that everyone who got to meet, or know Nora walked away from the experience with a fuller appreciation of life and doing what you love. I will carry my memories of Nora with me always and look forward to seeing her when it’s my time to move on.
Memories of Nora from Ashley and Rena
Nora was sweet, funny, loving, mischievous, playful, kind, intelligent, inquisitive, adventurous, active, and above all herself. Nora was always true to who she was and did not alter herself to fit others. If you were lucky enough to be apart of Nora’s world you were given such a gift.
In a world where productivity is applauded and, in most cases, expected, Nora showed those around her how to slow down and enjoy the surroundings. You can still accomplish what you set out to do, but there is no reason you should not enjoy it.
Nora loved to be in nature. She loved the more secluded hiking spots where nature was more itself, less touched. She enjoyed seeing the birds swimming in the lake, snails scooting across a path, snakes slithering in the grass, and pinecones falling from the trees. Nora was constantly interacting with her surroundings, truly living in the moment, which forced you to slow down and do the same thing. Nora was able to share her unique gift of living in the moment with those around her and that made her special.
There is nothing more important in this world than slowing down, looking around, and enjoying the simple imperfect beauty that is taking place around you. There are so many things throughout our lives that are simply overlooked because we are too busy to see, Nora would not allow that. Nora takes every small new detail and looks at it through fresh eyes, like being a child again and seeing something for the first time. Everything is new and exciting because it is different. It does not matter if you have seen 1,000 turtles, you more than likely have not seen this specific turtle; the way its shell glistened in the sun or the way it walked across a trail, things most people would brush off and ignore, but not Nora.
She saw beauty in all places. Everything has beauty if you take the time to see it. Nora not only saw the beauty in nature, but she also saw it in the people she loved. If Nora loved you, you knew it. She had the ability to tell you she loved you without having to say it. Nora never left things unsaid, she communicated her love for you in each interaction.
There will never be another person like Nora, that would be impossible, but that is also what made her so beautiful. Her uniqueness, brightness, the light she was in the life can guide us while we continue (physically) without her. We will never truly be without Nora, the lessons she taught us we can now share with others that we love. Nora will live on through our kindness, love, and curiosity.