Lora’s Story

Written by : Sarah Joyce

You know that friend who is more than a friend? The one who you’ve shared a lifetime of memories with, laughter, tears, love, loss, and everything in between. That was Lora.

Lora & I met on the first day of our freshman year of college 26 years ago. We became best friends (almost) instantly and from that day on, our lives were forever connected. We’ve been together through it all; birthdays, first loves, first heartbreaks, spring break trips, late nights (not too late because she could never stay up), standing up for each other at our weddings, the births of 4 girls (her 3 and my 1) and our daily chats just to name a few.

When I got the call that Lora had suffered a very large and life-threatening aneurysm in January 2022, I assumed it was just a nightmare from which I would soon wake up. But it was real, unimaginable, but real. How could Lora, my vibrant, beautiful best friend be gone just like that?  The day before we were on the phone and she had to run into the store and would “call me back in 5 minutes.”

I will never understand how or why this happened to Lora, an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend with so much more life to live. Lora was that person that you remember, even if you only met her once. She had this infectious smile that you just couldn’t forget – I know I never will.

As the days have gone on since Lora passed, it’s hard not to feel like this is still some strange, alternate universe because a world without Lora isn’t something I’d ever imagined. The days are different without her – I still pick up my phone after work to call her and see what she’s making for dinner or to hear something funny that happened that day, and it hits me all over again that she’s not here. I see and feel her everywhere; in a song that comes on, a breeze outside, but never more than when I am in the presence of her 3 beautiful daughters. She lives on in those girls, and even though it’s not the same, when you’re with them you can’t help but feel that Lora is there too.

I never knew much about aneurysms or brain injuries and I never thought I’d lose my best friend to one, but I’m so thankful that this organization exists to raise awareness and hopefully save many more families and best friends from devastation like this.

Learn More About Lora’s Light 3k or 5k on Sunday September 18

Lora Beth Ritchie Memorial

$17,641
OF OUR $1,000 GOAL