Laura Potash

Laura Potash Coleman

"When true friends meet in adverse hour;

'Tis like a sunbeam through a shower.

A watery way an instant seen,

The darkly closing clouds between."

                              - Sir Walter Scott

In 2003, it was a privilege to renew my friendship with Barbara Strauss. We walked through cancer at the same time. Barbara had lung cancer and I had lymphoma. She was incredible during the cancer process loaning me her courage. We spent hours on the telephone like we did when we were 14 years old.

At 14, we were slouching in our seats, practicing our smart alecky grin, and defiantly smoking cigarettes across the street or in the bathrooms at Seneca [oh, my…]. As adults with cancer, we made fun of the illness, treatments, baldness, radiation burns, nausea and other side effects, doctors, nurses and hospitals in the same rebellious way we made fun of our teachers at Seneca.

We laughed a lot into the last two weeks of her life. As always, Barbara tried to give me all the credit for the laughter, not acknowledging any for herself. She was an intelligent, witty, creative, giving, loving and delightful friend. She died the month I had my last chemotherapy. She is greatly missed.

Laura Potash Coleman

Jul 14, 2008

Seneca High School—Class of '63