Fly Away.


Her name was Laura (Redmond) Ramirez, she was a senior when I was a freshmen, and my first memory of her was when she smacked my butt as she almost lapped me on our first fitness test ha. This undoubtedly took place on my very first day of college where I was a ‘walk on’ and well, Redmond (Red), was one of our senior captains.

You see at the moment in time, I felt as if my legs were going to collapse and that there was no way I could take another step. Yet there was Red, joking around, plus making the hard work look easy.

She knew no other way but to lead by example.

From the first moment I met her, her tenacity with an undeniable balance of humour, was infectious. She only knew how to be a fighter with a smile on her face.

That never altered. From the moment she found out, in 2007, that she had Leukemia until the very end. This includes, during those 10 almost 11 years, where she also lost her mother in 2010 (with leukemia) and then also her father in 2016 to liver cancer. 

Yet, even through all that pain and loss, pain that many of us cannot imagine, she was the same Red from college; one hell of a fighter with a smile on her face.

And when she passed away, earlier this year, and I could not make the funeral due to Futbol, writing was the only thing that brought me peace. These lyrics are to honor her courageous journey and that of her husband as well, who stood by her for every step.

You see, when John (than boyfriend, soon after husband) and her found out about her condition, there were recently out of college and had their whole lives ahead of them.

I am sure some people would think about walking  away from Laura, but not John.

John stood by her till her final breath and that was where our own tears fell. Our tears fell as we thought about their incredible journey together. What it must have been like for him to not only watch his wife, his best friend, fight this horrible desease but also to watch her lose her closest family members throughout that same time frame.

“Here we are.

The time has come

How do we say goodbye.

You said fight

To carry your joy

To find your strength

To Believe again …”

The lyrics were also written thinking about my father, about his own mother as we told her the news about losing her only son, about watching my mother go through the pain of losing her own mother, with watching so many of my friends, who I call family, try to deal with the pain of losing their mother’s, father’s, brother’s, and sister’s.

“Tears still fall

Ill find a way

You loved all my

Pain Away…”

This song, is for anyone that has ever lost someone, to try to allow you to have a little more peace than before.  To believe, to know, and have faith in that even though they are not with us now that the time we spent with them and the impact they had on our lives can never be taken from us.

“But you know

I am standing here

Smiling loving you.

Sunshine through the clouds

You’ve always been an angel….”

Laura was a type of human that even when she was suffering with all that pain, with all that loss, you could not help but leave her presence with a smile. And for that alone she will never be forgotten.


Laura’s family and friends are aiming to raise an ambitious $50,000 to support an athletic scholarship fund in Laura’s name at the University of Illinois, her alma mater. The fund will be used to support future soccer players at U of I.

Donations can be made online at Click “Make a Gift” and indicate in the “Special Instructions” that the gift is being made in memory of Laura Redmond Ramirez. Or call the Varsity I office at 217-333-7777. The optional fund number is: 774623.”

ENJOY. #ForHim #ForHer #ForYou #ForUS


One thought on “Fly Away.

  1. Hard to leave a comment after this but, when in tears after reading this, watching how day after day my people in Puerto Rico are suffering all I can say is GRACIAS Ella Masar! I’m sure this song will be of some comfort for those who are still with us!

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