If ever a woman was born into her name, it was Lora Ann Greene. She had a magical touch with flowers and she always had her homestead adorned with them. Her marriage to the late Gary Linwood Green left her with the most fitting name of Lora Greene Green. To make matters less complicated, she went by Lora Green until her death.
Lora was surrounded by her loving family when she passed away on Sunday, April 28, 2013.
She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 15, 1954, moving to Myrtle Beach in 1980. She worked for many years as a beautician.
She is survived by her daughter, Emily, and by her beloved granddaughter, Jada, who reside in Socastee. She is also survived by a brother, Paul Greene of Davidson, North Carolina. She was predeceased by a brother, who was killed in Vietnam.
Lora, who lived the last few years of her life in Conway, would chastise me if I failed to mention her lifelong friends — two women she regarded as sisters, and vice-versa — Candace Travis and Sherrie Pemberton.
I’ll always remember the tenderness with which Lora nurtured her flowers, talking to them as she navigated her way through her daily watering routine. “Y’all better pep up now. Ya hear? It’s gonna be gettin’ hot real soon.”
As great as she was with flora, she was even better with people. She was such a caring woman. She looked after everyone, including me, when we first met nearly 14 years ago while living in small monthly rentals on the south end of Myrtle Beach.
“When I think of Lora I remember her ready laugh,” wrote Patsy, a friend of hers who left the most loving of tributes on an online memorial guest book. “Her love for her family. The way she was quick to enjoy a moment. How she made me feel like I was special when she was the one that was special.”
Lora and I used to sit at her living room table near a sliding glass door overlooking her second-floor apartment balcony, admiring hummingbirds that visited her flowers and hummingbird feeder. We laughed at woodpeckers sorting through the seeds in her birdfeeder until they got what they wanted before flying to nearby trees and telephone poles to store their bounty. Carolina chickadees, cardinals, finches, wrens, juncos and a wide variety of songbirds visited her daily.
I sit here now and laugh through tears as I recall her chasing squirrels away from the feeder, shouting at them in her trademark southern drawl, “Git. Git out of here now. Y’all are thievin’.” She loved them, too, even as they taunted her by scampering just far enough away, turning around, and staring back at her defiantly.
Lora’s friends became my acquaintances. One of them was John Lawrence Smith, who knew Lora for roughly 50 years. He had this to say in tribute to her.
“Lora, I will miss you more than I can ever express. You have been a true friend to me since I was 18 years old; we have been through so much, happy and sad. But now you can rest while I cry.”
Well said, John. There are so many of us crying now and words escape us when we try to put Lora’s impact on our lives into perspective. The world has lost a good, good person.
Lora and I had a tiff and we hadn’t spoken, at least with any civility, in nearly three years.
Nevertheless, I’m shattered by her passing. Shaken that we hadn’t told each other from our hearts what we really meant to each other. Stricken with pangs of guilt that I wasn’t strong enough to rise above the pettiness that put our friendship on hold. But Lora would have been the first to reach across that table by the sliding glass door, grab my arm, and tell me that everything will be okay. “It’ll be alright, Rob,” she’d say, elongating my name into two syllables the way she always did. “Everything will be okay. I’m going to a better place.”
Jada. It was a great privilege for me to watch you grow from the time you were knee high to a grasshopper. Your Grammy is watching you from that better place. She’ll always be watching over you. So talk to her whenever you feel like it. She’ll listen and she’ll even answer sometimes. You’ll hear her in the wind and in rustling leaves. You’ll see her in blooming flowers and in the reflection of the sun off ponds.
In closing, I need to mention another of Lora’s passions. Candles. Especially tealights. She often lit them after the sun went down to enjoy an ambience that spoke to her persona. Soft, yet glowing.
Lora, the fire that is your memory will forever flicker in my very being. You were — and will continue to be — a flame to which so many of us look for comfort.