Maria Laura Rufino,

( Laurie )




 Heaven Bound, December 9, 1995, from Pneumococcal Meningitis, age 19

 Buenos Aires, Argentina,


Laura was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina May 12, 1976, to Nora Picoroso and Carlos Alberto Rufino. She was a beautiful and healthy girl, in fact she never went to a hospital until the day when that horrible illness touch her.

She started to talk with a large vocabulary very soon, sooner than others of same age. Laura started to sing and enjoy music at early age too, and become a professional when she was seven or eight years old, singing in a record as background vocals, with a popular singer here in Argentina: Sandra Mihanovich, and singing in uncountable jingles for radio and TV.

When her brother Pablo was born, she felt very happy, without a trace of jealousy which is so common between brothers and sisters, she always had a sensitive heart to people and animals, and she loved pets, mainly cats. We have a survivor cat that is 13 years old now, that belonged to her.
Laura become a teenager like any other, with a lot of friends, going to rock concerts, playing piano, talking for hours by telephone, she was very close to me, we were very similar about our taste in music, or sense of humor, we spent a lot of time together, after her passing, many of her high school mates, told me, "She always talked about her dad." In a way, I can say that she was "a daddy's girl"...

Laura, or Laurie (as we used to call her)  was also a big fan of computers, and she made a lot of good friends not on the Internet (in that time was uncommon here) instead in that places called BBS's or Bulletin Board Systems, where people used to call through telephone lines with a computer. She was also kind of math genius, she used to make algebraic calculations just for fun, when she felt bored, she planned to study science at College in 1996.

In  1995, in the earlier part of that year, she had otitis twice (a middle ear infection), in that moment we didn't know that the door was opened for something worse.
Then,  on Wednesday, December, 6,  1995, she started with a headache and fever, nothing uncommon for a teenager girl.  The next day, she went to the local hospital with her mother, but she didn't want to wait to see a doctor, because there were a lot of people waiting. Her mother tried to convince her to go to another hospital, but she refused.
On Friday, December 8, she  took a bath, and try to eat some fruit, but she felt dizzy and started to vomit.
We called an ambulance at 5:30 am on, Saturday, December,  9.  They came but  didn't know the cause of her illness, and they asked me if she drank something?

 At the hospital, the doctors asked her name , she responded, but that was her last words., She stopped breathing in front of my eyes. 

Though she overcame this situation , she fell into a comma.

The doctors realize that she could have Meningitis, but they didn't gave her antibiotics before they tested her to be sure, and time was passing by...

Then the nightmare, really began.

At 6 PM,  they gave us the bad news, , Laura had died.

 My wife couldn't walk, we felt shocked, thinking that this would be a bad dream, that everything will be ok soon, but it wasn't.
I had, (and still have) many questions, and fewer answers, how could this happen? How a happy family of four, was destroyed in a blink? How a brilliant brain was taken by a horrible illness like this? It has no sense at all.
Laura used to write down the sentence: "Life is Short"

Maybe this is clue, maybe we all have our lives defined from the moment we are born, I don't know, but I hope to find  the answer someday.

A friend of Laura's  told me,  they had a chat about life and death. He said,  Laura ask him: "What do you think  happens when we die?  He replied, " Just disappear? "

She said. "Oh no! I don't think so..."



Abandoned Garden

 Words and music by

                                                       Michael Franks

In your abandoned garden, sunlight still prevails:
The jasmine climbs the trellis fragrantly,

The jacaranda ultravioletly sways.
The blossom. each of them by your hand planted,
Will, even if I tell them of your sudden disappearance from us,
Not believe the tale.

In your abandoned garden, beauty is unchanged:
The hummingbird still hovers for the scent the frangipane so seductively displays.
Camellias, each of them by your hand planted,
The sadness of your sudden disappearance still unknown to them,
Await the kiss of rain.


Dedicated to Maria from her family.


Our Maria Laura


TL ~ Laura with her mom Nora..... BL ~ Maria with her brother Pablo.... TR ~ Playing with her brother Pablo.... BR ~ With her piano teacher....





Messages For Maria

We love and miss her, dad Machi, mother Nora, brother Juan Pablo

Beautiful Maria,

You are a star in the darkest night. Frankie, HBA, Ryan's Mom


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