Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Heavenly Birthday Wishes

Posted August 26, 2008

Most of us don't think of our friends and families celebrating our birthdays after we are dead.  That's because birthdays represent living one more year, making it to another milestone.  Long after we pass the age of decorated cakes, party games and goodie bags, birthdays become a time of reflection, a time to take stock of how far we have come and what we have left to do.

Nancy Cooper would have turned thirty-five next week.  She will never get a chance to reflect and muse about what she has accomplished-bringing two beautiful daughters into the world.  She will never get a chance to ponder her future or dreams.  Maybe she would have moved back to her native Canada, started a new career?  We'll never know.

Nancy Cooper was found murdered not far from her Cary home on July 14.  This week to mark her birthday her friends  and supporters planned a tribute to her at the local coffee shop, Java Jive.  They decorated a wreath, hung pictures and balloons, and left a book for people to write notes to Cooper's family. 

I'm sure it is not the way Nancy Cooper would have imagined her thirty-fifth birthday.  Instead, she had planned to attend the John Mayer concert with a group of her closest friends Wednesday night..  Surely she would have looked forward to this night on the town under the stars listening to great music with her pals.  The friends have decided to attend the concert anyway in Nancy's memory.

The goal of their celebration is to keep Nancy's unsolved case in the public eye and to keep her in their hearts.  But in some surreal way I sense they are also trying to send a special birthday wish to heaven. 

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.