In my 57 years and some odd months on this earth, this is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I could be so bitter and negative but it’s really not about me. It’s about celebrating the beauty, and genuine gift of having a wonderful daughter here with us for 28 years. It’s her beauty and love we celebrate today. Not the horror of cancer and the death of her body.
Lauren is by far one of the most wonderful human beings I’ve ever known. She has taught me how to love life and love the earth and most importantly to love our interaction with one another. All of you have Lauren stories. Little vignettes that we can all share together about what made Lauren unique from the rest. She was unique. She loved history. I know that we’d all roll our eyes when something insignificant about English history somehow found its way in to the conversation. She knew it cold. She’d take us through some laborious set of circumstances that only she knew in order to make it correct and let us all understand how that date in 1534 should look as she understood it.
She taught me about love. One morning about 2am I was taking care of Lauren in her infancy. Her mother, a flight attendant at the time, was on a trip to the east coast. I had to be at work at 7am. Lauren was crying for hours. I had to get up in 4 hours and get her and me ready. I was tense and didn’t know what to do. I finally realized it wasn’t about me. I held her and spent the rest of the night taking care of her till she finally fell back to sleep. I had to learn to give of myself in order to make her content and happy. Good lesson for a new parent. It was a lesson I would use over and over in attempting to raise four children.
It’s interesting that in this last week since her death I have also learned that Lauren was so consistent with all of her friends and family. They have all spoken through emails, letters, and cards about her humanity for others and genuine love and affection she showed them. Another theme was her love of life. She had great goals and wanted to change the world. She really thought she could. It was always about the other guy.
Sickness interrupted her ambitions for a time. She never once complained. She showed no fear. She was passionate about defeating this cancer that had invaded her. In the end that was not to be the case but through out the entire process she never once gave up. That is heroic.
Lauren was my daughter but she and I were also great friends. She confided in me and I in her. I WILL MISS THAT SO MUCH. I will also miss her smile and sense of humor. Self depreciating and goofy humor that made me laugh.
It’s interesting that Lauren was in complete remission for a year. She traveled again, went back to graduate school again, and met the love of her life during this time. I am SO glad that year was good and kind to her. It was a blessing from God and I am very thankful for it.
Goodbye Lauren. Hopefully I will see you one day in the future.