Letter from Jay Dee

It has been my privilege to have known Lauren and to have shared so many wonderful times and experiences with her. Due to her illness, she spent much additional time with her family and allowed us to know her not just as a child, but as an adult faced with an extremely difficult disease. I did not ever hear Lauren, complain or ask “why me”. Instead she enjoyed her days and loved sharing the stories of her friends, co-workers, family memebers and students from the reading clinic. I probably know more about some of your personal stories than you may realize, but knowing Lauren, you probably know a lot about me as well. Lauren took each day as it came and truly lived in the moment. She took great delight in the small joys of daily living including her excitement and anticipation of her afternoon latte. She never missed an opportunity to say “I love you” or “thank you” or “you mean so much to me” .

Near the end of her initial chemotherapy, her strength was much improved and she determined she was interested in dating. One evening she remarked “don’t tell Dad, but I have registered with Eharmony”. She had selected characteristics that were important to her in a potential boyfriend and she told me her number one characteristic was the person had to be kind and this is how she met her Sean.

Lauren was unique individual who was very gentle, kind and wanted everyone to treat one another in a caring manner. She maintained her sense of humor even when circumstances were extremely difficult.

Shortly after Lauren had her surgery in 2004, she was concerned that a family member was very sad and I had to let her know her original prognosis was very bleak and that we were told she had very limited time. There was a misdiagnosis, so Lauren had not heard this original information. Lauren looked at me and said “that is so sad”. I said “yes, Lauren, it is so sad”, thinking to myself you are so young and have so many hopes and dreams. Then she said something remarkable, “that would be so sad, because everyone would miss me so much”. Lauren, your love, your sweet smile, your strength, your compassion, your humor, your love of life, of history and anything to do with Europe will all be missed. You are right – it is so sad and you are missed so much!

Jay Dee