Tomorrow, March 5th, 2008 marks the 2 year anniversary of Lauren’s passing into the gentle hands of God. As I said last year (and many, many posts since) not one. single. day. has gone by without thoughts of her in my head and heart. She has been a teacher to me in this life, showing me how it felt to give and receive love unconditionally. It was amazing and for that gift alone, I thank her. I am reprinting my speech I gave in her honor at the 2006 Relay for Life event at UVA in April. The picture over the fold shows a banner her teammates made in her memory and we walked behind them in a silent lap for Lauren.
It was my good fortune to have been Laurenâ€™s godmother. Not only was she my most beloved godchild, she was also one of my best friends. We shared a passion for the written word, inside jokes from our favorite british comedian, warm crusty bread slathered in butter and the odd compulsion to sit next to each other at family gatherings.
Lauren was a child born not of my body but of my soul. And it was through this special relationship that I learned how to love with all my heart.
Her inner light and joy, undaunted by this horrific disease, carried not only her through it but us as well. In her eyes, I saw the courage of all who battle cancer – facing an unknown future. And time and again, I stood in awe of it.
I believe we come into this world with special gifts – things that make us who we are. Laurenâ€™s gift was to quietly inspire people to live what they believe. She â€œwalked her talkâ€ and was without pretension or mask. You just felt good around her.
She was not one to draw attention to herself and while I could go on for hours about what a wonderful person she was, Iâ€™m sure she would rather I make a different point. So I will.
We are all connected to each other in this world. Connected in ways we may never know. The love and kindness you show others has a ripple effect. Taking part in this event, donating time and money and positive energy is a wonderful way to honor those whom we love. Continue to radiate that love and joy outward even after today. You will have made a difference, I promise.
Tonight, I honor Lauren and my mother-in-law Irene. Their spirit remains with us always. I honor those who care for their loved ones on their path to healing, especially my cousin Mary and her husband Steve, Laurenâ€™s parents, who were with her every single step of the way.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
We love you, Lauren.
And miss you more than words can ever convey. I thank you for letting me know you are still around in every yellow tulip, Spanish speaking phone call, and visit at the Reiki table. When I count my blessings, you are always at the top of the list. Always.