Monday March 5th is the sixth anniversary of Lauren’s transition to the other side and in honor of her journey, I am sharing the speech I gave at the UVA Relay for Life event in 2006.
They honored her spirit and her sweetness and I was touched to be asked to speak at this event.
What follows is from so deep in my heart that it took all my courage and willpower to get through it so soon after she left us.
(Yeah, I didn’t make it through without tears, of course. It IS me, after all!)
It was my good fortune to have been Lauren’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. Lauren’s gift was to quietly inspire people to live what they believe. She “walked her talk” 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, I’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, Lauren’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.
Always and forever, I love you.