“Cousin Kristin! I need a huuuug!” spilled from Lauren’s mouth every time she entered the room. We were extra lucky when she would give us more than one hug. So full of love. Such tight squeezes.
This weekend, I had plans to hang out with Lauren on Sunday night. She worked until 7 p.m. and would come over for supper after. We were going to have Pizza Hut. They finally opened after a year and a half of waiting. Took forever! We also had a fresh new hair dye we were going to put on Lauren. OJ and Mt. Dew were cold in the fridge, for DewMosas. We were set.
Sunday night, 7:22 p.m. “something isn’t right,” I came through my body. Lauren always was on time and was always calling and texting. Her phone was silent. Her response was silent. My heart was still.
I called her mother to let her know something was off and to see if she knew where she was. I had had a sinking feeling in my stomach all day. Her mom’s voice let me know this wasn’t normal and that we needed to act quickly. Ten minutes later our Lauren was found deceased in her apartment. She had a seizure and did not recover.
I expected to get a call that she had run away with a boy or was at the hospital because she got hurt at work. Not this. The opposite of this. The untruth of this.
She wanted to be normal. What she didn’t understand was she was more normal than any of us. Yes, she had to take some pills, but who doesn’t? Am I right? We all are medicated.
People have thanked me for being in her life. It is the opposite. I am SO THANKFUL I got to be part of her life. Having her in my life as an amazing human, cousin and friend, makes me the lucky one.
She taught us so much:
She taught me to love people regardless of who they are.
To always see the glass as half full.
That you can mix OJ and Mt. Dew and enjoy it.
Fight for what you believe in.
Love with your whole heart, every time.
Sneaking into movies isn’t just a teenage thing.
The list could go on and on. Lauren wanted to be normal more than anything, wanted to be like us. I wish she knew how much we wished we could be as happy as her. How we wished we could love everyone as strong as she did.
We are all, I think still in shock, grieving, hurt, pissed, saddened and so many more things. She will forever have a piece of my heart.
Here’s to you Lauren – thank you for teaching us how to live life!