Lauren had been on my mind frequently with Valentine’s Day coming up, not that she ever really leaves it. This day of “I love you’s” that most people look forward to and that I still gave her valentines and a little gift, even at 21. What kept coming back to my mind was those “3 little words”. You see I sometimes had trouble telling her that…oh for various reasons. She would tell me and when I didn’t always say it back she would try to coax it out of me. Maybe I wasn’t “loving” her right then cause we had fought or I just didn’t feel like saying it. Now I always loved her but sometimes didn’t “like” her right then and if you are a parent you know what I mean. I always told her I wanted to say “it” when I felt it not just because someone had told me first…parroting the words right back to them. She would say…”But Mommmmm….”. Before you misunderstand, I said those “3 little words” more times than not…but not always.
The Friday night before she was killed we went out to eat with our “Nacogdoches” family. Bryan and his brother live in Lufkin and their parents, one set of Lauren’s grandparents, live in Nacogdoches. Since Lauren, the first grandchild on that side of the family was born, they have come to Lufkin on many Friday nights to see us. So it was Lauren, Mimi, PawPaw, Todd, Julie, Elise, Bryan, Taylor and I having supper at Cotton Patch. Taylor, her brother, was working 2 jobs and had called in sick to his night job, although that was not the norm. So the four of us, as our family unit, were together one last time. We all laughed, visited, joked, hugged and the “girls” made plans to go see Hairspray at Temple Theater. The last thing I said to her that night was…“I love you”…I meant it…I felt it…I wanted her to know. I have no regrets in that department and am so thankful God gave me that last opportunity to say those 3 simple but powerful words to my beloved daughter.
I love you Lauren…..Mom
Thank you note from Laura Resendez
Bryan and I received a Thank You note from Laura Resendez in the mail this past week. She is one of the scholarship recipients from the Lauren Alston Memorial Scholarship at Stephen F. Austin State University. Both she and Rondrelle Sterling sent out their thank you notes after learning of receiving the scholarship this past spring. This is a second note that Laura sent to us.
Here it is:
Dear Mr. Bryan & Mrs. Suzanne Alston,
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity of a scholarship; especially during these rough times. This scholarship has helped my family and I greatly. Having this strives me to do better in classes. My GPA is getting better, and I just could not be where I am today from your support. Many thanks!
What a nice surprise to receive this note in the mail. I think it shows us that we made the right decision in choosing Laura as one of the recipients. Laura is from a single parent home, has siblings and works part time while attending school and full time in the summer to help fund her college education.
When walking my dog, Max, early on a crisp cool morning a few days ago, a really “talkative” older gentleman engaged me in conversation. He was here in the RV park, in Fredericksburg where we are staying right now, for a few days after house hunting in Dallas. His only son lived there and wanted he and his wife to move to Dallas from Mississippi to be close by. He told me more about his life, wife and son. After learning about his already selling their house, they loved their church and had so many wonderful friends where they lived, he thought they didn’t really want to move and leave all that behind. I asked him if I could give him one piece of advice…he said yes. I told him about losing my beautiful, smart, loving 21 yr old daughter and with tears streaming down my face I said… “Sir…Time is Precious…Especially with your Children”. Tears came to his eyes and rolled down his cheek and he said…”I know…we lost a 10 yr old son in the 70’s… and you never forget… or get over it”. I hope they move…
I also hope I was a God Link for him…the sign he needed to make that move. There is a great book called “When God Winks at You” by Squire Rushnell. It is about how God speaks directly to you through the power of coincidence. When God uses someone else to speak to you that is called a God Link.
With Hope, suzanne
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Lauren Alston Signature / Symbol Pillows benefitting the Lauren Alston Foundation. Click here for more information on ordering your pillow.
Photo gallery / slideshow from the L.A.F Benefit 2010.