I was recently contacted by private message from a high school friend of Lauren’s. Her name is Meghan and she is expecting a baby girl in September. She wanted to know if it was alright with me if she used Lauren’s middle name for her daughter’s middle name. She wanted to name her at least in part after her friend. I was surprised and said what an honor that would be.
Meghan said “Lauren was one of the most beautiful people I have ever known. I couldn’t see naming her without involving Lauren somehow…Baby girls name will be Carollei Elizabeth.” I told her the first name was unique and beautiful. Meghan said she combined two family names to make it.
She went on to say, “I think of her almost every day. I don’t know if you have kept up with what’s gone on with me, if not I don’t blame you, but the same year we all lost Lauren, I also lost my son to a bad birth defect. The one thing that gave me comfort over the last seven years is knowing Eric is with Lauren laughing and smiling… Heck me and Camille, (another friend) came to the conclusion that Lauren liked him too much and kept him.” I told her I had not known about Eric and how sorry I was that she too had lost a child. She never got the chance to hold him and get to know him, like I did with Lauren, but the loss is still great.
She went on to say the other day she had found a picture of her and Lauren from the Renaissance Festival from years ago. It was blurry but she put it up on her memory board because… “that was one of the best days ever….well for me it was, Lauren ended up getting really sick from eating shrimp at the food court.” She said it was after they got back and late that night they called us to come get her. I don’t remember this so it was probably her Dad who went after her. Meghan said, “Sorry I just remember saying… bro I told you to eat turkey legs and sausage…you got brave and ate shrimp…you did this to yourself…lol“…. and then… Lauren replied something I can’t write. I can just see and hear those two having that conversation in my head….sounds just like them…lol. They are both funny and quick witted.
Meghan went on to tell me some things she learned from Lauren; how to jump up and click her heels together, how to not take the bullcrap from other kids who were being jerks to her in school, how to be kind. That Lauren had brought her out of her shell and she had taught her more than anyone else in her life. I was humbled and blown away by her words and tears started falling. I told her she always had those things in her that Lauren just helped her bring it to the surface.
She replied, “I know, but Lauren saw them in me and helped me realize how awesome I actually am.”
I told her that her words made me cry and she said she didn’t mean to do that.
I said “I know that but your words are so touching. You want your child to be good and kind to others. To know the impact she had on others makes me proud and that her life was worthwhile and she showed God’s love to others. She wasn’t perfect but she was a pretty good kid and I miss her terribly.”
She said that Lauren helped make her who she was and that Carollei was named after 3 strong, important women in her life. Meghan said “that it would probably make her headstrong, opinionated and a little bit goofy” but she was coming to terms with the fact she would probably have a bull-headed child.
Hmmmm…sounds familiar…I will pray for her. ; ) : )