LHS 2015 Recipients

Glen from LHS Alumni Association called me over a month ago.  He had narrowed down our choice of recipients by the qualifications we had given him…he always does a great job.  He told me “I know I have always given you girls to choose from but this year I have several great guys I want to tell you about.”  I told him we didn’t care if they were male or female…we just wanted to help deserving youngsters.  He said “I don’t know if you know this family or not but they go to our church…Jeff and Tracy Portwood and their son is John.  He is active in the young group, he plays on the golf team, he was thinking about Pharmacy as his possible degree, he has a very good GPA and more good qualities.”  I let him tell me all about John and when he finished I laughed…in a good way…and said, “We know the Portwoods very well, they are our friends, and Yes, John is a great young man.”  I told him how much the Portwoods helped us after Lauren passed away and that the whole family were kind, helpful, generous people.

Glen went on the tell me about several girls and another young man.  He said he was really impressed with him when he interviewed him.  Yes, all students applying for Alumni Association scholarships are personally interviewed along with other criteria they have to meet.  But on to the next young man.  He told me how he was on the robotics team, the swim team, he was already a CNA but wanted to be a Nurse Practitioner, he worked at the Boys and Girls Club and more good qualities.  He then told me his name was Thomas Powell.

After Glen told me about all the possible candidates, Bryan and I talked about them and chose the two young men.  Scholarship Awards night was on May 12, 2015 and we got to visit with them and have our picture taken.  We were talking with Thomas and asked who his parents were.  He told us Gary and Suzy and Bryan and I just looked at each other and started laughing…they were our “old neighbors” from Brookhollow.  We had not recognized Thomas, because he was 12 when we saw him last and we knew him as “TJ” not Thomas.  Lauren had even babysat him, his twin and their little sister. 

Wow…how fitting to have two quality young men…that Lauren personally knew…from families that are our friends and were “there for us” after Lauren passed away.  We are so happy to award these young men the Lauren Alston Memorial Scholarship for Lufkin High School for 2015.

Bryan, Thomas Powell, John Portwood & Suzanne

Bryan, Thomas Powell, John Portwood & Suzanne


Allie Massingill ~ LHS 2014

This is Allie Massingill who is the Lufkin High School 2014 Scholarship Recipient.  She plans on attending Angelina College for a few semesters and then transferring to Stephen F. Austin to finish her degree.  Allie wants to be an early elementary school teacher and we wish her well in her college endeavors.

Bryan, Allie Massingill and Suzanne

Bryan, Allie Massingill and Suzanne

A Beautiful Rose

Our rose-bush didn’t bloom much this year… I don’t know why… I have never had rose bushes before.  We had just signed a contract to sell our home when Lauren passed away… we were planning to downsize and move out-of-town for a little while… but now we live here half the year in one of our rent houses… it has one lone, red rose-bush.  The first two years here we had bountiful, beautiful red roses on that bush… but this year only a few.   Some of the leaves turned yellow, with brown spots and started falling off…  I think it has a disease or bugs… it only bloomed a few roses.  I missed the color… the smell… and the beauty of those roses this year.  It made me think of the lovely poem that one of Lauren’s teachers wrote about her after her death.

wild red rose

March 21, 2010 

A Beautiful Rose

A seed was planted not so long ago that sprouted through the earth, welcoming herself into a new world. As her leaves developed her roots spread deep throughout the nurturing soil, gaining nutrition and a strong grip that would support her in life. She thrived on the sprinkling rains of love and kindness and endured the troublesome winds and heat as she grew. Through the years thorns formed that caused a few pricks of pain to those who loved and cared for her.

She always stood tall and straight as she stretched her branches to the sky reaching for her Master’s warmth and light. Soon buds formed that opened into a beautiful array of blooms that rejoiced her arrival into adulthood. Their beauty brought many smiles to those who passed by, some stopping to spend more time with her and enjoying the pleasures of her presence. She in turn nurtured many others with her sweet nectar of love for all.

Soon the Master Gardener decided to move her to a better spot in His heavenly kingdom. This way she could be surrounded by His angels and cared for in a special way. The hole that was made left a hole in our hearts, never to be completely filled. We will miss the beauty and radiance that she gave to us each day.

(I wrote this in my dreams last night. As I was finishing this Lauren came to me to say goodbye. I only really knew her for a semester at LHS when she was in my class, but she left an impact for life. My heart goes out to her family in this difficult time, but I know that she is now safely home. Thanks girl.)
James Schroeder,
Lufkin, Texas

Kim Chong ~ LHS 2013

LHS 2013 - Kim ChongSuzanne,  Kim Chong,  Bryan

On Monday night, May 6th, we got to meet Kim Chong who is the Lufkin High School 2013 scholarship recipient.  We had a great visit with her while waiting to have our picture made.  She is attending SFA and wants to be a nurse, like her Mom, or maybe something in hospital administration.  She helps out in the Nurse’s Office at school and really enjoys that and helping people.  She and Lauren had similar schooling, Kim attended a private catholic school until sixth grade and then moved into the public school, and Lauren attended a private christian school until eighth grade and then entered Lufkin High School.  Kim talked about that challenging transition and then, because she knew how that felt, helping other “new” kids who looked lost and needed a friend….Lauren did the same thing.

We got to meet Kim’s parents, little brother and grandmother.  They were all so friendly and appreciative of Kim receiving the scholarship.  We told them some about Lauren and how the scholarships came about…wanting to help others as Lauren did and the fact she received scholarships from LHS and SFA.  We asked Kim, as we do all recipients, to just please lend a helping hand to others along the way…and she said she sure would.   We enjoyed our time with Kim and her family and wish them all the best in the years to come.

The Cord

My beautiful friend, Tammy Miller, sent this to me on the first Mother’s Day without Lauren.   Lauren used to baby sit Tammy and David’s children…and they were special friends and wonderful mentors to her.  I am thankful they were in her life and still are in ours.


We are connected,
My child and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It’s not like the cord
That connects us ’til birth
This cord can’t been seen
By any on Earth.

This cord does it’s work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it’s there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can’t be destroyed
It can’t be denied.

It’s stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you’re not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised…I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can’t take it away! 

~Author Unknown~